Pten alterations and their role in cancer management: Are we making headway on precision medicine?

Nicola Fusco, Elham Sajjadi, Konstantinos Venetis, Gabriella Gaudioso, Gianluca Lopez, Chiara Corti, Elena Guerini Rocco, Carmen Criscitiello, Umberto Malapelle, Marco Invernizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Alterations in the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) occur in a substantial proportion of solid tumors. These events drive tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Given its central role as a downregulator of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, PTEN is deeply involved in cell growth, proliferation, and survival. This gene is also implicated in the modulation of the DNA damage response and in tumor immune microenvironment modeling. Despite the actionability of PTEN alterations, their role as biomarkers remains controversial in clinical practice. To date, there is still a substantial lack of validated guidelines and/or recommendations for PTEN testing. Here, we provide an update on the current state of knowledge on biologic and genetic alterations of PTEN across the most frequent solid tumors, as well as on their actual and/or possible clinical applications. We focus on possible tailored schemes for cancer patients’ clinical management, including risk assessment, diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number719
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Biomarker
  • Cancer
  • PI3K/Akt
  • Precision medicine
  • PTEN
  • Solid tumors
  • Tumor immune microenvironment
  • Tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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