Proteomic profiling of naïve multiple myeloma patient plasma cells identifies pathways associated with favourable response to bortezomib-based treatment regimens

Br J Haematol. 2015 Jul;170(1):66-79. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13394. Epub 2015 Mar 30.


Toward our goal of personalized medicine, we comprehensively profiled pre-treatment malignant plasma cells from multiple myeloma patients and prospectively identified pathways predictive of favourable response to bortezomib-based treatment regimens. We utilized two complementary quantitative proteomics platforms to identify differentially-regulated proteins indicative of at least a very good partial response (VGPR) or complete response/near complete response (CR/nCR) to two treatment regimens containing either bortezomib, liposomal doxorubicin and dexamethasone (VDD), or lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (RVD). Our results suggest enrichment of 'universal response' pathways that are common to both treatment regimens and are probable predictors of favourable response to bortezomib, including a subset of endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways. The data also implicate pathways unique to each regimen that may predict sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, and immunomodulatory drugs, which was associated with acute phase response signalling. Overall, we identified patterns of tumour characteristics that may predict response to bortezomib-based regimens and their components. These results provide a rationale for further evaluation of the protein profiles identified herein for targeted selection of anti-myeloma therapy to increase the likelihood of improved treatment outcome of patients with newly-diagnosed myeloma.

Trial registration: NCT00116961 NCT00378105.

Keywords: bortezomib; lenalidomide; multiple myeloma; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Boronic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Bortezomib
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Lenalidomide
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Plasma Cells / metabolism*
  • Plasma Cells / pathology*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Pyrazines / administration & dosage
  • Thalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives


  • Boronic Acids
  • Pyrazines
  • liposomal doxorubicin
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib
  • Dexamethasone
  • Doxorubicin
  • Lenalidomide

Associated data