- Global Pharma News & Resources

Assessing the Top Four Cancer Markets

Assessing the Top Four Cancer Markets


Together, the four major cancer markets, which include colorectal, prostate, lung and breast cancer, were valued at well over $16 billion in 2005, which was an increase of 14 percent in value since 2004. Driving this growth are innovative new products, line extensions for existing products, and the coming of age of the biotech industry.
Last Updated: 27-Aug-2010

New Biologics revolutionizing treatment of colorectal cancer

The market for colorectal cancer therapies has increased by over seven-fold since 2000. The increase in the value of this market can be explained by new and improved chemotherapeutic agents now on the market, the introduction of key biologic therapies, and improved chemotherapeutic regimens which take into account various new options. The late-stage pipeline for colorectal cancer therapies is currently quite strong. With additional indications for Avastin and Erbitux in Phase III trials along with ABX-EGF and PTK/ZK, the market will continue to be influenced by groundbreaking new drugs.

Surgery and cytotoxic therapy are still important components in the successful treatment of colorectal cancer, and biologics for the most part, will continue to be prescribed in combination with chemotherapy during the next five years. The search for effective combination therapies and the potential for biologic monotherapies will be the primary drivers of this market during the next five years.

Hormonal Therapies continue dominance in prostate cancer market

The value of the prostate cancer therapy market is over $2.6 billion in 2005. Hormonal therapies continue to dominate the market, as they have proven to be the most effective at treating later-stage prostate cancer. However, with the looming approval of vaccines and angiogenesis inhibitors, and increased use of chemotherapy in metastatic disease, future treatment will take into account the benefits and disadvantages associated with all of these therapies.

Not only vaccines, but monoclonal antibodies, angiogenesis inhibitors, antisense products, and signal transduction inhibitors will all vie for market share in this area in the decade to come. Another strong driver of this market will be an increase in the number of patients due to the aging of the American and European populations.

Cytotoxics a mainstay in treatment of lung cancer

The market for the pharmaceutical treatment of lung cancer is still largely dominated by cytotoxics in 2005-2006, although targeted therapies are beginning to make an impact. There are currently seven major therapies which are indicated for the treatment of lung cancer, four of which are also indicated for other types of cancer. Biologics and targeted therapies will begin to make a significant impact on the lung cancer market during the next five years. Continued uptake of Tarceva and potential approvals for Avastin, Zactima, Erbitux and other new therapies will offset the decline in value that has come as a result of patent expirations in this market.

Cytotoxics will be increasingly prescribed in tandem with new, targeted agents, such as Avastin and Zactima. Since they will most likely be utilized along with standard cytotoxics in first-line therapy, Arrowhead anticipates that these drugs will make the strongest impact on the market within the next five years.

Value of breast cancer therapies continue to rise in a complex market

The breast cancer market is the most vibrant and dynamic of the four major cancer markets and has increased steadily since 2000. Currently, the market is divided between chemotherapeutic agents, anti-hormonals, and Herceptin. The strongest growth in recent years has been in the anti-hormonal sector, where aromatase inhibitors have made a significant impact. In 2004, this class of drugs garnered 34 percent of the total market for breast cancer therapy. Their endorsement by ASCO has signified an important shift in hormonal therapy for post-menopausal women. Sales of Arimidex and Femara, in particular, have grown quickly since 2001.

Eli Lilly's cytotoxic, Gemzar, in combination with Taxol was recently approved and will perform well in this market. The overall value of branded products should increase significantly during the next five years. Uptake of aromatase inhibitors, targeted therapies, and new cytotoxic combinations should increase patient options and result in increased competition and better clinical outcomes.