Cancer Treatment In 7 Minutes: UK's Health Service To Rollout Roche's Tencentriq Injection Cutting Treatment Time

The U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted approval to the National Health Service (NHS) to implement a seven-minute injection for cancer patients. 

Previously, patients undergoing the life-extending immunotherapy Roche Holdings AG's RHHBY Tencentriq (atezolizumab) received treatment through intravenous drug transfusion in hospitals. 

However, this process typically took around 30 minutes, potentially extending to an hour, especially when accessing veins posed a challenge for certain patients.

The change is set to take place within weeks, as eligible patients receiving atezolizumab treatment will benefit from the quicker and more comfortable under-the-skin (subcutaneous) injection method. 

Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy drug designed to empower the body's immune system to identify and eliminate cancer cells. 

Currently, NHS patients diagnosed with various cancers, including lung, breast, liver, and bladder, receive atezolizumab treatment through drug transfusions.

The injection method is expected to significantly improve the experience of approximately 3,600 patients annually in England who undergo atezolizumab treatment. 

While most will transition to the time-saving subcutaneous injection, patients receiving intravenous chemotherapy with atezolizumab will continue with the existing transfusion method.

The treatment will come at no additional cost to the NHS due to an existing commercial agreement between NHS England and pharmaceutical manufacturer Roche.

The introduction of subcutaneous atezolizumab follows the successful launch of another cancer treatment, Phesgo, in 2021. This therapy streamlined breast cancer treatment times to minutes, achieving rapid patient uptake in the NHS.

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