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Breast cancer drug 'prolongs life'

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Doctors have reported that an experimental breast cancer drug added months to the lives of patients whose cancer had returned despite receiving several rounds of chemotherapy.

Eisai’s eribulin - made from sea sponges - added an average of two and a half months to the lives of patients dying of breast cancer, the international team of researchers said.

Dr Christopher Twelves of St James Hospital in Leeds worked with an international team who examined 762 breast cancer patients with different types of tumour.

All had been through at least two rounds of chemotherapy for cancer that had spread. Two-thirds received two doses of eribulin while getting standard treatment, while the other third were given either a third round of chemotherapy or supportive care.

Researchers revealed that the patients given eribulin did significantly better, living for an average of 13 months, compared with just under 11 months for patients who did not get eribulin.

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