BACKGROUND: Primary tumor location is a critical prognostic factor that also impacts the efficacy of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy in wild-type RAS (KRAS/NRAS) metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the association between the incidence of BRAF and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) mutations and primary tumor location remains unclear. METHODS: We prospectively collected tumor samples and clinical data of patients from 15 hospitals between August 2014 and April 2016 to investigate RAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutations using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay. According to the primary tumor location, patients were classified to right-sided (from cecum to splenic flexure) and left-sided (from descending colon to rectum) tumor groups. RESULTS: In total, 577 patients with CRC were investigated, 331 patients (57%) had CRC with wild-type RAS; of these 331 patients, 10.5%, 4.8%, and 5.9% patients harbored BRAFV600E, BRAFnon-V600E, and PIK3CA mutations, respectively. BRAF/PIK3CA mutations were more frequent in females, patients with right-sided tumors, and patients with peritoneal metastasis cases and less frequent in patients with liver metastases. The prevalence rates of BRAFV600E and PIK3CA mutations were higher in patients with right-sided tumors than in those with left-sided tumors (32.3% vs. 4.8% and 17.2% vs. 3.6%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: More than half of the patients with right-sided CRC and wild-type RAS harbored BRAF/PIK3CA mutations, including BRAFnon-V600E, which may contribute to the difference in the anti-EGFR efficacy between the right- and left-sided CRC.
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