Background: Recent genomic evidence suggests frequent phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway activation in human papillomavirus (HPV) positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Mutations/amplification of the gene encoding p110α catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PIK3CA), loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and HRAS mutations are known to activate PI3K pathway. Methods and results: PIK3CA mutations were identified by Sanger sequencing in 23 of 75 (31%) HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinomas, including exon 9 (p.E545K [n = 10] and p.E542K [n = 5]) or exon 20 (p.H1047Y, n = 2) mutations. Five rare and one novel (p.R537Q) PIK3CA mutations were identified. HRAS mutation (p.Q61L) was detected in 1 of 62 tested cases. PIK3CA amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was identified in 4 cases (4/21, 20%), while PTEN loss was seen in 7 (7/21, 33%) cases (chromosome 10 monosomy [n = 4], homozygous deletion [n = 3]). Conclusions: Overall, genetic alterations that likely lead to PI3K pathway activation were identified in 34 of 75 cases (45%) and did not correlate with disease specific survival. These findings offer a molecular rationale for therapeutic targeting of PI3K pathway in patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma.
- Oropharyngeal squamous carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research