Halaven or Eribulin

Learn about your cancer drugs.

New ’biologic’ drug made by Eisai. This targets breast cancer and costs roughly 3,800 pounds or $5,500 US a month. The mean increased survival time in research was 3 months. In Wikipedia it states that Eribulin was approved by the FDA in November 2010 to treat metastatic breast cancer, patients having received at least two prior chemo regimes for late stage disease, including both anthracycline and taxane-based products. The manufacturer is also studying the product with other cancers such as non-small cell lung cancer, prostate and sarcoma.

The compound is a fully synthetic macrocyclic ketone copy of the marine sponge natural product halichondrin B, a substance we have covered previously in Cancer Watch as a natural cancer agent. It blocks cancer pathways and causes apoptosis. The drug is injectable.

NICE (March 2012) has rejected the drug finding that it increases survival by 2.7 months on average but is not cost effective. There were also safety concerns.

Learn about your cancer drugs.
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