A trial looking at eribulin and dacarbazine for sarcoma

Cancer type:

Sarcoma
Soft tissue sarcoma

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 3

This trial compared the chemotherapy drugs eribulin and dacarbazine for people with soft tissue sarcoma that had come back after treatment.

More about this trial

Soft tissue sarcomas are a type of cancer that start in the supporting tissues of the body, such as muscles, blood vessels, fat and nerves. Doctors usually treat soft tissue sarcoma with surgery and chemotherapy
 
Doctors already knew that eribulin (Halaven) could help people with breast cancer that has come back following treatment. But they wanted to see if it could also help people with sarcoma that has come back (recurred). 
 
Dacarbazine is a chemotherapy drug that was already being used to treat soft tissue sarcoma. In this trial, the research team compared eribulin and dacarbazine for people with advanced sarcoma.
 
The aims of this trial were to find out:
  • if eribulin is better than dacarbazine for people with soft tissue sarcoma that has come back after chemotherapy
  • more about the side effects

Summary of results

This trial showed that eribulin worked better than dacarbazine for people with soft tissue sarcoma that had come back after treatment.
 
Results
This trial recruited more than 450 people with soft tissue sarcoma. Most of the people taking part had either liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma
 
They were put into one of two groups at random, and:
  • half had eribulin
  • half had dacarbazine
The research team looked at how long it was before the sarcoma started to grow, and found it was the same in both groups (2.6 months).  
 
But when they looked at how long people lived for, they found there was a difference between the two groups:
  • 13.5 months for those who had eribulin
  • 11.5 months for those who had dacarbazine
Side effects
More than 9 out of 10 people (90%) had at least 1 side effect from treatment. But some of these were mild or didn’t last very long. 
 
Nearly 7 out of 10 people (67%) who had eribulin and nearly 6 out of 10 people (56%) who had dacarbazine had more severe side effects.
 
The most common side effect was a drop in blood cells. More people who had eribulin had a drop in white blood cells. And more people who had dacarbazine had a drop in red blood cells and clotting cells (platelets). Other side effects included feeling sick and tiredness. 
 
Conclusion
The research team concluded that eribulin helped people with advanced liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma live longer. They suggest that eribulin could be a useful treatment option for people with soft tissue sarcoma that has come back after treatment.
 
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Michael Leahy

Supported by

Eisai
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

9350

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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