Apoptosis (Cell Death)

Some targeted therapies induce cancer cells to undergo apoptosis (cell death).

  • Bortezomib (Velcade®) is approved to treat some patients with multiple myeloma. It is also approved for the treatment of some patients with mantle cell lymphoma. Bortezomib causes cancer cells to die by interfering with the action of a large cellular structure called the proteasome, which degrades proteins. Proteasomes control the degradation of many proteins that regulate cell proliferation. By blocking this process, bortezomib causes cancer cells to die. Normal cells are affected too, but to a lesser extent.
  • Pralatrexate (Folotyn®) is approved for the treatment of some patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Pralatrexate is an antifolate, which is a type of molecule that interferes with DNA synthesis. Other antifolates, such as methotrexate, are not considered targeted therapies because they interfere with DNA synthesis in all dividing cells. However, pralatrexate appears to selectively accumulate in cells that express RFC-1, a protein that may be overexpressed by some cancer cells.
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