The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a threonine kinase involved in intracellular pro-survival signaling. Its activation leads to progression from the G1 to S phase of the cell cycle. Constitutive activation of the mTOR-related messengers, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Akt kinase, ribosomal p70S6 kinase and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein kinase, was found in numerous malignancies. Recent data indicate that the mTOR kinase pathway can be an attractive target for anti-cancer drug development. A well-known mTOR inhibitor is rapamycin (RAPA), previously applied as an immunosuppressive agent in transplant studies. Recently, analogs of RAPA, such as CCI-779, RAD001 and AP23573, have been developed. All of those agents are currently being tested in patients with solid or hematological tumors in several clinical trials. This review presents recent developments in targeting the mTOR kinase pathway.