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Oral mTOR Inhibitors
Another type of new cancer therapy for kidney cancer targets a protein known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This protein influences tumor cell division, angiogenesis, and cancer cell metabolism. The mTOR pathway controls how nutrients regulate the growth of cells and angiogenesis. Drugs that inhibit mTOR therefore delay the growth and spread of renal cell cancers.5

Temsirolimus, a drug designed specifically to inhibit mTOR, is now FDA approved to treat advanced kidney cancer. In a large phase 3 clinical trial, survival time was significantly prolonged in advanced kidney cancer patients who received temsirolimus, compared with those who were treated only with immunotherapy (10.9 months compared with 7.3 months).6

A second mTOR inhibitor drug, called everolimus, also has been FDA approved for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. Unlike temsirolimus, everolimus is approved only for patients whose kidney cancer has progressed while being treatment with an oral angiogenesis inhibitor, such as sorafenib or sunitinib. In a large clinical trial, patients who received everolimus lived about 3 months longer without their disease worsening.7


Last updated May 29, 2011