Carfilzomib (also known as Kyprolis®) is a new drug being used to treat myeloma. Like bortezomib (Velcade®), carfilzomib belongs to a group of drugs known as proteasome inhibitors. Carfilzomib works in a similar way to bortezomib however it has been developed to target a different part of the proteasome. This is thought to make carfilzomib more effective and potentially cause fewer side effects than bortezomib.
Carfilzomib is given as an intravenous (into the vein) infusion. It has been shown to be most effective when used in
combination with other myeloma treatments such as lenalidomide (Revlimid®) and dexamethasone.
The most commonly reported side-effects of carfilzomib include: fatigue, low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), low
red blood cell counts (anaemia), nausea, difficulty breathing, diarrhoea and fever. Carfilzomib has also been found to cause heart problems or worsen pre-existing heart conditions. Therefore, patients being treated with carfilzomib
will be monitored carefully during treatment.
Though carfilzomib is from the same drug family as bortezomib, it is thought to cause much lower rates of peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves that make up the peripheral nervous system causing pain, tingling and altered
Carfilzomib continues to be studied in different patient groups and in different treatment combinations. These trials will
provide information about the safest and most effective way to use carfilzomib in myeloma.
For an up-to-date list of UK clinical trials involving carfilzomib, visit the Myeloma Trial Finder on trials.myeloma.org.uk