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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2008 Mar;15(1):257-66. doi: 10.1677/ERC-07-0202.

Antitumor activity of rapamycin and octreotide as single agents or in combination in neuroendocrine tumors.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Quantitative Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has emerged as a promising target for cancer therapy. Rapamycin inhibits mTOR activity but induces upstream signaling, leading to Akt activation, potentially limiting antitumor activity. Octreotide, a somatostatin analog, decreases phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signaling in some models, and thus theoretically may enhance rapamycin's antitumor activity. The aim of this study was to determine the antitumor activity of rapamycin and octreotide as single agents and in combination in neuroendocrine tumors. In carcinoid cell lines BON-1 and NCI-H727, cell proliferation was significantly inhibited by rapamycin in vitro, although rapamycin treatment did lead to Akt phosphorylation. Octreotide had limited antiproliferative effects alone, and did not demonstrate synergistic or additive interactions with rapamycin. Furthermore, octreotide did not overcome rapamycin-induced Akt phosphorylation. In vivo, rapamycin alone caused significant tumor suppression. Octreotide alone did not inhibit in vivo tumor growth and did not enhance rapamycin-mediated growth inhibition. In conclusion, rapamycin causes significant growth inhibition in carcinoid tumor cell lines in vitro and in vivo, thus mTOR is a promising therapeutic target for neuroendocrine tumors. Octreotide does not enhance the efficacy of rapamycin's antiproliferative effects in the models tested, and does not inhibit rapamycin-mediated feedback activation of Akt. Further study is needed in order to determine whether octreotide or other somatostatin analogs enhance the efficacy of mTOR inhibitors in other models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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