A phase III study (EMBRACE) of eribulin mesylate versus treatment of physician’s choice in patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer previously treated with an anthracycline and a taxane

SUMMARY: HALAVEN ® (Eribulin) is a non taxane inhibitor of microtubule dynamics and is a synthetic analog of halichondrin B, a product derived from a a sea sponge Halichodria okadai. It triggers apoptosis of cancer cells following prolonged mitotic inhibition. The EMBRACE trial is a randomized open label phase III study involving 762 heavily pretreated patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. These patients must have had at least two prior chemotherapy regimens including taxanes and an anthracycline. Patients were randomized to either HALAVEN ® (508 patients) or to an approved treatment of their physician's choice and this could be single agent chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy or palliative radiation therapy (254 patients). Nineteen percent of the patients had triple negative disease. There was a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in the HALAVEN ® group 13.1 months compared to 10.7 months in the control group. At one year, 54% of the patients were alive in the HALAVEN ® group compared to 44% in the control group. This statistically significant benefit was also seen in the overall response rates. We now have another agent with a distinct survival advantage for heavily pretreated metastatic breast cancer patients. J Clin Oncol 28:18s, 2010 (suppl; abstr CRA1004)