Home breast cancer treatment offered in UK for first time

pharmafile | April 27, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Phesgo, a treatment for breast cancer, will now be offered to patients at home in the UK for the very first time, after The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester began providing it in its at-home service last week.

Phesgo is a combination of two drugs – trastuzumab and pertuzumab – which are used to treat the aggressive HER2-positive genetic variant of breast cancer once it has spread through the body.

Around 250 patients a month will now initially be given the treatment at home, which was previously administered as an an intravenous infusion in a healthcare setting, but will now be given as an injection. As a result, a typical maintenance dose will now take 30 minutes, rather than roughly four hours.

The Christie at Home NHS service in Manchester currently provides at-home treatments in eight different drugs for patients with a range of different tumours including lung, breast, melanoma, renal, and urology cancer. Patients usually become eligible for the service after two treatments in a healthcare setting, unless they had an adverse reaction to the therapy.

Around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, with about 25% of all cases being HER2-positive.

Stephanie Hechter, Chemotherapy Outreach Manager for The Christie, said: “The service has proved to be ideal during the COVID-19 pandemic as patients can be treated while shielding and it reduces footfall at The Christie. The nurses wear more PPE, but otherwise, the service is much the same as it was before COVID-19.

“For some patients, our nurse might be the only visit they get in weeks, so they look forward to it. Our patients find it much more convenient and it saves them long journeys and long waits. For those who are working, we try to be as flexible as possible and work around their commitments.”

Jack Goddard

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