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Shuyang Wu

Graduated: June 10, 2017

Thesis/Dissertation Title:

A Bayesian Network Model of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Incorporating Gene Expression Profiles

Radiation therapy is a treatment for metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which allows precision targeting of certain groups of lymph nodes. A Bayesian network predictive model was developed aiming to help achieve such precision using information on the primary site and size of the tumor, representing the current decision-making process in clinical settings. The patient’s genetic profile was added to examine its predictability of metastasis through the improvement in prediction accuracies. The model was trained with publicly available data extracted from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and validated against the TCGA dataset as well as clinical data reported to the University of Washington Tumor Board. Results show that genetic profile data improves model accuracy and such improvement may affect clinical decision making especially for patients with more advanced metastasis. A prototype for decision support application was built based on the results to demonstrate the clinical significance of the model. However, more data is needed to show significance of the proposed effects, as well as to improve the accuracy of the overall model.

Last Known Position:

Bioinformatics Scientist at Veracyte, Inc.


Drs. Fredric Wolf (Chair), Mark Phillips, Mark Whipple