Pathway of the Month
- Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that functions as a key regulatory protein in normal cell growth, survival, metabolism, development, and angiogenic pathways. Deregulation of these processes is a required hallmark of cancer, and dysregulation of mTOR signaling frequently occurs in a wide variety of malignancies, including lung cancer. Targeting of mTOR is thus an attractive strategy in the development of therapeutic agents against lung cancer. In this review, the mTOR-signaling pathway is described, highlighting opportunities for therapeutic intervention and biomarker analysis, and clinical trials in lung cancer including both non–small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
- Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand is a type II membrane-bound protein whose C-terminal extracellular domain shows clear homology to other tumor necrosis factor family members. It is constitutively expressed on macrophages, T cells, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells and selectively kills transformed cells leaving most of the normal cells alone. This selectivity has led to great interest in it use as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of malignancy. In this review, this critical pathway is described, highlighting its mechanistic manipulation for therapeutic benefit and the recent phase I and II trials in lung cancer that have been performed or are currently ongoing are also discussed.