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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Nov;82(5):1189-1212. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12958. Epub 2016 May 10.

The therapeutic potential of mTOR inhibitors in breast cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.
2
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
3
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Laboratory of Translational Oncology & Functional Genomics, Section of Pathology & Oncology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
4
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA. mccubreyj@ecu.edu.

Abstract

Rapamycin and modified rapamycins (rapalogs) have been used to prevent allograft rejection after organ transplant for over 15 years. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been determined to be a key component of the mTORC1 complex which consists of the serine/threonine kinase TOR and at least five other proteins which are involved in regulating its activity. Some of the best characterized substrates of mTORC1 are proteins which are key kinases involved in the regulation of cell growth (e.g., p70S6K) and protein translation (e.g., 4E-BP1). These proteins may in some cases serve as indicators to sensitivity to rapamycin-related therapies. Dysregulation of mTORC1 activity frequently occurs due to mutations at, or amplifications of, upstream growth factor receptors (e.g., human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, HER2) as well as kinases (e.g., PI3K) and phosphatases (e.g., PTEN) critical in the regulation of cell growth. More recently, it has been shown that certain rapalogs may enhance the effectiveness of hormonal-based therapies for breast cancer patients who have become resistant to endocrine therapy. The combined treatment of certain rapalogs (e.g., everolimus) and aromatase inhibitors (e.g., exemestane) has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and other drug regulatory agencies to treat estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer patients who have become resistant to hormonal-based therapies and have progressed. This review will summarize recent basic and clinical research in the area and evaluate potential novel therapeutic approaches.

KEYWORDS:

drug resistance; endocrine resistance; everolimus; exemestane; metastasis; rapamycin

PMID:
27059645
PMCID:
PMC5061784
DOI:
10.1111/bcp.12958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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