Targeted therapy for multiple myeloma
Targeted therapy drugs are designed to attach themselves to specific protein receptors on the surface of cancer cells. For patients with multiple myeloma, targeted therapy may be used alone, or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy that may be used to treat multiple myeloma. These drugs are made of antibodies engineered in a laboratory. Once injected into the body, monoclonal antibodies may target specific proteins found on cancer cells, killing them or preventing them from growing. Elotuzumab (Empliciti®) and daratumumab (Darzalex®) are monoclonal antibodies used to treat multiple myeloma.
Among the targeted therapy drugs that may be used to treat multiple myeloma are proteasome inhibitors. Proteasomes are enzymes inside cells that break down old proteins so they can be recycled into new proteins. This process is necessary to prevent a toxic build-up of proteins inside the cell. Proteasome inhibitors are designed to stop the proteasomes from recycling proteins inside cancer cells, causing a toxic protein overload that may kill the cell. Three common proteasome inhibitors used to treat multiple myeloma are bortezomib (Velcade®), carfilzomib (Kyprolis®) and ixazomib (Ninlaro®)