Oncology reports

mTOR inhibitors show promising in vitro activity in bladder cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

PMID 21240463


Bladder cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are frequent but lack efficient therapies especially in advanced disease. Almost no studies on mTOR function and inhibition in these tumor entities have been reported. We examined the gene and protein expression levels of mTOR and its activated form (pmTOR) in three human bladder carcinoma cell lines (RT-4, T24, EJ28) and three HNSCC cell lines (PCI-1, PCI-13, BHY). Furthermore, the consequences of mTOR inhibition by mTOR-specific siRNAs and the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus were analysed in vitro using immunohistochemical Ki-67 staining, mTOR and pmTOR western blot analysis, MTT assay, as well as cell cycle analysis with flow cytometry. Especially pmTOR protein expression levels showed marked differences between cell lines. siRNA transfection was associated with dose-dependent target protein reduction but not proliferation inhibition or apoptosis. On the contrary, temsirolimus significantly reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. According to these data, bladder cancer and HNSCC are promising tumor entities for mTOR inhibition with temsirolimus.