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Purpose Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) protect against colorectal cancer (CRC) and are associated with reduced disease recurrence and improved outcome after primary treatment. However, toxicities of NSAIDs have limited their use as antineoplastic therapy. Recent data have suggested that the benefit of aspirin after CRC diagnosis is limited to patients with PIK3CA-mutant cancers. We sought to determine the predictive utility of PIK3CA mutation for benefit from both cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition and aspirin. Methods We performed molecular analysis of tumors from 896 participants in the Vioxx in Colorectal Cancer Therapy: Definition of Optimal Regime (VICTOR) trial, a large randomized trial comparing rofecoxib with placebo after primary CRC resection. We compared relapse-free survival and overall survival between rofecoxib therapy and placebo and between the use and nonuse of low-dose aspirin, according to tumor PIK3CA mutation status. Results We found no evidence of a greater benefit from rofecoxib treatment compared with placebo in patients whose tumors had PIK3CA mutations (multivariate adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.2; 95% CI, 0.53 to 2.72; P = .66; PINTERACTION = .47) compared with patients with PIK3CA wild-type cancers (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.16; P = .34). In contrast, regular aspirin use after CRC diagnosis was associated with a reduced rate of CRC recurrence in patients with PIK3CA-mutant cancers (HR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.001 to 0.832; P = .027; PINTERACTION = .024) but not in patients lacking tumor PIK3CA mutation (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.60 to 1.42; P = .71). Conclusion Although tumor PIK3CA mutation does not predict benefit from rofecoxib treatment, it merits further evaluation as a predictive biomarker for aspirin therapy. Our findings are concordant with recent data and support the prospective investigation of adjuvant aspirin in PIK3CA-mutant CRC.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Clinical Oncology


American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Publication Date





4297 - 4305