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Clin Lymphoma Myeloma. 2005 Nov;6(3):191-9.

Marked clinical activity of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in patients with follicular and mantle-cell lymphoma.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Recent advanced developments in our understanding of cancer cell biology have begun to generate a host of new targets that are proving to be valuable substrates for new drug development. One example includes our ever-increasing understanding of the complex biology surrounding the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. For years there have been a variety of compounds used in the laboratory that have been shown to inhibit the proteasome, though many of these compounds have proven to be relative non-specific inhibitors of intracellular and proteasome proteases. The recent synthesis of 1 novel inhibitor, bortezomib (formerly known as PS341), has proven to be an effective reversible inhibitor of the chymotryptic protease in the 26S proteasome. Proteasome inhibition represents a new approach for the treatment of many forms of cancer, especially select hematologic malignancies. Bortezomib has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In addition to myeloma, bortezomib has also shown promising activity in the treatment of select types of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs). Several single-agent phase II clinical trials in patients with a host of different NHL histologies have demonstrated that bortezomib has reproducible activity in mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL), with some suggestion of activity in marginal zone lymphoma. The promising activity in these smaller studies has led to a number of larger multicenter studies with bortezomib in combination with rituximab in MCL, FL, and marginal zone lymphoma. The collective early experience from these studies continues to support the activity of bortezomib in these histologies of NHL. Herein, some of the biologic rationale for using proteasome inhibitors in lymphoma as well as some of the clinical data from these promising studies are discussed.

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