Despite the high incidence of oncogenic mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), PI3K inhibitors have yielded little clinical benefit for breast cancer patients. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested a therapeutic benefit from aspirin intake in cancers harboring oncogenic PIK3CA. Here we show that mutant PIK3CA-expressing breast cancer cells have greater sensitivity to aspirin-mediated growth suppression than their wild-type counterparts. Aspirin decreased viability and anchorage-independent growth of mutant PIK3CA breast cancer cells independently of its effects on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). We ascribed the effects of aspirin to AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation, mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibition, and autophagy induction. In vivo, oncogenic PIK3CA-driven mouse mammary tumors treated daily with aspirin resulted in decreased tumor growth kinetics, while combination therapy of aspirin and a PI3K inhibitor further attenuated tumor growth. Our study supports evaluation of aspirin and PI3K pathway inhibitors as combination therapy for targeting breast cancer.
- Received August 30, 2016.
- Revision received November 30, 2016.
- Accepted December 2, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.