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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Jan 15;13(2 Pt 1):408-14. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Clinicopathologic analysis of breast cancers with PIK3CA mutations in Japanese women.

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Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.



Somatic mutations of PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, have recently been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of human breast cancers. In this study, the frequency of PIK3CA mutations and their relationship with clinicopathologic and biological variables were investigated in Japanese breast cancers.


Mutational analysis of PIK3CA was done in 188 primary breast cancers of Japanese women. Relationship of these mutations with various clinicopathologic variables [histologic type, tumor size, histologic grade, lymph node status, estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and progesterone receptor status, and prognosis], biological variables [phospho-AKT (pAKT) and HER2 expression determined by immunohistochemistry], and p53 mutation status was studied.


Missense mutations of PIK3CA were found in 44 of 158 invasive ductal carcinomas, 4 of 10 invasive lobular carcinomas, 1 of 4 mucinous carcinomas, 2 of 2 squamous carcinomas, and 2 of 2 apocrine carcinomas, but no mutation was found in 12 noninvasive ductal carcinomas. PIK3CA-mutated tumors were found to be more likely to be ER-alpha positive (P < 0.05) and pAKT positive (P < 0.05). There was no significant association between PIK3CA mutations and p53 mutation status. PIK3CA mutations were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with a favorable prognosis, and multivariate analysis showed that PIK3CA mutation status was a significant (P < 0.05) prognostic factor independent of the other conventional prognostic factors.


The frequency of PIK3CA mutations in Japanese breast cancers is similar to that of Caucasian breast cancers. Association of PIK3CA mutations with positive pAKT and positive ER-alpha suggests that PIK3CA mutations might exert their effects through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/ER-alpha pathway. PIK3CA mutations seem to have a potential to be used as an indicator of favorable prognosis.

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