The favorable impact of PIK3CA mutations on survival: An analysis of 2587 patients with breast cancer

Department of Experimental Pediatrics, University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Chinese journal of cancer (Impact Factor: 2.16). 05/2012; 31(7):327-34. DOI: 10.5732/cjc.012.10032
Source: PubMed


The phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase(PI3K) pathway regulates a number of cellular processes, including cell survival, cell growth, and cell cycle progression. Consequently, this pathway is commonly deregulated in cancer. In particular, mutations in the gene PIK3CA that encodes the p110α catalytic subunit of the PI3K enzymes result in cell proliferation and resistance to apoptosis in vitro and induce breast tumors in transgenic mice. These data underscore the role of this pathway during oncogenesis. Thus, an ongoing, large-scale effort is underway to develop clinically active drugs that target elements of the PI3K pathway. However, conflicting data suggest that gain-of-function PIK3CA mutations may be associated with either a favorable or a poor clinical outcome, compared with the wild-type PIK3CA gene. In the current study, we performed a systematic review of breast cancer clinical studies. Upon evaluation of 2587 breast cancer cases from 12 independent studies, we showed that patients with tumors harboring a PIK3CA mutation have a better clinical outcome than those with a wild-type PIK3CA gene. Importantly, this improved prognosis may pertain only to patients with mutations in the kinase domain of p110α and to postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. We propose three potential explanations for this paradoxical observation. First, PIK3CA mutations may interfere with the metastasis process or may induce senescence, which results in a better outcome for patients with mutated tumors. Secondly, we speculate that PIK3CA mutations may increase early tumor diagnosis by modification of the actin cytoskeleton in tumor cells. Lastly, we propose that PIK3CA mutations may be a favorable predictive factor for response to hormonal therapy, giving a therapeutic advantage to these patients. Ultimately, an improved understanding of the clinical impact of PIK3CA mutations is critical for the development of optimally personalized therapeutics against breast cancer and other solid tumors. This effort will be important to prevent or explain therapeutic failures and select patients who are most likely to respond to new therapies that inhibit the PI3K pathway.

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Available from: Jonathan C Trent, Jul 21, 2014
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    • "Interestingly, WNT5A expression has been associated with favorable outcomes in patients with invasive breast tumors42. Third, PIK3CA, like many other oncogenes, may induce senescence, resulting in a less aggressive phenotype after cell transformation4344. "
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) gene is frequently mutated in breast cancer (BCa). Sex hormone receptors (HRs), including estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) play pivotal roles in BCa. In this study, we evaluated the association between PIK3CA mutations and ER/PR expression and the prognostic role of PIK3CA mutations in BCa patients, and in particular, HR-positive BCa. Thirty-two studies involving 5719 cases of BCa obtained from database searches were examined. PIK3CA gene mutations correlated significantly with ER/PR expression (p < 0.00001) and relapse-free survival (RFS) (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59-0.98, p = 0.03) but not overall survival (OS) (HR 1.14, 95%CI 0.72-1.82, p = 0.57) in unsorted BCa patients. PIK3CA mutations were not associated with OS (HR 1.06, 95%CI 0.67-1.67, p = 0.81) or RFS (HR 0.86, 95%CI 0.53-1.40, p = 0.55) in HR-positive BCa patients. In conclusion, PIK3CA mutations were significantly related to ER/PR expression and RFS in unsorted BCa patients. However, the clinical implications of PIK3CA mutations may vary according to different mutant exons. And PIK3CA mutations alone may have limited prognostic value for HR-positive BCa patients.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Scientific Reports
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    • "The prognostic role of PIK3CA mutations in breast cancer has been investigated in several retrospective studies, which yielded conflicting results. Recently, a large meta-analysis of 2587 breast cancer patients from 12 independent studies showed that patients with tumors harboring a PIK3CA mutation have a better clinical outcome than those with a wildtype PIK3CA gene (Dumont et al., 2012), but this correlation with improved prognosis appears to be restricted to patients with mutations in the kinase domain of p110a and to postmenopausal women with ER-positive breast cancer. Loss of PTEN and phosphorylation of AKT, as determined by immunohistochemistry , do not appear to be prognostic markers in breast cancer (Panigrahi et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. A substantial fraction of breast cancers have acquired mutations that lead to activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, which plays a central role in cellular processes that are essential in cancer, such as cell survival, growth, division and motility. Oncogenic mutations in the PI3K pathway generally involve either activating mutation of the gene encoding PI3K (PIK3CA) or AKT (AKT1), or loss or reduced expression of PTEN. Several kinases involved in PI3K signaling are being explored as a therapeutic targets for pharmacological inhibition. Despite the availability of a range of inhibitors, acquired resistance may limit the efficacy of single-agent therapy. In this review we discuss the role of PI3K pathway mutations in human breast cancer and relevant genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), with special attention to the role of PI3K signaling in oncogenesis, in therapeutic response, and in resistance to therapy. Several sophisticated GEMMs have revealed the cause-and-effect relationships between PI3K pathway mutations and mammary oncogenesis. These GEMMs enable us to study the biology of tumors induced by activated PI3K signaling, as well as preclinical response and resistance to PI3K pathway inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Molecular oncology
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    • "Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) are a family of enzymes involved in multiple important cellular functions including proliferation, cell growth, differentiation, motility, and survival 140. Aberrant activation of PI3K has been implicated in different cancers. "
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    ABSTRACT: For many years, the medical treatment of breast cancer was reliant solely on cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, over the past twenty years, treatment has evolved to a more target-directed approach. We now employ tailored therapy based on the presence or absence of receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2). We expect this trend to continue, as agents that use novel approaches to target HER2, as well as targeting different portions of the HER signaling pathway, are in various stages of development. Notably, pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to a different domain of the extracellular portion of the HER2 receptor than trastuzumab, was recently approved for use, as was lapatinib, a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Patients with triple negative breast cancer, particularly those with the BRCA mutation, have more limited treatment options and carry a worse prognosis than those who are hormone receptor positive. However, recent data has shown that PARP inhibitors may have significant anti-tumor effect in those with this subtype of breast cancer. Novel agents that inhibit mTOR, PI3K, the insulin-like growth factor, heat shock protein 90, and histone deacetylase have shown promise in phase I-III trials and offer exciting new possibilities for the treatment of this often fatal disease. As we are presented with an ever increasing number of treatment options, the timing and combinations of therapeutic agents used becomes ever more complex in the age of personalized care, but we are hopeful that ultimately this will lead to improved patient outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Cancer
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