Recent studies indicate that constitutive signaling through the phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) pathway is a cause of treatment resistance in breast cancer patients. This implies that patients with tumors that exhibit aberrant PI3K signaling may benefit from targeted pathway inhibitors. The first agents to make it to the clinic are the rapamycin analogs. These compounds inhibit the downstream PI3K effector mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). A study presented in this issue of Breast Cancer Research suggests that recently developed inhibitors of phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1, a more proximal target of the PI3K pathway, may provide an alternative route to effective PI3K pathway inhibition for breast cancer treatment.