Justifying the sample size for a microarray study

Steve Simon


I’m helping out with a grant proposal that is using microarrays for part of the analysis. A microarray is system for quantitative measurement of circulating mRNA in human, animal, or plant tissue. A microarray will typically measure thousands or tens of thousands of different mRNA sequences. An important issue for this particular grant (and many grants involving microarray data) is how to justify the sample size. Here are a few references that I will use to develop such a justification.

Daehee Hwang, William A. Schmitt, George Stephanopoulos and Gregory Stephanopoulos. Determination of minimum sample size and discriminatory expression patterns in microarray data. Bioinformatics 2002: 18(9); 1184-1193. Available in pdf format.

Lee ML, Whitmore GA. Power and sample size for DNA microarray studies. Stat Med. 2002 Dec 15;21(23):3543-70. Available in pdf format.

Pawitan Y, Michiels S, Koscielny S, Gusnanto A, Ploner A. False discovery rate, sensitivity and sample size for microarray studies. Bioinformatics. 2005 Jul 1;21(13):3017-24. Epub 2005 Apr 19. Available in html format or pdf format.

Dobbin K, Simon R. Sample size determination in microarray experiments for class comparison and prognostic classification. Biostatistics. 2005 Jan;6(1):27-38. Available in pdf format

Wei C, Li J, Bumgarner RE. Sample size for detecting differentially expressed genes in microarray experiments. BMC Genomics. 2004 Nov 8;5(1):87. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-5-87. Available in html format or pdf format.

Jung SH. Sample size for FDR-control in microarray data analysis. Bioinformatics. 2005 Jul 15;21(14):3097-104. Epub 2005 Apr 21. Available in html format or pdf format.

I will try to summarize one or more of these papers when I get the chance.

You can find an earlier version of this page on my old website.