PDF file - 31K, Summary of univariate survival statistics for factors analyzed, for an association with progression free survival, across the ependymoma cohort. A Kaplan Meier with a log rank test was used. Only factors with a p value less than 0.25 were used in multivariate suvival analysis.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: Currently, there are few effective adjuvant therapies for pediatric ependymoma outside confocal radiation, and prognosis remains poor. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is one of the most commonly activated pathways in cancer. PI3Ks transduce signals from growth factors and cytokines, resulting in the phosphorylation and activation of AKT, which in turn induces changes in cell growth, proliferation, and apoptosis.Experimental Design: PI3K pathway status was analyzed in ependymoma using gene expression data and immunohistochemical analysis of phosphorylated AKT (P-AKT). The effect of the PI3K pathway on cell proliferation was investigated by immunohistochemical analysis of cyclin D1 and Ki67, plus in vitro functional analysis. To identify a potential mechanism of PI3K pathway activation, PTEN protein expression and the mutation status of PI3K catalytic subunit α-isoform gene (PIK3CA) was investigated.Results: Genes in the pathway displayed significantly higher expression in supratentorial than in posterior fossa and spinal ependymomas. P-AKT protein expression, indicating pathway activation, was seen in 72% of tumors (n = 169) and P-AKT expression was found to be an independent marker of a poorer progression-free survival. A significant association between PI3K pathway activation and cell proliferation was identified, suggesting that pathway activation was influencing this process. PTEN protein loss was not associated with P-AKT staining and no mutations were identified in PIK3CA.Conclusions: Our results suggest that the PI3K pathway could act as a biomarker, not only identifying patients with a worse prognosis but also those that could be treated with therapies targeted against the pathway, a strategy potentially effective in a high percentage of ependymoma patients. Clin Cancer Res; 19(23); 6450–60. ©2013 AACR.