Targeting the PI3-kinase pathway in triple-negative breast cancer.


Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, London; Breast Unit, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK. Electronic address: [Email]


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterised by poor outcomes and a historical lack of targeted therapies. Dysregulation of signalling through the phosphoinositide 3 (PI3)-kinase and AKT signalling pathway is one of the most frequent oncogenic aberrations of TNBC. Although mutations in individual genes occur relatively rarely, combined activating mutations in PIK3CA and AKT1, with inactivating mutations in phosphatase and tensin homologue, occur in ∼25%‒30% of advanced TNBC. Recent randomised trials suggest improved progression-free survival (PFS) with AKT-inhibitors in combination with first-line chemotherapy for patients with TNBC and pathway genetic aberrations. We review the evidence for PI3K pathway activation in TNBC, and clinical trial data for PI3K, AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors in TNBC. We discuss uncertainty over defining which cancers have pathway activation and the future overlap between immunotherapy and pathway targeting.


AKT,PI3K,PTEN,predictive biomarkers,targeted therapy,triple-negative breast cancer,