Other targeted therapies

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Bortezomib (VELCADE®)

Bortezomib is a type of cancer treatment drug called a proteasome inhibitor.

Proteasomes break down proteins in cells and this keeps a balance of proteins in the cell. This is a normal process but also occurs in abnormal cells to keep them alive, for example lymphoma cells. Proteasome inhibitors block the work of proteasomes. This seems to be particularly harmful to certain types of lymphoma cells, which are then no longer able to work properly and die.


VELCADE in combination with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma.


You have bortezomib either as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously) into the leg or abdomen. It can also be given as an injection into the bloodstream (intravenously).

It is usually given twice a week for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period in each 3-week cycle. A total of 6 to 8 cycles are usually given for patients with mantle cell lymphoma that has not been treated previously.

Into the bloodstream

The treatment is given through a drip into the arm.

Some patients may need a central line and this is a long plastic tube that gives the drugs into a large vein, either into the chest or through a vein in the arm. A central line stays in for the duration of the treatment and this may be for a few months.

As an injection under the skin

Subcutaneous injections can be given into the stomach, thigh or top of the arm. This may cause a stinging or a dull ache for a short time after this type of injection and the skin in the area may go red and itchy.

Common side effects

  • Numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
  • Pain in muscles or joints
  • High temperature (fever)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lowered appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tiredness and weakness (fatigue)
  • Anaemia (decreased red blood cells)
  • Thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets)
  • Increased risk of getting an infection

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