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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2008 Jul;67(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2008.01.007. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Targeting AMPK: a new therapeutic opportunity in breast cancer.

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Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.



This paper reviews the mammalian Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR) pathway dysregulation in breast cancer, and the current evidence targeting this pathway directly or through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as an additional therapeutic opportunity for intervention in breast cancer.


Relevant articles were identified through computerised searches of Medline and Pubmed. Secondary articles were identified from the reference lists of key papers and by hand searching.


The current consensus to target the AMPK/mTOR pathway in breast cancer is based on in vitro and epidemiological evidences. A low incidence of cancer in diabetic patients on metformin has been explained in vitro by the drug's anti-proliferative effect through activation of AMPK. There is a need to explore the anticancer effects of metformin and the potential to develop the therapeutic avenues offered by targeting the AMPK/mTOR pathway.

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