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J Clin Oncol. 2009 Mar 20;27(9):1477-84. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.18.6544. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

PIK3CA mutation is associated with poor prognosis among patients with curatively resected colon cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney St, Room JF-215C, Boston, MA 02115 USA.



PIK3CA mutation and subsequent activation of the AKT pathway play an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis. However, little is known about the prognostic role of PIK3CA mutation in colon cancer.


Using 450 resectable colon cancers (stage I to III) in two independent prospective cohorts, we detected PIK3CA mutation in 82 tumors (18%) by pyrosequencing. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of colon cancer-specific and overall mortalities, adjusted for patient characteristics and tumoral molecular features, including the CpG island methylation phenotype, microsatellite instability (MSI), LINE-1 hypomethylation, and p53, CIMP, KRAS and BRAF mutation.


Compared with patients with PIK3CA wild-type tumors, those with PIK3CA-mutated tumors experienced an increase in colon cancer-specific mortality according to univariate analysis (HR = 1.64; 95% CI, 0.95 to 2.86), which persisted after adjusting for other known or potential risk factors for cancer recurrence (including MSI; multivariate HR = 2.23; 95% CI, 1.21 to 4.11). The effect of PIK3CA mutation on cancer survival seemed to differ according to KRAS mutational status. Among patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, the presence of PIK3CA mutation was associated with a significant increase in colon cancer-specific mortality (HR = 3.80; 95% CI, 1.56 to 9.27). In contrast, PIK3CA mutation conferred no significant effect on mortality among patients with KRAS-mutated tumors (HR = 1.25; 95% CI, 0.52 to 2.96).


Among patients who undergo a curative resection of colon cancer, PIK3CA mutation is associated with shorter cancer-specific survival. The adverse effect of PIK3CA mutation may be potentially limited to patients with KRAS wild-type tumors.

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