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Study finds greater potential benefit in overall survival for eribulin compared with capecitabine

Subgroup analyses from a phase III clinical trial comparing a newer chemotherapy agent called eribulin mesylate, with capecitabine, a standard chemotherapy medication in women with previously treated metastatic breast cancer, showed increased benefit among women sharing certain traits.
Specifically, these analyses demonstrated a greater potential benefit in certain subsets of patients with metastatic breast cancer. This analysis was presented by Peter A. Kaufman, M.D., during the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The specific patient populations who appeared to benefit from eribulin, in comparison to capecitabine, are as follows:
Patients with more than two organs involved with metastatic breast cancer
Patients who had not received chemotherapy for six months or longer
Patients who had received anthracycline and/or a taxane therapies in the metastatic setting

Previous pre-specified exploratory analysis of overall survival and progression-free survival showed women with triple-negative, ER-negative, HER2-negative also had a greater relative benefit in overall survival with eribulin over capecitabine.

"These exploratory analyses suggest that other patient subgroups may benefit from eribulin and further studies are warranted," said Peter A. Kaufman, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and oncologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H.

In 2010, the FDA approved eribulin for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer who had previously received an anthracycline and a taxane and at least two cytotoxic chemotherapy treatment regimens for metastatic breast cancer. The FDA granted approval based on data showing a statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared with current treatments.

Kaufman and colleagues are still compiling data from the quality-of-life analysis, which according to Kaufman, will help guide their next steps in further studying eribulin in this patient population.

Clinical Trial information: NCT00337103

About Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester, Nashua, and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and at 12 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of 41 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute’s “Comprehensive Cancer Center” designation. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at

For more information contact Donna Dubuc at (603) 653-3615.

Donna Dubuc | EurekAlert!
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