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Sep 09, 2015
Everolimus inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and leads to decreased protein synthesis and decreased cancer cell proliferation in many experimental systems. Adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators such as metformin have similar actions in keeping with the TSC2/1 pathway linking activation of AMPK to inhibition of mTOR. Histopathological and biochemical studies of breast cancer show frequent dysregulation of the AMPK and the mTOR pathway. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus and metformin in the treatment of breast cancer cells. This study evaluated the in vitro and in vivo effects of everolimus alone or in combination with metformin on breast cancer cells. MTT assay was used to quantify the inhibitory effect of the drugs on breast cancer cells in vitro. SCID mice injected with HCC1428 cells followed by different treatments were used to assess the in vivo efficacy of different agents. Data showed that the combination of everolimus and metformin exerted synergistic inhibitory effects on the growth of breast cancer cells both in culture and in a mouse xenograft model. Further, this combination abrogated S6 and 4EBP1phosphorylation. Collectively, we suggest that the combination of everolimus and metformin may be an effective regimen for treatment of breast cancer, hence warranting further evaluation of the combination in the clinic.