Somatic mutations of the PIK3CA (phosphatidylinostitol 3-kinase catalytic subunit) gene have been found in human cancer patients. Previous reports suggested that about 4% of lung cancers harbored PIK3CA gene mutations. However, the clinico-pathological background for PIK3CA gene mutations has not yet been investigated in lung cancer. We have genotyped the PIK3CA gene in Japanese lung cancer patients. The study included 235 lung cancer cases surgically removed in Nagoya City University Hospital. The two PIK3CA mutation hot spots (exon 9 and exon 20) were analyzed by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay. The data were confirmed by direct sequencing. In exon 9, somatic mutation was found in eight patients (3.4%). The mutation included three E542K (G1624A), three E545K (G1633A), one E542Q (G1624C), and one Q546K (C1636A). However, in exon 20, there was no mutation in our lung cancer patients. PIK3CA mutations were not correlated with gender (women versus men, p=0.4162), age (< or =60 versus >60, p=0.8027), or smoking status of the lung cancers (never versus smoker, p=0.5666). PIK3CA mutation incidence was significantly lower in adenocarcinoma (2/135, 1.5%) than in squamous cell carcinoma (5/77, 6.5%, p=0.0495). Among eight patients with a PIK3CA mutation, three patients also harbored an EGFR somatic mutation. PIK3CA gene mutations were rare in lung cancer; rarer in adenocarcinoma. Further functional analyses of the PIK3CA mutations are warranted to study if they could be the target of therapy for the lung cancer.