Breast cancer: New five-minute Phesgo treatment 'great'

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Paula Lamb

image copyrightThe Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

A woman with breast cancer has said becoming one of the first in England to be given a new five-minute treatment for the disease “feels amazing”.

A newly-approved remedy combines two treatments into a single injection, cutting the time needed to administer it by about two-and-a-half hours.

Paula Lamb was prescribed it by her “delighted” consultant at Merseyside’s Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC).

The 51-year-old said it was “great” the treatment was now so quick.

CCC said the treatment, known as Phesgo, combines two others – pertuzumab and trastuzumab – that are usually given separately as intravenous infusions into a single injection into the thigh.

Ms Lamb, from Newton-le-Willows, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and had been spending about two hours in hospital every three weeks.

After receiving the remedy at a CCC clinic in St Helens, she said it felt “amazing to be one of the first people to receive this treatment through this NHS scheme”.

‘Keeping patients safe’

She said she had received both medication, along with chemotherapy, since her diagnosis and it was “great that I can now get the same drugs in one injection that only takes a few minutes”.

“It did sting a little, but then it was fine,” she added.

“Now I’m free to go off and do what I want, rather than being sat here for a few hours.”

Consultant medical oncologist Dr Helen Innes said the centre was “always looking at how we can enhance care and make it more convenient for patients”.

NHS national clinical director for cancer Peter Johnson said the treatment would be offered to patients with HER2-positive breast cancer across the country.

As a result, about 15% of all breast cancer patients will be offered the remedy, either by itself or alongside chemotherapy.

He added that the NHS had “continued to adopt new treatments rapidly throughout the pandemic to improve cancer care for patients” and Phesgo was “the latest in a series of changes which have meant the NHS has been able to deliver vital cancer treatment while keeping patients safe from Covid”.

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