Drug effective for treatment of recurrent mantle cell lymphoma

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A type of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) called mantle cell lymphoma accounts for about five to ten percent of all lymphomas. According to an article recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Velcade (bortezobib) is an effective treatment option for patients with mantle cell lymphoma that has stopped responding to prior treatments.

Velcade is an agent known as a proteasome inhibitor. Proteasome inhibitors are drugs that block the action of proteasomes, proteins found in virtually all cells that regulate several aspects of cellular activity. By blocking the activity of proteasomes it can lead to the death of cancer cells. Bortezobib is the first therapeutic proteasome inhibitor to be approved for use in the United States.

Researchers conducted a clinical trial to evaluate Velcade in the treatment of fifteen patients with mantle cell lymphoma that has recurred or progressed following prior therapies. Anticancer responses occurred in 33 percent of patients and after over 13 months follow up, over half the patients were still surviving.

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