Information about metastatic breast cancer

Metastatic, or “advanced,” breast cancer is cancer that started in the breast tissue but that has spread to other parts of the body. The most common sites where breast cancer can spread are the bones, lungs, liver, and brain. Disease that has spread to other parts of the body is still considered breast cancer because the type of cancer cell remains the same. Although metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured, there are options available to treat the disease.


You are not alone—there are people going through similar experiences who may be able to provide guidance and support for you. You can connect with them through these organizations.

Information is also available for your family and friends as they support you through your diagnosis and treatment.

Subtypes and receptor status

There are different subtypes of breast cancer. Each subtype behaves and responds to treatment in a different way. Because of this, your treatment for breast cancer will depend on what subtype of the disease you have. A doctor can determine the subtype of the disease by looking at a sample of the breast cancer tissue.

Each subtype has specific receptors that can tell your cancer to grow. Receptors include

  • Estrogen receptor (ER)
  • Progesterone receptor (PR)
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)

If the cancer has a specific type of receptor, it is positive for that receptor. For example, a cancer with the hormone receptor ER is called ER-positive, or ER+, disease. A cancer may be positive for more than 1 type of receptor. This means that your disease can have the following receptor statuses:

  • ER +/-
  • PR +/-
  • HER2 +/-

Triple-negative breast cancer

It is also possible for a cancer to be negative for all 3 receptors. This type of cancer is called triple-negative disease. When breast cancer is triple-negative, it means that there are no estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 receptors in the tumor cells telling the cancer to grow. Triple-negative breast cancer is considered to be more aggressive because it is more likely to spread and also more likely to come back after treatment. Triple-negative breast cancer is often treated with a chemotherapy or with a combination of different types of therapies.

It is important to talk to your doctor about the treatment options available to you based on the receptor status of your cancer.

HALAVEN is a chemotherapy that was studied in women with metastatic breast cancer with all types of receptor statuses.
Who is HALAVEN (eribulin mesylate) Injection for?

HALAVEN is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, and who have already received other types of anticancer medicines after the cancer has spread.

What safety information do I need to know about HALAVEN?

HALAVEN can cause serious side effects, including

  • Low white blood cell count (neutropenia). This can lead to serious infections that could lead to death. Your health care provider will check your blood cell counts. Call your health care provider right away if you develop fever (temperature above 100.5°F), chills, cough, or burning or pain when you urinate, as any of these can be symptoms of infection
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy). Peripheral neuropathy is common with HALAVEN and sometimes can be severe. Tell your health care provider if you have new or worsening symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
  • Your health care provider may delay or decrease your dose or stop treatment with HALAVEN if you have side effects

Before you receive HALAVEN, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you

  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have heart problems, including a problem called congenital long QT syndrome
  • have low potassium or low magnesium in your blood
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. HALAVEN can harm your unborn baby. Tell your health care provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with HALAVEN. Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective form of birth control during treatment with HALAVEN and for at least 2 weeks after the final dose of HALAVEN and males should use an effective form of birth control when having sex with female partners who are able to become pregnant during treatment with HALAVEN and for 3½ months (14 weeks) after the final dose of HALAVEN
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if HALAVEN passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with HALAVEN and for 2 weeks after the final dose of HALAVEN

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of HALAVEN?

HALAVEN can cause changes in your heartbeat (called QT prolongation). This can cause irregular heartbeats. Your health care provider may do heart monitoring (electrocardiogram or ECG) or blood tests during your treatment with HALAVEN to check for heart problems.

The most common side effects of HALAVEN in adults with breast cancer include low white blood cell count (neutropenia), low red blood cell count (anemia), weakness or tiredness, hair loss (alopecia), nausea, and constipation.

Your health care provider will do blood tests before and during treatment while you are taking HALAVEN.

For more information about HALAVEN, please see full Prescribing Information.

The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider.

All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a health care professional, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

This site is intended for residents of the United States only. The products discussed herein may have different product labeling in different countries.

To report suspected adverse reactions, contact Eisai Inc. at 1-888-274-2378 or the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or

This Web site contains information relating to various medical conditions and treatment. Such information is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professionals. You should not use this information for diagnosing a health problem or disease. In order for you to make intelligent health care decisions, you should always consult with a physician or other health care provider for your, or your loved ones', personal medical needs. Individual responses to treatment may vary.

HALAVEN® is a registered trademark used by Eisai Inc. under license from Eisai R&D Management Co., Ltd.
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