2 The technology

2.1 Bortezomib (Velcade, Janssen-Cilag) is an anticancer drug that belongs to a novel class of drugs known as proteasome inhibitors. Bortezomib has a UK marketing authorisation as monotherapy for the treatment of progressive multiple myeloma in patients who have received at least one prior therapy and who have undergone, or are unsuitable for, bone marrow transplantation. For further information about the drug, see the summary of product characteristics (SPC).

2.2 Bortezomib treatment is associated with peripheral neuropathy, thrombocytopenia and other side effects. For full details of the side effects and contraindications, see the SPC.

2.3 The price of bortezomib is £762.38 for a 3.5‑mg vial (excluding VAT; 'British national formulary', 53rd edition). The cost for one cycle of treatment would be approximately £3000. Costs may vary in different settings because of negotiated procurement discounts.