NF-κB in the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple myeloma

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Purpose of reviewThis review aims to summarize recent advances in the mechanisms through which the activation of the transcription factor NF-κB contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma.Recent findingsThis transcription factor regulates expression of numerous genes involved in multiple myeloma pathogenesis, including growth, survival, immortalization, angiogenesis and metastasis. Recently, mutations of NF-κB signaling molecules have been identified in multiple myeloma cells. In addition, interactions between multiple myeloma cells and the bone marrow environment play critical roles in NF-κB activation as well as in multiple myeloma pathogenesis. Moreover, several drugs that are effective against multiple myeloma, including bortezomib, thalidomide, lenalidomide and arsenic trioxide, have been found to block activation of NF-κB. The combination of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs and those that block NF-κB activation has now proven to be effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma.SummaryRecent studies further underscore the critical role of NF-κB in multiple myeloma pathogenesis and have provided the rationale for multiple myeloma therapy with NF-κB-specific inhibitors combined with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.

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