The ubiquitin–proteasome pathway is a principle intracellular mechanism for controlled protein degradation and has recently emerged as an attractive target for anticancer therapies, because of the pleiotropic cell-cycle regulators and modulators of apoptosis that are controlled by proteasome function. In this chapter, we review the current state of the field of proteasome inhibitors and their prototypic member, bortezomib, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced multiple myeloma. Particular emphasis is placed on the pre-clinical research data that became the basis for eventual clinical applications of proteasome inhibitors, an overview of the clinical development of this exciting drug class in multiple myeloma, and a appraisal of possible uses in other haematological malignancies, such non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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