A new study of Bortezomib, a drug already approved for the treatment of Lymphoma, has shown that it may also slow the growth of the most deadly form of bone cancer in young children and adolescents.

The study evaluated Bortezomib (Velcade) against osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer that starts in the bones, spreads quickly and responds poorly to current chemotherapies.

The results of the University of Rochester Medical Centre study showed the proteasome inhibitor developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson to be effective against bone cancer in human cancer cell studies and in mice.

Roman Eliseev, a research assistant at the University of Rochester Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, said that Bortezomib caused osteosarcoma cells to self-destruct and prevented their spread.

“While further studies are needed, our findings suggest that this drug may represent a new treatment option for a devastating disease and an effective complement to current chemotherapies,” Eliseev said.

The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a rare, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006 and for multiple myeloma in 2008.