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Jul 11, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Regulation

Looking beyond Avastin

Doctors look ahead to new treatment options for metastatic breast cancer

As clinicians reduce their use of Avastin bevacizumab for metastatic breast cancer, they are looking hopefully toward the more than 24 targeted therapies in Phase II or Phase III trials for metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer.

Some clinicians also suggest Avastin, a mAb against VEGF, could find another spot in this expanding breast cancer armamentarium.

Existing treatment options include platinum drugs, capecitabine and Abraxane nab-paclitaxel from Celgene Corp.

"There are many active drugs available, and I think patients can still feel comfortable with their choices," said Generosa Grana, head of the division of hematology/oncology and director of the Cooper Cancer Institute.

She is most excited about Halaven eribulin mesylate from Eisai Co. Ltd., which FDA approved last November.

Halaven, a synthetic analog of halichondrin B, is marketed in the U.S. and Europe to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients previously treated with at least two chemotherapy regimens for late-stage disease. It also is approved in Japan and Singapore.

"Eribulin actually had a survival advantage," Grana said.

In the open-label, international Phase III EMBRACE trial in 762 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer, Halaven had a statistically significant 2.6 month survival advantage vs. single agent therapy (p=0.041), which included chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.

Grana believes there is potential to combine Halaven with Avastin.

"As drugs like Halaven come out in the market,...

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