VELCADE (bortezomib) is a type of chemotherapy called a targeted therapy.
VELCADE belongs to a class of medicines called proteasome inhibitors. It is approved by the FDA for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. VELCADE has been studied in many important clinical trials. It has been studied in a wide range of people, including those with renal impairment and diabetes.
As a targeted therapy, VELCADE works by blocking or slowing down the action of proteasomes inside cells. The function of proteasomes is to break down proteins in both healthy and cancerous cells.
- Proteasomes are inside cells
- They act like garbage disposals, digesting unneeded or damaged proteins within cells
- Myeloma cells are more dependent on proteasomes than normal cells
- It targets the proteasomes inside cells, slowing down or blocking the proteasomes from digesting and discarding the proteins within cells
- As the proteasome is unable to digest the additional proteins within cells, a buildup of proteins develops
- The buildup of proteins within cells can lead to cell death