Innovative therapies needed to deal with rapid spread of cancer in
27 February 2009
Cancer may well surpass cardiovascular diseases as the primary case
of death in Europe by 2012. To prevent this from happening, cancer
therapeutics will have to shift in focus from the treatment of symptoms
to offering a total cure, despite the complex, multifactorial nature of
cancer indications, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan:
Issues; Trends and Prevalence in the European Cancer Therapy Market.
“As cancer spreads rapidly through Europe, therapy developers are
looking to improve the cancer treatment profile through technological
advances in diagnosis and treatment,” says an analyst from Frost &
Sullivan. “Innovative approaches to cancer therapy will help address
unmet medical needs as well as enable the prognosis of cancer
Several cancer indications such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
are associated with very high mortality rates. This shows that intense
technological improvements are needed to enhance the prognosis and
treatment of major cancer indications.
Treatment developers should aim to keep pace with the growing demand
for therapies that can improve patients’ quality of life.
“Treatments with fewer side effects and that can reduce hospital
stays are preferred over radical procedures such as surgery, wherever
feasible,” the analyst notes. “An increasing demand for minimally
invasive or non-invasive alternatives to existing treatments such as
chemotherapy and surgery is driving the growth of radiation therapy –
particularly in developed countries.”
The trend toward multimodality deals, along with digitisation and
price erosion are expected to drive consolidation in the cancer therapy
market. The healthcare market in Europe is cost constrained and the
purse strings are likely to tighten further with governments planning to
implement several cost-containment measures.
“Budgets for hospitals are being reduced, leading to an increase in
tendering arrangements between hospitals and companies, to reduce
prices,” observes the analyst. “This could result in the reluctance of
physicians to use adjuvant therapy or prescribe more expensive
therapies, which do not offer significant survival benefits.”
While these policies compel companies to keep their prices low,
extensive publicity about cancer mortality rates has ensured that there
is adequate focus on cancer research. Many public research organisations
and associations have been contributing substantially towards cancer
treatment research programmes, keeping the market buoyant.
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