Improvements in survival of patients with breast cancer have been attributed to the development of agents that target key components of dysregulated pathways involved in oncogenesis and progression of breast cancer. Aberrant mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation has been implicated in oncogenesis, angiogenesis, and the development of estrogen independence and resistance to chemotherapy in breast tumors. Several mTOR inhibitors (sirolimus, everolimus, temsirolimus, and ridaforolimus) have demonstrated antitumor activity in breast cancer cells. Combining mTOR inhibitors with endocrine therapies has demonstrated clinical antitumor activity in patients with metastatic breast cancer. In addition, mTOR inhibitor combinations with various targeted biologic agents or cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents are being examined in more than 40 clinical trials with some early promising results. Combination therapies targeting multiple components of these central signaling pathways may be an optimal treatment strategy for patients with advanced breast cancer.
Keywords: HER2; advanced breast cancer; hormone receptor; mTOR.