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Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2003 Oct;1(10):596-600.

Bortezomib: a novel therapy approved for multiple myeloma.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Cellular homeostasis requires routine degradation of key regulatory proteins, including tumor suppressor gene products, transcription factors, cell-cycle proteins and their inhibitors, as well as damaged and misfolded proteins. A critical part of this process is mediated by the 26S proteasome, a multi-subunit enzyme found in the nucleus and cytoplasm of all eukaryotic cells. Because of its essential role in many cellular processes controlling growth and survival, the proteasome has been identified as a potential target for cancer therapy. Drugs known to inhibit proteasome activity have been shown to induce cell-cycle arrest and programmed cell death (apoptosis). The impact of this finding is heightened by research showing that cancer cells are more sensitive to the proapoptotic effects of proteasome inhibition than normal cells. Preclinical evidence using bortezomib, the only proteasome inhibitor to enter clinical trials, suggests that proteasome inhibition may be effective in the treatment of hematologic and solid malignancies by promoting apoptosis, retarding angiogenesis, and inhibiting tumor cell adhesion and production of growth factors by acting on molecules such as nuclear factor-kappaB. Further preclinical evidence suggests that the antitumor effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be enhanced by the addition of a proteasome inhibitor. Bortezomib was recently approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. It is currently being investigated, both as a single agent and in combination, in phase I and II trials in a variety of tumor types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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