Introduction: Significant advances have been made during the last two decades in terms of new therapeutic options but also of innovative approaches to diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma (MM). While patient survival has been significantly prolonged, most patients relapse. Including the milestone approval of the first kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate for CML in 2001, 48 small molecule protein kinase (PK) inhibitors have entered clinical practice until now. However, no PK inhibitor has been approved for MM therapy yet. Areas covered: This review article summarizes up-to-date knowledge on the pathophysiologic role of PKs in MM. Derived small molecules targeting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), the Ras/Raf/MEK/MAPK- pathway, the PI3K/Akt/mTOR- pathway as well as Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), Aurora kinases (AURK), and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are most promising. Preclinical as well as early clinical data focusing on these molecules will be presented and critically reviewed. Expert opinion: Current MM therapy is directed against general vulnerabilities. Novel therapeutic strategies, inhibition of PKs in particular, are directed to target tumor-specific driver aberrations such as genetic abnormalities and microenvironment-driven deregulations. Results of ongoing Precision Medicine trials with PK inhibitors alone or in combination with other agents are eagerly awaited and hold the promise of once more improving MM patient outcome.
- Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
- Multiple Myeloma/drug therapy
- Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use
- Signal Transduction/drug effects
- Tumor Microenvironment/drug effects