Triple negative breast cancer: Shedding light onto the role of pi3k/akt/mtor pathway

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Breast cancer is one of the most widespread carcinoma and one of the main causes of cancer-related death worldwide, especially in women aged between 35 and 75 years. Among the different subtypes, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by the total absence of the estrogen-receptor (ER) and progesteron-receptor (PR) expression as well as the lack of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression or gene amplification. These biological characteristics confer to TNBC a higher aggressiveness and relapse risk along with poorer prognosis compared to other subtypes. Indeed, 5-years survival rate is still low and almost all patients die, despite any adjuvant treatment which at moment represents the heading pharmacological approach. To date, several clinical trials have been designed to investigate the potential role of some molecular markers, such as VEGF, EGFR, Src and mTOR, for targeted treatments in TNBC. In fact, many inhibitors of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, frequently de-regulated in TNBC, are acquiring a growing interest and several inhibitors are in preclinical development or already in early phase clinical trials. In this Review, we investigated the role of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in TNBC patients, by summarizing the molecular features that led to the distinction of different histotypes of TNBC. Furthermore, we provided an overview of the inhibition mechanisms of the mTOR and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, highlighting the importance of integrating biological and clinical data for the development of mTOR inhibitors in order to implement targeted therapies for TNBC patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60712-60722
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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