New agent significantly improves survival in women with heavily pretreated metastatic cancer

Thursday, March 3, 2011 (Last Updated: 03/04/2011)

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with heavily pretreated metastatic breast cancer, eribulin mesilate may significantly improve survival compared to currently available treatments, according to a study published online March 3 in The Lancet.

Javier Cortes, M.D., of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues investigated whether eribulin mesilate offered a survival benefit over currently available treatments among women with metastatic breast cancer. In this open-label study, 762 women with metastatic breast cancer, who had already received between two and five previous chemotherapy regimens, were randomized to receive either eribulin or treatment of physician's choice (TPC). The main outcome was overall survival measured by intention-to-treat analysis.

The researchers found that eribulin significantly improved overall survival compared to TPC (13.1 versus 10.6 months). Adverse events in both groups included asthenia or fatigue (54 percent of eribulin patients and 40 percent of TPC patients) and neutropenia (52 percent of eribulin patients and 30 percent of TPC patients). Five percent of patients receiving eribulin experienced peripheral neuropathy, and this was the most common side effect that led to discontinuation of the treatment.

"This global phase 3 study establishes a potential new standard treatment for women with heavily pretreated metastatic breast cancer, for whom there was previously no chemotherapy treatment with proven survival benefit," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, including Eisai Inc., which funded this study.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health

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