Bortezomib – Stopping the Growth of Cancer Cells

Bortezomib is an anti-cancer drug used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. (3) It is administered in an intravenous mode to treat cancer. It is listed as an Essential Medicine by World Health Organisation.  Originally manufactured in 1995, Bortezomib was clinically tested for its efficiency in treating multiple myeloma. In 2008, it gained approval in the United States for the initial treatment of multiple myeloma cases. Bortezomib is sold under Velcade, Bortenat, Myezom, Borziv, Biocure, Bortero and Botrecad. (5)

Bortezomib – Stopping the Growth of Cancer Cells


Bortezomib belongs to the Drug Class Proteasome inhibitor (Phenylalanine Derivatives). (4) The Bortezomib molecule is many-coloured due to its components – the centre being boron/pink, carbon/cyan, nitrogen/blue and oxygen/red, surrounded by the local protein surface. The molecular formula is C19H25BN404. (2)

How Bortezomib works

Bortezomib works by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth and blocking the blood flow to the cancerous cells. It has similar effects as dexamethasone, ifosfamide, etoposide and carboplatin. (1) These drugs work by obstructing the growth of cancer cells, either by killing them or stopping them from dividing. The effect of combining a treatment of Bortezomib and chemotherapy administration is yet unknown. (1)

It is observed that the boron atom in Bortezomib binds the catalytic site of the 26S proteasome with high affinity and specificity. The proteasome is a complex enzyme that can degrade large proteins, and it frees the cell of abnormal protein.  (2)

Bortezomib – Stopping the Growth of Cancer Cells

Administration of Bortezomib

Bortezomib is administered intravenously, generally under the supervision of a medical professional. Dosage, as prescribed, should be adhered to. While taking medicine, entering pregnancy should be avoided. Regular monitoring of blood cells, platelet count, liver and kidney function should be done during the treatment. Suppose symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and swelling of feet are experienced during the drug administration. In that case, the doctor should be informed immediately.   (4)

Bortezomib has some protocol attached to its usage. It is unsafe to use during pregnancy and lactation. It should be used under medical prescriptions for kidney and liver disease patients. It may also cause drowsiness along with alcohol. (4)


Side Effects of Bortezomib 

Some side effects accompany bortezomib administration. The common side effects observed are gastrointestinal, peripheral neuropathy, asthenia, and myelosuppression. (4) Sometimes skin eruptions as shingles may also be prevalent. In patients with advanced disease, bone marrow transplantation may recourse in severe conditions.

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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written using approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical teams strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.