Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a highly lethal cancer. Currently, human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as a potential risk factor for ESCC, but this assumption is still contradictory. PI3K/Akt/mTOR network plays a key role in the virus/host cell crosstalk in HPV positive cancer cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the expression of PIK3CA, PIK3CB and HPV infection.
Methods: The expression of PIK3CA, PIK3CB, p16 and p53 in 156 cases of ESCC was detected by immunohistochemistry. Patients are followed up by telephone or clinic.
Results: In this study, the positive rates of PIK3CA, PIK3CB, p53 and p16 in ESCC were significantly higher than in normal esophageal mucosa. The expression of PIK3CA and PIK3CB was related to TNM stage and lymph node metastasis. The expression of p53 is related to the depth of tumor invasion. High p16 expression was found to be significantly correlated with tumor location, TNM stage, differentiation grade and lymph node metastasis. P16 expression is positively correlated with PIK3CA expression but not with PIK3CB and p53. Survival analysis further indicated that that PIK3CA and p53 were markers of poor diagnosis. P16 is a mark of favorable prognosis in ESCC.
Conclusions: The expression of PIK3CA and PIK3CB is related to the development of ESCC. The imbalance of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway is closely related to HPV infection and prognosis. The combined detection of PIK3CA and p16 is of great significance to evaluate the prognosis and optimize the treatment of ESCC.