Towards a new age in the treatment of multiple myeloma

Ann Hematol. 2007 Mar;86(3):159-72. doi: 10.1007/s00277-006-0239-5. Epub 2007 Jan 5.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable disease characterized by the proliferation of end-stage B lymphocytes (plasma cells, PCs). As a consequence of myeloma growth in the bone marrow, a number of signaling pathways are activated that trigger malignant PC proliferation, escape from apoptosis, migration, and invasion. Thanks to new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of MM, novel approaches aimed at targeting these abnormally activated cascades have recently been developed and others are under study. These strategies include the inhibition of membrane receptor tyrosine kinases, inhibition of the proteasome/aggresome machinery, inhibition of histone deacetylases, inhibition of farnesyltransferases, targeting of molecular chaperones, and others. We will herein review and discuss these novel biological approaches with particular emphasis on those based on biochemical pathways which drive cell signaling. By providing the rationale for innovative therapeutic strategies, the above mechanisms represent targets for new compounds being tested in the management of this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents