Breast cancer

17 November 2010

Halaven Approved for Late-Stage Breast Cancer

Injected therapy believed to stifle cancer cell growth


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MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Halaven (eribulin mesylate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat metastatic (spreading) breast cancer among people who have had at least two prior chemotherapy treatments for late-stage disease.

In a news release published Monday, the agency said breast cancer is the second-leading cancer cause of death of among women, citing statistics from the National Cancer Institute. Some 207,090 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, resulting in 39,840 deaths, the FDA said.

Halaven, derived from a sea sponge, is believed to work by inhibiting cancer cell growth. Its safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical studies involving 762 women with metastatic breast cancer who had had at least two prior chemotherapies for late-stage disease. Median survival was 13.1 months among those who took Halaven, compared to 10.6 months among those who didn't get the drug, the agency said.

The most common adverse reactions were a decrease in white blood cells, anemia, hair loss, fatigue, nausea, nerve damage and constipation.

Halaven is marketed by Eisai Inc, based in Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.

More information

The FDA has more about this approval.

(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)


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Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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