Novel drug for multiple myeloma continues to show promise in early study

December 09, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- A first-in-class investigational drug for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow, continues to show promising results in a study of myeloma patients who have failed numerous other treatments, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists will report at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Philadelphia (Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m., Room 103).

The drug, VELCADETM (bortezomib) for Injection (formerly called PS-341), has produced at least partial responses in 32 percent of the 78 patients in the study's first cohort, including some complete responses (in which no evidence of active disease could be detected). Nearly 70 percent of the study participants had their condition either stabilize or improve after beginning the therapy and some continued to show a positive response to the therapy nearly a year after beginning the study treatment.

The study, a Phase II clinical trial, involved 202 patients in two cohorts with relapsed or refractory myeloma who averaged six prior lines of treatment. The overall response rate was 35 percent with 59 percent of patients achieving a response or disease stabilization. Paul Richardson, MD, Kenneth Anderson, MD, of Dana-Farber, and co-authors will present the findings from patients in both cohorts.

"The results of this trial suggest that VELCADE may represent a uniquely promising approach to the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma," says Richardson.

VELCADE, developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., is the first of a class of substances known as proteasome inhibitors to reach the clinical trial stage. In pre-clinical studies by researchers led by Teru Hideshima, MD, at Dana-Farber, VELCADE TM (bortezomib) for Injection - which acts on tiny cell chambers called proteosomes - prevented multiple myeloma cells from proliferating, even those which were resistant to all known therapies. Later experiments found that the drug killed myeloma cells in mice without seeming to harm normal tissue.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Related Bone Marrow Articles from Brightsurf:

Researchers identify the mechanism behind bone marrow failure in Fanconi anaemia
Researchers at the University of Helsinki and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified the mechanism behind bone marrow failure developing in children that suffer from Fanconi anaemia.

Nanoparticles can turn off genes in bone marrow cells
Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to turn off specific genes in cells of the bone marrow, which play an important role in producing blood cells.

How stress affects bone marrow
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) identified the protein CD86 as a novel marker of infection- and inflammation-induced hematopoietic responses.

3D atlas of the bone marrow -- in single cell resolution
Stem cells located in the bone marrow generate and control the production of blood and immune cells.

Dangerous bone marrow, organ transplant complication explained
Scientists have discovered the molecular mechanism behind how the common cytomegalovirus can wreak havoc on bone marrow and organ transplant patients, according to a paper published in the journal Cell & Host Microbe.

Viagra shows promise for use in bone marrow transplants
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have demonstrated a new, rapid method to obtain donor stem cells for bone marrow transplants using a combination of Viagra and a second drug called Plerixafor.

Bone marrow may be the missing piece of the fertility puzzle
A woman's bone marrow may determine her ability to start and sustain a pregnancy, report Yale researchers in PLOS Biology.

Cells that make bone marrow also travel to the womb to help pregnancy
Bone marrow-derived cells play a role in changes to the mouse uterus before and during pregnancy, enabling implantation of the embryo and reducing pregnancy loss, according to research published Sept.

Uncovering secrets of bone marrow cells and how they differentiate
Researchers mapped distinct bone marrow niche populations and their differentiation paths for the bone marrow factory that starts from mesenchymal stromal cells and ends with three types of cells -- fat cells, bone-making cells and cartilage-making cells.

Zebrafish help researchers explore alternatives to bone marrow donation
UC San Diego researchers discover new role for epidermal growth factor receptor in blood stem cell development, a crucial key to being able to generate them in the laboratory, and circumvent the need for bone marrow donation.

Read More: Bone Marrow News and Bone Marrow Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to