A world-first rapid cancer treatment, delivered with a seven-minute injection, is expected to reduce treatment times by up to 75% for some patients in Britain.
The treatment has previously only been administofered through intravenous therapy (when a medicine is delivered into a vein).
Around 3,600 patients are expected to benefit from the rapid treatment injection each year, according to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
The rapid treatment
The medication, atezolizumab, is an immunotherapy drug, meaning it can boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer (separate from chemotherapy, which works directly to kill cancer cells).
This medication is designed to fight lung, liver, skin, and bladder cancer.
The NHS says the rollout of the “swifter and more comfortable under the skin injection” will free up “valuable time” in cancer wards.
It’s unclear if the rapid treatment version of atezolizumab will be considered for trial in Australia, but the drug is available to cancer patients here via intravenous treatment.
Access to the drug was expanded in October under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making treatment more affordable for patients.