mTOR and Tumor Cachexia

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jul 30;19(8):2225. doi: 10.3390/ijms19082225.


Cancer cachexia affects most patients with advanced forms of cancers. It is mainly characterized by weight loss, due to muscle and adipose mass depletion. As cachexia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in cancer patients, identifying the underlying mechanisms leading to cachexia is essential in order to design novel therapeutic strategies. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a major intracellular signalling intermediary that participates in cell growth by upregulating anabolic processes such as protein and lipid synthesis. Accordingly, emerging evidence suggests that mTOR and mTOR inhibitors influence cancer cachexia. Here, we review the role of mTOR in cellular processes involved in cancer cachexia and highlight the studies supporting the contribution of mTOR in cancer cachexia.

Keywords: lipolysis; mTOR; metabolism; proteolysis; signalling; tumour cachexia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / etiology*
  • Cachexia / metabolism
  • Cachexia / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases