The frequent activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and its crucial role in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer tumorigenesis and drug resistance has made it a highly attractive therapeutic target in this breast cancer subtype. Consequently, the number of new inhibitors in clinical development targeting this pathway has drastically increased. Among these, the PIK3CA isoform-specific inhibitor alpelisib and the pan-AKT inhibitor capivasertib were recently approved in combination with the estrogen receptor degrader fulvestrant for the treatment of ER+ advanced breast cancer after progression on an aromatase inhibitor. Nevertheless, the clinical development of multiple inhibitors of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, in parallel with the incorporation of CDK4/6 inhibitors into the standard of care treatment in ER+ advanced breast cancer, has led to a multitude of available therapeutic agents and many possible combined strategies which complicate personalizing treatment. Here, we review the role of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in ER+ advanced breast cancer, highlighting the genomic contexts in which the various inhibitors of this pathway may have superior activity. We also discuss selected trials with agents targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and related pathways as well as the rationale supporting the clinical development of triple combination therapy targeting ER, CDK4/6 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR in ER+ advanced breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4522
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 24. Feb 2023


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