Patients being treated for HER2-positive breast cancer with a combined drug therapy will be able to administer their treatment themselves with an injection. This could reduce the number of hospital visits for patients being treated at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre by up to 80% as the Centre develops its self-administration programme.
PHESGO® is a combined targeted drug treatment given as an injection to patients being treated for HER2-positive breast cancer alongside chemotherapy or on its own. Between 15 and 20 out of every 100 women with breast cancer (15 to 20%) have HER2-positive cancers.
Unlike most self-care treatment schemes, the programme being offered by the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood does not rely on a nurse coming to the patient’s home for an appointment, allowing them the flexibility to administer the injection themselves anywhere and at a time that suits them.
Patients who choose self-administration go through a comprehensive training and competency assessment with a nurse to assess their suitability. The Centre already offers self-administration treatment to all patients taking a different targeted cancer treatment called Herceptin.
Jane, 56, a patient from St Albans is being treated for breast cancer. Over many months Jane has travelled to Mount Vernon Cancer Centre every three weeks for chemotherapy and more recently to have the PHESGO® injection. Including time spent travelling, waiting and attending the appointment each visit amounted to about half a day. In addition, Jane was required to travel to hospital separately for a Covid test before treatment.
Jane said: ”Moving to self-administration saves so much time and stress. I’ve been able to return to work full time and I feel less of a ‘patient’ and more in control of my own life again which is so important psychologically after so many months of having no control. I can plan when I want to do my injection to suit what I’m doing and how I’m feeling on the day and I can go on holiday and take my injection with me.
“For my older teenage children it has meant having a Mum who is less tired and stressed by travelling to hospital and waiting for appointments which in turn means they worry less and can get on with their lives a bit more easily.”
Dr David Miles, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, said: “At a difficult time for our patients, the self-administration programme has allowed people to regain their independence and reduce their hospital visits. The Herceptin self-administration programme has been successful to date and patient feedback has been very positive. We hope to be able to offer this to many more patients as appropriate treatments become available.”
Dr Amy Guppy, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre said: “The self-administration programme has been made possible through the patient training provided by the nursing team and the Non-Medical Prescribing Pharmacists who ensure patients receive their treatment on time and administer it correctly.”