Chemo drug raises life expectancy for some breast cancer sufferers

Apr 11, 2011

Chemo drug could improve life expectancy

Women with some types of advanced breast cancer may be able to live longer lives thanks to treatment with the chemotherapy drug eribulin, according to the results of a study recently published online by the Lancet.

The researchers compared the average life expectancies of those treated with eribulin to those treated with other methods, finding that the drug provided an average increase in life expectancy of about 2.5 months to patients who had already undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy. This could have an effect on life insurance rates, according to some analysts.

Critics, however, could point to the fact that the company that makes eribulin - Eisai Inc. - is the sole source of funding for the research. This could cause some to question the objectivity of the findings, though there is no evidence of any failure to follow ethical guidelines in the case.

Outside experts told HealthDay News that further research was needed before the effectiveness of eribulin could be conclusively proved. However, they also said the findings of the Eisai study demonstrated that the drug certainly held promise for future use in metastatic or locally recurring breast cancer treatment.

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