Open Access Highly Accessed Case Report

Regression of brain metastases from breast cancer with eribulin: a case report

Hiromichi Matsuoka1*, Junji Tsurutani1, Junko Tanizaki1, Tsutomu Iwasa1, Yoshifumi Komoike2, Atsuko Koyama1 and Kazuhiko Nakagawa1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-higashi, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan

2 Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-higashi, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:541  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-541

Published: 18 December 2013



Eribulin is a recently approved new therapeutic option for patients with metastatic breast cancer. According to several reports, eribulin has limited ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Recently, capecitabine and eribulin have been recognized as drugs with similar application for patients with advanced breast cancer. Although there have been several case reports describing the efficacy of capecitabine against brain metastases, no report of eribulin demonstrating efficacy for brain metastases exists today.

Case presentation

We describe a case of a 57-year-old Japanese woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer stage IV metastasized to multiple organs including liver and lung. After she received 3 regimens, she showed evidence of brain metastases, and whole brain radiation therapy was performed. Lapatinib and capecitabine was then administered as fourth-line chemotherapy, but the patient was hospitalized due to the exacerbation of interstitial pneumonitis and progression of brain and liver metastases. To control the systemic disease, eribulin was commenced as fifth-line chemotherapy. One month later, a significant response of brain metastases had been achieved, and this response has persisted for the last 4 months. We now describe a remarkable antitumor effect of eribulin against brain metastases from breast cancer. This case is the first report which indicates potential treatment of brain metastases using this medication.


This report suggests that eribulin treatment may be beneficial for breast cancer patients with brain metastases progressing after whole brain radiation therapy. However, further clinical studies are warranted to determine the clinical effect of eribulin in brain metastases.

Breast cancer; Blood brain barrier; Eribulin; Brain metastases; P-glycoprotein