Background: Breast cancer is the predominant form of cancer in women; various cellular
pathways are involved in the initiation and progression of breast cancer. Among the various
types of breast cancer that differ in their growth factor receptor status, PI3K/Akt signaling is a common
pathway where all these converge. Thus, the PI3K signaling is of great interest as a target for
breast cancer prevention; however, it is less explored.
Objective: The present review is aimed to provide a concise outline of the role of PI3K/Akt/mTOR
pathway in breast carcinogenesis and its progression events, including metastasis, drug resistance
and stemness. The review emphasizes the role of natural and synthetic inhibitors of PI3K/Akt/m-
TOR pathway in breast cancer prevention.
Methods: The data were obtained from PubMed/Medline databases, Scopus and Google patent literature.
Results: PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling plays an important role in human breast carcinogenesis; it acts
on the initiation and progression events associated with it. Numerous molecules have been isolated
and identified as promising drug candidates by targeting the signaling pathway. Results from clinical
studies confirm their application in the treatment of human breast cancer alone and in combination
with classical chemotherapeutics as well as monoclonal antibodies.
Conclusion: PI3K/mTOR signaling blockers have evolved as promising anticancer agents by interfering
breast cancer development and progression at various stages. Natural products and bioactive
components are emerging as novel inhibitors of PI3K signaling and more research in this area may
yield numerous drug candidates.