“World first” rollout of cancer jab that cuts treatment time

  • Date: 31 August 2023

AN anti-cancer injection that will cut treatment times by up to 75 per cent for some cancer patients is set to be rolled out “within weeks” by NHS England.

Currently IV treatment with the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab can take from about 30 minutes to an hour depending on venous access. Switching to the new subcutaneous injection could reduce treatment times to seven minutes.

NHS England anticipates that the majority of the approximately 3,600 patients starting treatment of atezolizumab annually in England will switch to the time-saving injection but some patients receiving intravenous chemotherapy in combination with atezolizumab may remain on the transfusion.

NHS National Director for Cancer Professor Peter Johnson said: “The world-first introduction of this treatment will mean that hundreds of patients can spend less time at the hospital and will free up valuable time in NHS chemotherapy units.

“Maintaining the best possible quality of life for cancer patients is vital, so the introduction of faster under-the-skin injections will make an important difference."

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