Researchers from the proCURE ICO-IDIBELL breast cancer research group have first described why tumors adapt to and resist therapy with mTOR inhibitors, a treatment used in advanced stages of this cancer. The results of this international study, published in the journal Oncogene, sets new steps towards a more personalized selection of cancer therapies.
The mTOR molecular signaling pathway plays a central role in cancer. However, inhibition of mTOR in monotherapy has yielded very limited results in the control of various tumor types. “In this study, we demonstrated that tumor cells are able to adapt to treatment through a phenotype shift that makes them more aggressive and sustains their metastatic potential,” explains Dr. Miguel Ángel Pujana, last author of the study.
Thus, inhibitor therapy induces a reorganization of gene expression that supports the mTOR signaling pathway and allows cancer cells to colonize other tissues and organs. “Therefore, only through combination therapies that block gene reorganization it will be feasible for mTOR inhibitors to show global benefits”, the researcher concludes.