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Study makes exciting progress in elucidating the mechanisms of bortezomib in lymphoma
Date:7/12/2010

HACKENSACK, N.J. (July 12, 2010) A new study by researchers from the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center sheds light on how bortezomib (VELCADE), the first in a new class of cancer drugs known as proteasome inhibitors, works in mantle cell lymphoma. The study also provides preliminary evidence for which patients might benefit most from bortezomib. Additionally, researchers demonstrate that biomarkers the genes and proteins that indicate biological processes might help guide the selection of patients for specific clinical trials and speed-up the development of targeted cancer drugs. The study, which is now published online, will also appear in the July issue of Leukemia & Lymphoma.

Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor, a new class of cancer drugs that target the proteasome. The proteasome is a critical structure within cells that degrades or recycles more than 90% of intracellular proteins - it breaks down proteins that are meant to be discarded. Studies have shown that if the proteasome is stopped from functioning ("inhibited"), cancer cells, especially myeloma and lymphoma cells, are overwhelmed and die. It is well known that bortezomib binds to one of the enzyme site, called chymotrypsin-like, where proteins are broken down within the proteasome. Given the number of proteins degraded within the proteasome, the consequences of bortezomib on cell function and metabolism are very complex.

"Numerous cellular pathways are regulated by the proteasome, and it has been difficult to determine which are critical to the anti-tumor activity of bortezomib," said lead author Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., Chief, Lymphoma, the John Theurer Cancer Center. "The data from this study begins to illuminate the drug's mechanisms of action."

Dr. Goy and colleagues performed immunohistochemical analyses of proteins in archived tumor samples from approximately half (73) of the patients who participated in the PINNACLE trial
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Contact: Amy Leahing
amy.leahing@widmeyer.com
646-213-7245
John Theurer Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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