AN injection that cuts the amount of time breast cancer patients spend in hospital from two and a half hours to as little as five minutes is being rolled out across the country by NHS England.
Breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will be offered a new combined treatment called PHESGO, which is injected and takes as little as five minutes to prepare and administer, compared with two infusions that can take up to two and a half hours.
More than 3,600 new patients each year will benefit from the treatment, as well as others who will switch from the treatment they are on to the single injection, following an NHS deal with the manufacturer.
The injection will be offered to eligible people with HER2-positive breast cancer, which accounts for 15% of all breast cancers, and can be given alongside chemotherapy or on its own.
The five-minute jab significantly cuts the Covid infection risk for cancer patients by reducing the amount of time spent in hospital and frees up time for clinicians in chemotherapy units.
The announcement is the latest in a series of innovations in cancer care during the pandemic, including Covid-secure surgery hubs that were set up across the country and £160 million invested by NHS England in ‘covid-friendly’ cancer drugs, that treat patients without having such a big impact on their immune system or offer other benefits such as fewer hospital visits.