Experimental Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives By Months

06.07.10 |

A breast cancer drug made from sea sponges can increase the lifespan of cancer patients by months, even when chemotherapy fails. An international research team has announced that the drug Eribulin added an average of two-and-a-half-months to the lives of breast cancer patients whose cancer had returned. The drug was tested in 762 breast cancer patients with different types of tumors. All had cancer that spread and all had undergone at least two rounds of chemotherapy. In a blind test, patients given Eribulin fared considerably better than those given a placebo.

 Most cancer drug trials look to see if tumors shrink or start growing back. This was the first study to compare overall survival using a new drug in patients who'd already been treated for metastatic breast cancer. In an era in which researchers are looking at targeted therapies, Eribulin may be one of the last new chemotherapy drugs that target fast-growing cells but also kill healthy cells.