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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PIK3CA mutations predict local recurrences in rectal cancer patients.

PURPOSE: Identifying rectal cancer patients at risk for local recurrence would allow for refinement in the selection of patients who would benefit from preoperative radiotherapy. PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations are commonly found in colon cancers, but their prevalence has not been clearly assessed in rectal cancer. In this study, we aim to determine the mutation frequencies of PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF and to investigate whether a mutation may be used as a prognostic parameter in rectal cancer patients. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We evaluated DNA mutations in PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF in 240 stage I to III rectal tumors obtained from nonirradiated patients from the Dutch Total Mesorectal Excision trial. RESULTS: PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations were identified in 19 (7.9%), 81 (33.9%), and 5 (2.1%) rectal cancers. Patients with PIK3CA mutations developed more local recurrences (5-year risks, 27.8% versus 9.4%; P = 0.006) and tended to develop these recurrences more rapidly after surgery (median local recurrence-free interval since surgery: 7.9 versus 19.6 months; P = 0.07) than patients without PIK3CA mutations. In multivariate analysis, PIK3CA mutations remained as an independent predictor for the development of local recurrences (hazard ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-9.2; P = 0.017), next to tumor-node-metastasis stage. CONCLUSION: PIK3CA mutations can be used as a biomarker in identifying rectal cancer patients with an increased risk for local recurrences. Currently, our findings suggest that prospective evaluation of PIK3CA mutation status could reduce overtreatment by preoperative radiotherapy for the low-risk patients who might otherwise only experience the side effects.[1]


  1. PIK3CA mutations predict local recurrences in rectal cancer patients. He, Y., Van't Veer, L.J., Mikolajewska-Hanclich, I., van Velthuysen, M.L., Zeestraten, E.C., Nagtegaal, I.D., van de Velde, C.J., Marijnen, C.A. Clin. Cancer Res. (2009) [Pubmed]
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