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What Is Carfilzomib Used For?

Carfilzomib is prescribed to treat multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects certain white blood cells. It helps destroy cancer cells by causing certain proteins to accumulate in them. Carfilzomib is used in adults only and is reserved for use in people whose cancer has progressed despite treatment with at least two other chemotherapy medications.

An Overview of Uses for Carfilzomib

Carfilzomib (Kyprolis™) is an injectable prescription medication approved to treat adults with multiple myeloma. It is approved for use in people who have already received at least two other treatments. Carfilzomib belongs to a group of medicines known as proteasome inhibitors.
Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells. Plasma cells are a kind of white blood cell that makes antibodies, which are part of the immune system. Antibodies recognize and attach to substances found on certain germs and other harmful substances, marking them for destruction by the immune system.
Plasma cells are made in the bone marrow, the soft spongy middle part of many of the bones in the body. In multiple myeloma, the plasma cells become abnormal. The abnormal plasma cells, called myeloma cells, grow out of control, build up in the bone marrow, and form tumors in the solid part of the bone.
The tumors caused by myeloma cells can make it difficult for the bone marrow to produce normal, healthy blood cells. This can lead to problems such as anemia (from low red blood cell counts) and easy bleeding and bruising (from low platelet counts). The myeloma cells also damage and weaken the hard parts of the bones, causing fragile bones that are more likely to break.  
(See Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma to learn more about possible signs of this disease.)
Treatment for multiple myeloma can vary. People who are not experiencing symptoms may be closely watched without treatment. When treatment is given, it may include radiation therapy, medications, and bone marrow transplant. The specific choice depends on several factors, such as:
  • How far the disease has progressed (see Multiple Myeloma Stage)
  • The severity of symptoms
  • A person's overall health.
Carfilzomib is used to treat people with multiple myeloma who have already received at least two other medications, including bortezomib (Velcade®) and an immunomodulatory agent, such as lenalidomide (Revlimid®) or thalidomide (Thalomid®). It is used when multiple myeloma gets worse during or within 60 days of stopping the other medicines.
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Carfilzomib Drug Information

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