The chemotherapy drug eribulin mesylate (Halaven) was originally derived from a sea sponge and acts by blocking microtubule formation. According to new research, eribulin improves overall survival in women with advanced breast cancer, with the greatest benefit seen in women with triple-negative disease.
Researchers led by Chris Twelves, from the University of Leeds, pooled data from two phase III open-label trials of eribulin in 1,864 women with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer who had previously received an anthracycline and a taxane
Eribulin was associated with a significant 2.4-month improvement in overall survival versus standard therapy; among women with triple-negative breast cancer, this rose to 4.7 months. “Although eribulin isn’t a cure, it’s an extra treatment option,” said Twelves.
 Twelves C, Cortes J, Vahdat L et al. Efficacy of eribulin in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC): a pooled analysis by HER2 and ER status. Abstract A36. Presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference, Liverpool, UK; 2–5 November 2014.