Inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin as novel antitumor agents: from bench to clinic

Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2002 Feb;3(2):295-304.


Rapamycin and its derivatives, CCI-779 and RAD-001, inhibit the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), downregulating translation of specific mRNAs required for cell cycle progression from G1 to S phase. Preclinically, mTOR inhibitors potently suppress growth and proliferation of numerous tumor cell lines in culture or when grown in mice as xenografts. CCI-779 and RAD-001 are being developed as antitumor drugs and are undergoing clinical trials. Clinically, CCI-779 has shown evidence of antitumor activity but induced relatively mild side effects in patients. Here we discuss potential antitumor mechanisms and resistance mechanisms of mTOR inhibitors, and summarize the current status of these compounds as novel antitumor agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Everolimus
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors*
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology*
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • temsirolimus
  • Everolimus
  • Protein Kinases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • mTOR protein, mouse
  • Sirolimus