According to researchers, many trials show that a new type of drug can assist patients with multiple myeloma who have failed to respond to other treatments. Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have been assessing a new drug, called bortezomib, in a group of 180 patients who had not been helped by other forms of treatment. In the first sub-group, consisting of 65 patients, 30 per cent showed at least a partial response, with some showing a complete response, in which no sign of active disease could be detected.
In all, 78 per cent either had their condition either stabilize or improve from the start of the therapy, and some were still showing a positive response up to a year later. Bortezomib is a new kind of drug called a proteasome inhibitor. It acts on tiny structures called proteasomes within cells and so stops myeloma cells from multiplying.