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Using Velcade for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells (lymphocytes). It occurs when the lymphocytes begin to grow without any control or order.
There are many different types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and these types can generally be categorized based on the kind of lymphocyte affected. The two main types of lymphocytes that can turn into lymphoma are B-lymphocytes (or B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (or T-cells).
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can also be categorized based on whether the cancer is indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing).
Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma. The cancerous cells start in a certain area of the lymph node known as the mantle zone and may spread to other areas of the body, including other lymph nodes, the bone marrow, and the digestive tract.
Velcade is approved to treat mantle cell lymphoma in people who have previously been treated with at least one other medication. It can be used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medicines.

How Does It Work?

Velcade belongs to a group of medicines known as proteasome inhibitors. Proteasomes are proteins found inside healthy and cancerous cells. One of their actions is to break down abnormal or unneeded proteins. Velcade blocks the action of proteasomes, preventing them from breaking down proteins. As a result, proteins accumulate within the cells, causing them to die.

Is Velcade Safe for Use in Children?

Velcade has not been adequately studied in children, and is not approved for use in this age group (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years of age). Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication in children.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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