Dr. Linda Vahdat, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Discusses the Side Effects of Halaven
Linda T. Vahdat, MD, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Attending Physician, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses some of the adverse reactions to Halaven (eribulin mesylate), a microtubule inhibitor indicated for patients with metastatic breast cancer who have previously received at least two prior chemotherapeutic regimens.
Vahdat notes that one benefit of Halaven is that it is quick to give, taking only 5 minutes to receive. For patients this means a shorter trip to the doctor and less of a hassle, which is preferred.
The most common adverse reaction was neutropenia, which for all grades appeared in 82% of patients. Severe neutropenia, lasting longer than 1 week, appeared in approximately 12% of cases. Despite its severity Vahdat explains that neutropenia is common in all drugs of this type, noting that while neutropenia is common the appearance of febrile neutropenia is low. Peripheral neuropathy was relatively low when taking Halaven occurring in only 8% of patients. Generally microtubule inhibitors have a higher rate for this event.
The adverse reaction profile for this drug in general makes it favorable from the patient’s perspective and Vahdat states that many patients welcome its addition into their treatment regimens.