NHS England is rolling out an injection that dramatically cuts the amount of time breast cancer patients spend in hospital from two and a half hours to as little as five minutes across the country, following a deal with its manufacturer Roche.
Phesgo is a new fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab with trastuzumab that previously would have been given as separate IV infusions.
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.
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.
NHS England notes that the five-minute jab also “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 agreement between the health service, NICE and Roche means PHESGO comes at no extra cost to the NHS.
“Approval of Phesgo being used on the NHS in England is fantastic news as thousands of women with HER2 positive breast cancer will now benefit from a quicker and kinder treatment method,” said Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now.
“Reducing the time patients need to spend in hospital, this more efficient treatment method also promises to free up precious time for healthcare professionals when the NHS is already under unprecedented strain due to COVID-19.
“We hope to see Roche and NHS decision-makers working together to ensure Phesgo is rapidly made available across all of the UK so that even more patients and healthcare professionals alike can reap its benefits.”