Bortezomib (velcade). A new therapy for multiple myeloma

Timothy R. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Bortezomib (PS341) represents a new class of drugs for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma (MM). PS341 was approved May 2003 for patients with refractory MM. PS341 targets the proteasome, a protease complex, involved in protein degradation and cell cycle regulation. The proteasome has increased activity in various cancers. In MM, proteasome inhibition by PS341 increases the inhibition of Nuclear Factor kappa-B leading to decreased transcription of genes involved in MM growth. In the major Phase II trial, patients with previously treated MM which was resistant to the most recent treatment obtained more than a 30% overall response rate and a 4% complete response rate. This unique activity led to a rapid approval in refractory MM. Because of potential activity in other cancers and perhaps in non-malignant diseases coupled with its cost which exceeds $20,000 per treatment course, it will be important to apply strong evidence based criteria when using PS341 clinically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Research and Regulatory Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Bortezomib
  • Multiple myeloma
  • PS341
  • Proteasome inhibition
  • Velcade®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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