Velcade and Amyloidosis
Velcade® (bortezomib) is a prescription chemotherapy medication approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. However, a healthcare provider may sometimes prescribe this drug for something other than the approved uses. This is known as an "off-label" use.
One off-label use for Velcade is treating amyloidosis, which is a type of blood disease that occurs when a certain protein called amyloid accumulates in your organs or body tissues. This can cause the organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, to not work properly.
As a type of proteasome inhibitor, Velcade works by blocking the action of proteasomes, which are proteins found inside both healthy and cancerous cells. One of their actions is to break down abnormal or unneeded proteins. By inhibiting proteasomes, Velcade prevents them from breaking down proteins. As a result, proteins accumulate within the cells, causing them to die.
(Click Velcade Uses to learn more about using this drug for amyloidosis and various other conditions. This article covers approved and unapproved uses, explains how Velcade works, and discusses whether it is safe for use in children.)