Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Feb 15;17(4):667-77. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1133. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

PIK3CA mutations may be discordant between primary and corresponding metastatic disease in breast cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.



PIK3CA mutations are frequent in breast cancer and activate the PI3K/Akt pathway. Unexpectedly, PIK3CA mutation appears in general to be associated with better outcome. In a cohort of patients where both primary and metastatic lesions were available, the objective was to assess changes in PIK3CA mutations. We wished to discern whether selective pressures occur and the influence of PIK3CA mutation on time to recurrence.


Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor blocks were obtained from 104 patients with paired samples from primary tumors and corresponding asynchronous metastatic breast tumors. Samples were analyzed for PIK3CA mutations (exons 9 and 20) as well as immunohistochemical evaluation for PTEN, pAKT, Ki67, ER, and HER2.


PIK3CA mutation was detected in 45% of the primary tumors. Overall, there was a net gain in mutation in metastatic disease, to 53%; nonetheless, there were instances where metastases were wild type in patients with PIK3CA mutant primary tumors. Laser capture microdissection on a subset of cases revealed microheterogeneity for PIK3CA mutational status in the primary tumor. PIK3CA mutants overall showed a significantly longer time to first recurrence than wild type cases (P = 0.03).


PIK3CA mutations occur at high frequency in primary and metastatic breast cancer; these may not necessarily confer increased aggressiveness as mutants had a longer time to recurrence. Because PIK3CA status quite frequently changes between primary and metastatic disease, it emphasizes the necessity of assessing the PIK3CA status in the metastatic lesion for selection of PIK3CA inhibitor therapy.

©2010 AACR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk