Definitions of words and phrases used on this site

Adapted from the National Cancer Institute dictionary of cancer terms.

Anthracycline
A type of drug used to treat many types of cancer. Anthracyclines are designed to damage the DNA in cancer cells, causing them to die.

Chemotherapy
Treatment with drugs that are designed to kill cancer cells.

Congenital
A condition or trait present at birth. It may be the result of genetic or nongenetic factors.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)
A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It can show if there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph.

Estrogen receptor positive/negative (ER +/-)
Estrogen receptors are found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone estrogen will bind to receptors inside cells and may cause cells to grow. Certain cancers can be ER+, meaning they need estrogen to grow, or ER-, meaning they do not need estrogen to grow. Knowing if a cancer is ER+ or ER- can help decide the best type of treatment.

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive/negative (HER2 +/-)
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 is a protein involved in normal cell growth. It is found on some types of cancer cells. Cancer cells can be tested for the presence of HER2 to help decide the best type of treatment.

Infusion
A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream.

IV infusion
Intravenous infusion. A way of giving a drug or other substance through a needle or tube inserted in a vein.

Metastatic
Also known as “advanced.” The spread of cancer from where the cancer started to other places in the body.

Neutropenia
A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. “Febrile” neutropenia is neutropenia with the presence of fever.

Peripheral neuropathy
A nerve problem that causes pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, or muscle weakness in different parts of the body. Also called neuropathy.

Progesterone receptor positive/negative (PR +/-)
Progesterone receptors are found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone progesterone will bind to receptors inside cells and may cause cells to grow. Certain cancers can be PR+, meaning they need progesterone to grow, or PR-, meaning they do not need progesterone to grow. Knowing if a cancer is PR+ or PR- can help decide the best type of treatment.

Progression
The course of a disease, such as cancer, as it becomes worse or spreads in the body.

Receptor
A molecule inside or on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific substance and causes a specific effect in the cell.

Taxane
A type of drug used to treat cancer. It is designed to block cell growth by stopping cells from dividing (mitosis).

Tumor
An abnormal mass of tissue that is the result of cells dividing more than they should, or cells not dying when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

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 www.FDA.gov/medwatch.

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 you, 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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