Original Article

Virchows Archiv

, Volume 460, Issue 1, pp 77-87

PIK3CA mutations and loss of ARID1A protein expression are early events in the development of cystic ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma

  • Sohei YamamotoAffiliated withDepartment of Basic Pathology, National Defense Medical College Email author 
  • , Hitoshi TsudaAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories, National Cancer Center Hospital
  • , Masashi TakanoAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Defense Medical College
  • , Seiichi TamaiAffiliated withDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, National Defense Medical College Hospital
  • , Osamu MatsubaraAffiliated withDepartment of Basic Pathology, National Defense Medical College

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Somatic mutations of PIK3CA and ARID1A are the most common genetic alterations observed in ovarian clear cell adenocarcinomas (CCA). In a previous report, we showed that PIK3CA gene mutations and loss of ARID1A expression occur early during the development of CCA. In the present study, using direct genomic DNA sequencing for exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA and immunohistochemistry for ARID1A protein expression, we analyzed the association of these molecular alterations with various clinicopathological parameters in a total of 90 cases of primary ovarian CCA, including 42 previously examined cases. The presence of PIK3CA mutations, identified in 34 (39%) of the 88 informative cases, was significantly associated with a grossly cystic tumor, the presence of adjacent endometriosis, prominent papillary architecture of tumor growth, the presence of hyalinized and mucoid stroma, and the absence of clear cell adenofibroma components (P < 0.05, each). There was no significant association of PIK3CA mutations with other clinical variables, such as age, clinical stage, or clinical outcome of the patients. The intensity of immunoreactivity for ARID1A was assigned as negative, weakly positive, and strongly positive in 44%, 22%, and 33% of tumors, respectively. Compared to tumors immunoreactive for ARID1A, ARID1A-negative tumors were significantly associated with the presence of adjacent endometriosis (P = 0.025), but there was no statistically supported association with other examined clinicopathological parameters. Compared with CCAs strongly positive for ARID1A, CCAs negative for ARID1A more frequently harbor PIK3CA mutations (P = 0.013). PIK3CA gene mutations and ARID1A immunohistochemistry lacked prognostic significance. These data further support the idea that these molecular alterations occur as very early events during tumor development of ovarian CCA.


PIK3CA ARID1A Clear cell carcinoma Histopathology Endometriosis Clear cell adenofibroma