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The mammalian target of rapamycin(mTOR)and its molecular pathways are supposed to be activated frequently in human renal cell carcinoma as well as other cancers. It has a kinase activity for 40S ribosomal protein kinase and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1. These proteins, when phosphorylated, promote protein translation and RNA transcription in the nutrient-rich condition. mTOR inhibitors such as Temsirolimus (CCI779) and Everolimus (RAD001) are effective for suppressing cell growth with inhibiting mTOR kinase activity. Rapamycin and its related analogs such as Temsirolimus and Everolimus are less toxic for humans compared with other anti-VEGFR inhibitors and has been used as an immunosuppressive agent. These agents have an inhibitory activity against the mTORC1 complex. Since they do not have inhibitory activity against mTORC2 complex, the ability of mTOR inhibition by Temsirolimus is supposed to be 40 to 50% of full inhibition in mTOR kinase. Temsirolimus has modest anticancer activity against advanced clinical RCC patients with poor risk. The objective response rate was only 7%, 26% of patients experienced minor responses and another 17% of patients had stable disease that lasted 6 months. The median time to tumor progression and median survival for the study patients were 5.8 and 15.0 months, respectively. The overall survival of patients treated with Temsirolimus alone was statistically longer than in those treated with IFN alone in the 626 cases in phase II study. Combinations of mTOR with other anti- VEGFR agents were not effective. Vertical therapies of mTOR inhibitor in combination with AKT inhibitors, or newly development of stronger mTOR kinase which can suppress both mTORC1 and mTORC2 are planned at present.


Taro Shuuin, Hisashi Karashima. Mammalian target of rapamycin, its mode of action and clinical response in metastatic clear cell carcinoma]. Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy. 2009 Jul;36(7):1076-9

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PMID: 19620795

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