A PIONEERING trial in Southampton has found a quicker way to treat blood cancer patients.

A new injection has been proven to treat patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) within five minutes, instead of the usual two-hours that it currently takes for an intravenous infusion to get to work.

It uses the same drug as before, but this new way of administering the drug means patients have to spend less time in hospital and medics can treat many more patients.

The trial, of which part was carried out at the University of Southampton, revealed that the injection of the drug, rituximab, worked just as effectively as the tradition treatment.

Dr Andrew Davies, consultant in medical oncology at the University of Southampton, said: “This is a new formulation of a drug we are very familiar with and have been using for many years.

“In the near future patients will be able to benefit from shorter, more convenient and potentially less complicated hospital visits.

“The greatly reduced administration time is not only a big plus for NHL patients, but also has the potential to ease the capacity burden in busy chemotherapy day units and allow more patients to be treated.

“In Southampton, we have observed a high degree of patient preference and satisfaction with this new formulation of rituximab.”