A new method of treating breast cancer is available from today, following trials in the North East.
Until now, women prescribed the drug Herceptin were forced to spend long periods in hospital on a drip. Each session took up to one and a half hours and took place every three weeks.
Now, patients can opt for an injection which delivers the same treatment in five minutes.
The breakthrough follows extensive trials at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, along with other centres across the UK.
Herceptin is used to treat a form of breast cancer called HER2-positive. Herceptin is known as 'targetted therapy' because it attacks the cancer cell directly without affecting healthy tissue.
In saving time, the new injection will also reduce costs for the NHS.
– Senior Policy Officer Sally Greenbrook
"This is a good example of how research can make improvements to patients' quality of life as well as saving considerable time and money for the NHS."
The charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer has welcomed today's development.