mTOR Inhibitors and Its Role in the Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2012 Mar;13(1):71-81. doi: 10.1007/s11864-011-0180-2.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) represent 6% of all cancers diagnosed each year in the United States, affecting approximately 43,000 new patients and resulting in approximately 12,000 deaths. Currently, three main rapalogs exist for the treatment of cancer: CCI-779 (temsirolimus), RAD001 (everolimus), and AP235373 (deforolimus). Clinicians managing HNSCC need to be aware of the three rapalogs. Extensive evidence has shown rapamycin-analogs to be effective agents in the treatment of a number of solid tumors. While extensive preclinical data suggests that HNSCC would be an appropriate tumor type to benefit from inhibition of the mTOR pathway, limited clinical data is yet available to support this. Numerous phase II trials evaluating mTOR inhibitors for use in HNSCC are currently recruiting patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Everolimus
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sirolimus / pharmacokinetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ridaforolimus
  • temsirolimus
  • Everolimus
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus