About your treatment: let's talk about a therapy that has been known to help.
Healthcare professional reviewing treatment plan with patient
Actor portrayal

How VELCADE® (bortezomib) works

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.

Illustration of a myeloma cell

Myeloma cell

  • 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
Illustration of VELCADE entering a myeloma cell

Enter VELCADE

  • It targets the proteasomes inside cells, slowing down or blocking the proteasomes from digesting and discarding the proteins within cells
Illustration of cell death

Cell death

  • 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
Legend: myeloma cell, protein, VELCADE, proteasome, digested protein

How VELCADE is given

VELCADE is given in 1 of 2 ways

Syringe

VELCADE is an injection that is given intravenously (into your vein) or subcutaneously (under your skin) by a healthcare professional.

Doctor's office or hospital clinic

VELCADE is usually given in a doctor’s office or at a clinic 1 or 2 times per week.

How VELCADE fits into your calendar

VELCADE is given in cycles

  • A cycle includes the number of weeks you receive a drug, and the time spent resting and not receiving the drug
  • The length of treatment and the number of cycles depend on your treatment goals and how well you feel

You and your doctor will discuss your treatment plan. You’ll also discuss which way of receiving VELCADE—subcutaneously or intravenously—is best for you. The schedule and dose are the same for both.

Click here for tools to help you get the most out of VELCADE.

As initial treatment for multiple myeloma

How VELCADE treatment is scheduled over 1 year

VELCADE is given twice weekly, then once weekly

First 6 months—twice-weekly doses

  • VELCADE is given twice a week for 2 weeks, followed by a 10-day rest period
  • This sequence is then repeated to make one 6-week cycle
  • There are 4 cycles in the first treatment phase
Treatment schedule for VELCADE (multiple myeloma): calendars showing cycles 1-4 and next 6 months, cycles 5-9
Treatment schedule for VELCADE (multiple myeloma): calendars showing cycles 1-4 and next 6 months, cycles 5-9
  • VELCADE is given once a week for 2 weeks, followed by a 13-day rest period
  • This sequence is then repeated to make one 6-week cycle
  • There are 5 cycles in the second treatment phase

You must wait at least 3 days between VELCADE doses. Two drugs called melphalan and prednisone (MP) are also taken on the first 4 days of every cycle throughout the year.

In a study, half of the people taking VELCADE-based therapy stayed on VELCADE for at least 50 weeks out of a planned 54 weeks

As initial treatment for mantle cell lymphoma

VELCADE is given intravenously twice a week for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period. This can be repeated for up to 6 cycles

  • For people who see a response at week 18 (6 cycles), an additional 6 weeks of treatment is recommended (2 additional cycles)

In a clinical trial, VELCADE was given according to this schedule:

Treatment schedule for VELCADE (mantle cell lymphoma): twice weekly, 6-8 cycles
  • It’s important to take treatment as prescribed by your healthcare team and discuss any side effects with them. There are many things to consider when choosing a treatment plan that’s right for you
  • 8% of people stopped treatment due to side effects

You must wait at least 3 days between VELCADE doses.

Benefits of VELCADE in previously
untreated multiple myeloma

With 1 year of therapy

Shown to help people with previously untreated multiple myeloma live longer

  • In a study, VELCADE was given with 2 drugs, melphalan and prednisone (MP), and was compared with MP alone
  • 682 people with multiple myeloma who had never been treated before and were not eligible for a stem cell transplant participated, with a median follow-up of 5 years
  • The study included a wide range of people, including those with renal (kidney) impairment and/or diabetes
  • The 5-year evaluation showed that people who received VELCADE plus MP lived longer than people who received MP alone (56.4 months versus 43.1 months)
  • Half of the people on VELCADE-based therapy continued to receive VELCADE for 50 weeks out of a planned 54 weeks
  • 69% of people responded with VELCADE-based therapy. 30% achieved a complete response
  • 28% of people achieving a complete response did so after 24 weeks of therapy

With VELCADE, you might get your best response later in treatment

VELCADE was the first-ever treatment of its kind, called a proteasome inhibitor, specifically approved for multiple myeloma.

  • In this study of VELCADE, in previously untreated people, some people had their best response as early as 6 weeks. Others continued to respond after 6 months of treatment. If you don’t respond early, don’t be discouraged
  • It’s important to stick with your treatment plan if you and your doctor decide it’s right for you
  • The most common side effects reported by people receiving VELCADE in this study included abnormal blood cell counts; numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in hands or feet; nausea; diarrhea; and nerve pain
  • VELCADE can cause serious side effects, including peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbness in the hands, arms, feet, or legs that can progress to discomfort, pain, muscle weakness, or a burning sensation), low blood pressure, heart problems, lung problems, liver problems, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES; symptoms may include headache, nausea, mental and visual effects), gastrointestinal (abdominal) problems, neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell), thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets), and tumor lysis syndrome (TLS; complications resulting from cancer or its treatment)

Achieving a response is a good reason to continue on VELCADE

  • Some people think about stopping VELCADE when they are feeling better
  • According to the study mentioned above, people who stayed on VELCADE for about 1 year lived longer than people who did not receive a VELCADE-based regimen

Benefits of VELCADE in mantle cell lymphoma

Shown to give people with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma more time without their disease progressing

VELCADE was the first-ever treatment of its kind, called a proteasome inhibitor, specifically approved for mantle cell lymphoma.

  • In a clinical trial, people with mantle cell lymphoma received either VELCADE or vincristine along with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone
  • 487 people with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma who were not eligible or considered for a bone marrow transplant participated
  • The study included a wide range of people, including those with renal (kidney) impairment

In a study of people with mantle cell lymphoma who had not been treated before, for people who received the VELCADE-based treatment,* their mantle cell lymphoma did not worsen for a median of 25 months compared with 14 months for people who received non-VELCADE-based treatment.

*VELCADE+rituximab+cyclophosphamide+doxorubicin+prednisone.
Rituximab+cyclophosphamide+doxorubicin+vincristine+prednisone.

In this clinical trial, the most commonly reported side effects in people receiving the VELCADE-based regimen included abnormal blood cell counts (neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, or lymphopenia); numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy); diarrhea; nausea; and fever.

For more information on mantle cell lymphoma,
click here.

VELCADE frequently asked questions

If I have multiple myeloma, can I receive VELCADE after a stem cell transplant?

Yes. The FDA has approved VELCADE for people with newly diagnosed as well as relapsed multiple myeloma, including people who previously received VELCADE. The clinical trial included people who had received a stem cell transplant. Talk with your doctor or healthcare team about whether VELCADE may be right for you.

VELCADE is also approved as an initial treatment for people with previously untreated multiple myeloma.

How often should I receive VELCADE?

Your treatment schedule will vary depending on your diagnosis and treatment regimen.

Learn more about receiving
VELCADE.
How long should I take VELCADE if I have previously untreated multiple myeloma?

VELCADE treatment is scheduled for the duration of 1 year

VELCADE is given twice weekly followed by once-weekly dosing

First 6 months—Twice-weekly doses

  • VELCADE is given twice a week for 2 weeks, followed by a 10-day rest period
  • This sequence is then repeated to make one 6-week cycle
  • There are 4 cycles in the first treatment phase
Treatment schedule for VELCADE (multiple myeloma): calendars showing cycles 1-4 and next 6 months, cycles 5-9
Treatment schedule for VELCADE (multiple myeloma): calendars showing cycles 1-4 and next 6 months, cycles 5-9
  • VELCADE is given once a week for 2 weeks, followed by a 13-day rest period
  • This sequence is then repeated to make one 6-week cycle
  • There are 5 cycles in the second treatment phase

You must wait at least 3 days between VELCADE doses. Two drugs called melphalan and prednisone (MP) are also taken on the first 4 days of every cycle throughout the year.

In a study, half of the people on VELCADE-based therapy continued to receive VELCADE for at least 50 weeks out of a planned 54 weeks.

Learn more.

Are you familiar with your options? If you’ve had 1 prior treatment for multiple myeloma and would prefer an oral option, click here.

How long should I take VELCADE if I have mantle cell lymphoma and have never been treated before?

Previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma

VELCADE is given twice a week for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period. This can be repeated up to 6 times.

In a clinical trial, VELCADE was given according to this schedule:

Treatment schedule for VELCADE (mantle cell lymphoma): twice weekly, 6-8 cycles
  • For people who achieve a response at week 18 (cycle 6), an additional 6 weeks (2 cycles) of treatment is recommended
  • It’s important to take treatment as prescribed by your healthcare team and discuss any side effects with them. There are many things to consider when choosing a treatment plan that’s right for you
  • 8% of people stopped treatment due to side effects

You must wait at least 3 days between VELCADE doses.

Is there support to help me understand the costs of VELCADE?

The VELCADE Reimbursement Assistance Program (VRAP) is a support program of Takeda Oncology Here2Assist™, a program that offers personal support and financial resources through a dedicated case manager.

If you don’t have insurance coverage for VELCADE, you may be eligible for the VELCADE Patient Assistance Program. If you qualify, your VELCADE will be delivered without charge to your physician. For more information or to enroll, contact a VELCADE case manager.

VELCADE Reimbursement Assistance Program (VRAP)

1-866-VELCADE (835-2233)1-866-VELCADE (835-2233); select option 2
8AM to 8PM (ET), Monday through Friday

What is VELCADE used for?

VELCADE (bortezomib) is approved for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells). VELCADE is also approved for the treatment of adults with mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes).

PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Indications and Important Safety Information for VELCADE® (bortezomib)

What is VELCADE used for?

VELCADE (bortezomib) is approved for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells). VELCADE is also approved for the treatment of adults with mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes).

How is VELCADE administered?

VELCADE is prescribed by a doctor experienced in the use of medications to treat cancer. It is administered by a healthcare professional as an injection into your vein (intravenously, or IV) or under your skin (subcutaneously, or SC). VELCADE must not be administered into your spinal fluid (intrathecally).

Who should not receive VELCADE?

Before you receive treatment with VELCADE, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. You should not receive VELCADE if you are allergic to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.

What are the possible side effects of VELCADE?

VELCADE can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy). VELCADE can cause damage to the nerves, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel muscle weakness, tingling, burning, pain, and loss of feeling in your hands and feet, any of which can be severe. Tell your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE or stop it altogether. If you have peripheral neuropathy before starting VELCADE, your doctor could consider giving you VELCADE subcutaneously.
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension). VELCADE can cause a drop in blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, feel dizzy, or feel as though you might faint. If you are taking drugs that lower blood pressure, your medications might need to be adjusted. If you are not drinking enough liquids, your doctor may need to administer IV fluids.
  • Heart problems (cardiac toxicity). Treatment with VELCADE can cause or worsen heart rhythm problems and heart failure. Your doctor may closely monitor you if you have, or are at risk for, heart disease. Tell your doctor if you experience chest pressure or pain, palpitations, swelling of your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath.
  • Lung problems (pulmonary toxicity). There have been reports of lung disorders in people receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. Tell your doctor if you experience any cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Brain swelling (Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome— PRES). There have been reports of a rare, reversible condition involving the brain, called PRES, in people treated with VELCADE. People with PRES can have seizures, high blood pressure, headaches, tiredness, confusion, blindness, or other vision problems. Treatment with VELCADE should be stopped in cases of PRES. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.
  • Stomach and Intestinal problems (gastrointestinal toxicity). VELCADE treatment can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend IV fluids and/or medications.
  • Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). VELCADE can cause low levels of platelets (clot-forming cells). If platelets become very low, there is an increased risk of bleeding. Your doctor may recommend a platelet transfusion or other supportive care.
  • Lowered white blood cells (neutropenia). VELCADE can cause low levels of neutrophils which are a type of white blood cells that help to fight infections. If your white blood cells become low, you can be at higher risk for infections. Tell your doctor if you develop a fever or believe you have an infection.

You will have regular blood tests to check your cell counts during your treatment with VELCADE. If the number of these cells is very low, your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE.

  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS). TLS is a syndrome that causes a chemical imbalance in the blood that could lead to heart and/or kidney problems. TLS can occur with cancer treatments, and your doctor will be monitoring your blood and urine for any signs of this syndrome. If you develop TLS, your doctor will take appropriate steps to treat it.
  • Liver problems (hepatic toxicity). If you have liver problems, it can be harder for your body to get rid of VELCADE. VELCADE has caused sudden liver failure in people who were taking many medications or had other serious medical conditions. Symptoms of liver problems include a yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice) and changes in liver enzymes measured in blood tests. Your doctor will closely monitor you if you have liver disease. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.
  • Hematologic disease (Thrombotic Microangiopathy, TMA). VELCADE can lead to the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels. These clots can result in low platelets, kidney damage, confusion, and an increased risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor if you develop pinpoint-sized purple dots (petechiae), larger bruises, or you see blood in your urine. Your doctor may stop treatment with VELCADE. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.

More than 1 in 5 people (20%) receiving VELCADE have experienced the following side effects in one or more clinical trials: neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, leukopenia (low levels of white blood cells), anemia, constipation, neuralgia (nerve pain), vomiting, lymphopenia (low levels of a certain type of white blood cells), rash, pyrexia (fever), and anorexia.

What other information should you tell your doctor?

Women should avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with VELCADE as it could harm your unborn baby. Females should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least seven months after the final dose of VELCADE. If using hormonal contraceptives (for example, the pill), an additional barrier method of contraception (for example, diaphragm or condom) must be used. Males should use effective contraception during treatment with VELCADE and for four months following treatment. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you are pregnant. Do not breastfeed during treatment with VELCADE and for two months after your final dose of VELCADE.

You should also tell your doctor if you:

  • Have kidney disease. If you are on dialysis, your doctor will administer VELCADE after the dialysis procedure.
  • Are taking medication for diabetes. VELCADE can affect your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may require close monitoring of your blood glucose levels and change the dose of your diabetes medicine while you are being treated with VELCADE.
  • Have liver disease.
  • Are using any other medications, including prescription and nonprescription medications, herbal or dietary supplements, or holistic treatments. St. John’s wort should be avoided.
  • Develop a rash of any type or have skin pain while receiving VELCADE.

The side effects of VELCADE may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery.

These are not all of the possible side effects with VELCADE. It is important to always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while on VELCADE. If you have any questions about VELCADE, contact your doctor. Additional information is available on the website at VELCADE.com.