Multiple Myeloma Program

Drug Therapy

Conventional Chemotherapy (Melphalan, Cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, Cisplatin, Etoposide)

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment using different drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy).

Other Drug Therapy (Steroids)

Corticosteroids are steroids that have a well-known anti-myeloma effect. Steroids, which most of the times are given as a pill, have been the backbone of most anti-myeloma therapies for a very long time.

Proteasome Inhibitors (Bortezomib, Carfilzomib)

Proteasome inhibitors are targeted therapies, which inhibit the function of proteasomes, a group of certain enzymes found in human cells. Poteasomes help control cell function and growth by controlling the breakdown of important proteins. Blocking the activity of proteasomes disrupts the growth and survival of cancer cells, especially myeloma cells. Bortezomib is given as an injection under the skin of the thigh or the belly and Carfilzomib is given as an intravenous injection.

Immunomodulatory Drugs (Thalidomide, Revlimid, Pomalidomide)

Immunomudulatory drugs (IMiDs) affect the patient’s immune system, thereby helping to stop the growth and survival of myeloma cells. In addition, IMiDs also affects blood supply and other substances surrounding a tumor that help feed the cancer cell's growth. IMiDs are taken by mouth and can also be used as maintenance therapy (treatment that is started after remission in order to reduce the risk for relapse).

Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (Panobinostat)

The histone deacetylase inhibitors are a new class of cytostatic agents that inhibit the growth of myeloma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest, differentiation and/or apoptosis. HDAC inhibitors are usually given in combination with other myeloma specific drugs, such as Bortezomib, to enhance the efficacy of the latter treatment.


For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 801-587-4652