Bortezomib and Plasma Cells
If you have a certain type of cancer that affects the plasma cells, bortezomib (Velcade®) may help kill cancer cells. This drug is approved to treat a bone marrow disease known as multiple myeloma in adults who have not adequately responded to other chemotherapy treatments or who have not previously been treated with any other medication.
Multiple myeloma occurs when plasma cells (a certain type of white blood cell) become cancerous. The abnormal cells, called myeloma cells, divide again and again, continually making more abnormal cells. Bortezomib works to treat this form of cancer by blocking the action of certain proteins within the cancer cells, causing them to die.
(For more information, click What Is Bortezomib Used For?. This article takes a closer look at approved and unapproved uses for this medication, with details on how it works and whether it is safe for children.)