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Cancer Invest. 2004;22(2):304-11.

Development of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade (Bortezomib).

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Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


The dipeptide boronic acid analogue VELCADE (Bortezomib; formerly known as PS-341, LDP-341 and MLM341) is a potent and selective inhibitor of the proteasome, a multicatalytic enzyme that mediates many cellular regulatory signals by degrading regulatory proteins or their inhibitors. The proteasome is, thus, a potential target for pharmacological agents. Bortezomib, the first proteasome inhibitor to reach clinical trials, has shown in vitro and in vivo activity against a variety of malignancies, including myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer. The drug is rapidly cleared from the vascular compartment, but a novel pharmacodynamic assay has shown that bortezomib--mediated proteasome blockade is dose-dependent and reversible. Based on phase I studies demonstrating that bortezomib has manageable toxicities in patients with advanced cancers, phase II trials have been initiated for both solid and hematological malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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