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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Nov 1;10(21):7252-9.

X-tile: a new bio-informatics tool for biomarker assessment and outcome-based cut-point optimization.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The ability to parse tumors into subsets based on biomarker expression has many clinical applications; however, there is no global way to visualize the best cut-points for creating such divisions. We have developed a graphical method, the X-tile plot that illustrates the presence of substantial tumor subpopulations and shows the robustness of the relationship between a biomarker and outcome by construction of a two dimensional projection of every possible subpopulation. We validate X-tile plots by examining the expression of several established prognostic markers (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, estrogen receptor, p53 expression, patient age, tumor size, and node number) in cohorts of breast cancer patients and show how X-tile plots of each marker predict population subsets rooted in the known biology of their expression.

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