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Sea Sponge Drug Could Improve Advanced Breast Cancer Survival Rate By Five Extra Months

Update Date: Nov 03, 2014 01:19 PM EST

The cancer drug eribulin, made from sea sponges could give women with advanced triple negative breast cancer an average of five extra months of life, according to a new study. 

Researchers looked at two major clinical trails involving more than 1,800 women with breast cancer that had started to spread to other parts of the body. 

Cancer spreading to other organs also known as metastasis, is responsible for around 90 percent of all cancer deaths. And, when patients with breast cancer are diagnosed after the disease has started to spread, 10-year survival is around one in 10, compared to nearly nine in 10 for those diagnosed at the earliest stage, the press release added. 

 "Our results show a substantial improvement in survival for women with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, and a more modest, but significant, benefit for those with HER2 negative breast cancers. Eribulin has previously been offered to women who've already been through several lines of chemotherapy. But the European Union has recently approved eribulin for patients who have received less treatment for their breast cancer, which means we hope to give more patients another treatment option in the not-too-distant future," said study author Professor Chris Twelves, in the press release.

"Despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment of women with breast cancer, more than 11,600 women still die from invasive breast cancer each year in the UK. New and better treatments are needed for people fighting the disease."

The research will be presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool. 

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