England Introduces World's 1st 7-Min Cancer Injection: Medical Breakthrough

England's NHS takes the lead with an under-the-skin cancer injection, cutting treatment times by three quarters, offering hope to thousands.

England Introduces World's 1st 7-Min Cancer Injection: Medical Breakthrough

Friday September 01, 2023,

2 min Read

In a significant stride forward in cancer treatment, England's National Health Service (NHS) has become the world's pioneer in introducing an 'under the skin' cancer injection. This groundbreaking method has the potential to curtail treatment times by a staggering three quarters.

A Game-Changing Approval

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), on August 29, green-lighted the administration of the immunotherapy drug, atezolizumab, through a subcutaneous route. This move away from the traditional intravenous approach means that numerous eligible patients across England will now benefit from a more efficient drug delivery system.

About Atezolizumab

Produced by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, and marketed as Tecentriq, atezolizumab fortifies a patient's immune response, targeting cancer cells. The earlier standard treatment required an intravenous infusion, often taking up to an hour, and presented challenges especially for patients with hard-to-access veins. The drug, integral to the NHS's cancer treatment roster, is used to treat a variety of cancers, including lung, breast, liver, and bladder.

A Leap in Efficiency

The new subcutaneous method is a paradigm shift in efficiency, reducing treatment durations to approximately seven minutes. Marius Scholtz, Medical Director at Roche Products Limited, emphasised its rapidity, contrasting it with the 30 to 60-minute duration of intravenous infusions.

This advancement not only promises swifter patient care but also allows medical teams to serve a larger patient base daily. Dr. Alexander Martin, an oncologist at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, commended the move, emphasising the accelerated patient care it promises.

Adoption and Response

The NHS anticipates that a large segment of the 3,600 patients initiating atezolizumab treatment every year in England will transition to this expedited injection method. However, specific patients, especially those combining intravenous chemotherapy with atezolizumab, might continue with the transfusion-based treatment.

The healthcare community has hailed this transformative initiative, with Peter Johnson, the NHS National Director for Cancer, emphasising its potential in enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients.

This progressive step by the NHS not only embodies the relentless pursuit of improved patient care but also offers a beacon of hope for the future of cancer treatment. Through such innovations, healthcare systems globally can aspire to provide more efficient, timely, and compassionate care.