Treatment Name: Eribulin (Halaven®)
How does eribulin work?
Eribulin is designed to stop cancer cells from dividing and cause them to die.
Goals of therapy:
Eribulin is given to alleviate symptoms of metastatic breast cancer and extend life. It is not commonly given with the goal of cure.
- Eribulin intravenous (I.V.) push over 2 to 5 minutes on Day 1 and Day 8 of each treatment cycle
Estimated total infusion time for this treatment:
- Up to 1 hour on each treatment day. Even though eribulin is a short infusion, it may take time for blood lab test results to come back to make sure it is safe to receive the dose
- Infusion times are based on clinical studies, but may vary depending on doctor preference or patient tolerability. Pre-medications and intravenous (I.V.) fluids, such as hydration, may add more time
Eribulin is usually given in an outpatient infusion center, allowing the person to go home afterwards.
Eribulin is repeated every 21 days. This is known as one Cycle. Each cycle is repeated until the drug no longer works or until unacceptable side effects occur.
Click here for common starting dose
In a multi-drug regimen, each medication has unique side effects. When these medicines are given together, drug-related side effects reported in clinical studies give the best estimate of what to expect. In clinical studies, the most commonly reported side effects with eribulin are shown here.
In this study, 10% of patients discontinued eribulin due to unacceptable side effects.
How often is monitoring needed?
Labs (blood tests) may be checked before each treatment. Labs often include: Complete Blood Count (CBC), and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP). Tumor markers such as CEA, CA 15-3, or CA 27.29 may also periodically be checked.
How often is imaging needed?
Imaging may be checked before treatment and every 2 to 4 cycles during treatment. Imaging may include: bone scans and computerized tomography (CT) scans.
How might blood test results/imaging affect treatment?
Depending upon the results, your doctor may advise to continue eribulin as planned, or delay or switch therapy.
- Communicate with your doctor if you are experiencing any early signs of peripheral neuropathy such as "pins and needles" feelings or numbness in your fingers or toes. This is usually reversible if caught early. Your doctor may reduce your dose of eribulin, delay treatment, or stop it all together to minimize this side effect and avoid permanent nerve damage
- You may periodically have an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to assess your hearts’ rhythm and your risk of experiencing a heart rhythm problem known as prolonged QT interval. Eribulin increases your risk of experiencing this heart rhythm problem, as do many other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of your other medications can increase your risk. If you are receiving other medications that increase the risk of prolonged QT interval or have a history of heart failure, you may receive electrocardiograms more often while receiving eribulin
- To reduce time at the infusion center, ask your doctor if you can blood lab tests done the day before treatment. This may save time on the day of treatment
- A pharmacist should ALWAYS review your medication list to ensure that drug interactions are prevented or managed appropriately
- Clinical trials may exist for breast cancer. Ask your doctor if any studies are currently enrolling in your area. If not, go to clinicaltrials.gov to search for other centers offering study medications
Patient Assistance & Co-payment Coverage
Patients under the age of 65 years, or those with private insurance plans:
If you have insurance and are looking for patient assistance or copay assistance for Eribulin (Halaven®), we have provided links that may help.
Visit our Patient Assistance page and click the links to various patient assistance programs for help paying for Eribulin (Halaven®). Depending upon your income, they may be able to help cover the cost of:
For Branded medications (may be available for generic medications too), check with the manufacturer to determine if a co-pay card is offered and if it could reduce your monthly copay.
- If you are uninsured, check with the manufacturer to determine if you are eligible to receive medication at no cost.
Medicare and Medicaid patients (Patients 65 years or older):
The clinic providing treatment will likely pre-authorize medications and immune therapies such as Eribulin (Halaven®) and are the best source to help you understand drug cost.
- Ask to speak with a patient assistance technician or financial counselor at the clinic or hospital administering this therapy.
What is Emotional Wellness?
Emotional wellness is having a positive outlook balanced with a realistic understanding of current life events. This requires both an awareness and acceptance of your emotions. It is with this knowledge that you can develop a plan to take the necessary actions to positively impact your life.
Emotional wellness uses an ongoing process to continually reflect on the stressors of life in a constructive manner to move forward and create happiness.
Because emotional wellness is deeply connected with physical, social, and spiritual wellness, pursuing it often becomes particularly difficult in times of major illness. Despite this difficulty, working toward emotional wellness has been connected to improved treatment outcomes and a higher likelihood of achieving goals of therapy.
Learn more about pursuing emotional wellness while receiving treatment with Eribulin (Halaven®)