Introduction

Eribulin (trade name: Halaven) has been approved in Germany since May 2016 for the treatment of advanced liposarcoma. It is an option for adults who have already had chemotherapy with the drug anthracycline.

A sarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor that develops in connective and supportive tissue. Soft tissue sarcomas are tumors that grow in soft tissue, such as muscle and fat tissue. There are over 100 different types of soft tissue sarcomas in total. Liposarcoma develops in the thighs, the arms or the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity) The condition usually goes unnoticed for a long time and is only noticed once the tumor inside the tissue grows large enough to be visible.

Liposarcomas are surgically removed, if possible. But sometimes they are already too large or have spread to other parts of the body (metastasis) through the blood or lymphatic system. This is called advanced liposarcoma.

Eribulin is a cytostatic drug that is meant to inhibit tumor cells and stop the progression of the disease.

Application

Eribulin is dissolved in liquid to form a solution, which is then dripped into a vein as an infusion for 2 to 5 minutes. Treatment with eribulin consists of several cycles. Patients receive an infusion (drip) on the first and eighth day of each cycle. The next cycle starts after a two-week break.

Other treatments

If a liposarcoma gets worse despite chemotherapy, there are a number of drug treatments that can be used. The standard treatment then depends on which treatments have been used before.

Assessment

In 2016, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) wanted to find out which advantages and disadvantages eribulin has compared to standard therapies for adults with advanced liposarcoma.

However, the manufacturer did not provide any suitable data with which to do the assessment.

More information

This information summarizes the main results of a review produced by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). The review was commissioned by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) as part of the “early benefit assessment of medications.” On the basis of the reviews and the hearings received, the G-BA passed a resolution on the added benefit of eribulin (Halaven).

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