The bortezomib, commonly known by the trade name Velcade ®, is a substance which belongs to a new class of targeted anticancer drugs the so-called inhibitors of tumor growth. In particular, bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor, a group of enzymes present in all cells of our body which control the function and growth. This class of molecules acts against tumors selectively than traditional chemotherapy, as it recognizes some proteins on the wall of the tumor cells or within the cell, they block the mechanisms by which cells reproduce; since these proteins are found only in small part on healthy cells, it follows that the action is targeted towards cancer cells. The inhibitors of tumor growth can kill tumor cells or only prevent their development.
The bortezomib is currently used for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who have already undergone, without success, to at least one prior therapy or bone marrow transplant, or they are not eligible for this treatment. There are currently in clinical trials to test the efficacy for the treatment of other types of cancer.
Which is the principle of action?
The bortezomib is the first proteasome inhibitor to be introduced into clinical practice. Its principle of action is very innovative and differs from that of conventional anticancer drugs because it influences different regulatory mechanisms acting on multiple cellular targets. The bortezomib, blocking the activity of the proteasome, affects different proteins essential for the regulation of the cell cycle. It results in the death of neoplastic cells.