Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a group of lipid kinases that regulate signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, adhesion, survival and motility. The PI3K pathway is considered to play an important role in tumorigenesis. Activating mutations of the p110alpha subunit of PI3K (PIK3CA) have been identified in a broad spectrum of tumors. Analyses of PIK3CA mutations reveals that they increase the PI3K signal, stimulate downstream Akt signaling, promote growth factor-independent growth and increase cell invasion and metastasis. In this review, we analyze the contribution of the PIK3CA mutations in cancer, and their possible implications for diagnosis and therapy.