The study of circulating biomarkers and their association with disease outcomes has become progressively complex due to advances in the measurement of these biomarkers through multiplex technologies. The Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) is a data analysis method that may be utilized for biomarker selection in these high dimensional data. However, it is unclear which LASSO-type method is preferable when considering data scenarios that may be present in serum biomarker research, such as high correlation between biomarkers, weak associations with the outcome, and sparse number of true signals. The goal of this study was to compare the LASSO to five LASSO-type methods given these scenarios.
The PI3Kinase/Akt/mTOR pathway has important roles in cancer development for multiple tumor types, including UV-induced non-melanoma skin cancer. Immunosuppressed populations are at increased risk of aggressive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Individuals who are treated with rapamycin, (sirolimus, a classical mTOR inhibitor) have significantly decreased rates of developing new cutaneous SCCs compared to those that receive traditional immunosuppression. However, systemic rapamycin use can lead to significant adverse events. Here we explored the use of topical rapamycin as a chemopreventive agent in the context of solar simulated light (SSL)-induced skin carcinogenesis. In SKH-1 mice, topical rapamycin treatment decreased tumor yields when applied after completion of 15 weeks of SSL exposure compared to controls. However, applying rapamycin during SSL exposure for 15 weeks, and continuing for 10 weeks after UV treatment, increased tumor yields. We also examined whether a combinatorial approach might result in more significant tumor suppression by rapamycin. We validated that rapamycin causes increased Akt (S473) phosphorylation in the epidermis after SSL, and show for the first time that this dysregulation can be inhibited in vivo by a selective PDK1/Akt inhibitor, PHT-427. Combining rapamycin with PHT-427 on tumor prone skin additively caused a significant reduction of tumor multiplicity compared to vehicle controls. Our findings indicate that patients taking rapamycin should avoid sun exposure, and that combining topical mTOR inhibitors and Akt inhibitors may be a viable chemoprevention option for individuals at high risk for cutaneous SCC.