COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Cancer Therapies is projected to reach US$220.5 billion by 2025, driven by the rise in cancer prevalence to epidemic proportions and the still ongoing search to find effective treatments for the disease. Despite decades of research costing billions of dollars, a cure for cancer still remains elusive. This fact when juxtaposed with the epidemic spread of cancer will result in the disease emerging into the single most difficult to tackle public healthcare burden in the coming years. The pressure is therefore intensifying to research and develop newer and more effective therapies and treatment options. The reason why cancer is complex is due to its ability to continuously evolve and undergo molecular, genetic changes that affect behavior and response of tumor cells. Cancer cells evolve myriad ways to sabotage, stymie and trick the immune system preventing it from recognizing cancer cells, making the disease more resilient, aggressive and deadly. This has profound implications for the progression of the disease despite interventional therapies. Also, there are over 100 types of known cancer types. In addition the genetic diversity of tumors especially intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity makes finding a cure a challenge which the medical community continues to grapple with. Although the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has increased understanding of the diversity of cancer types, the disease continues to elude a cure while continuing to stretch the boundaries of medical science and understanding. Significant research is still required to understand the vast diversity of tumor gene expression, mutations and drug sensitivities.
Against the backdrop of tumor diversity, the universal "one size fits all" therapy which is the current standard of care is primitive. Therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, although help increase survival rates are beset with side-effects as they act as sledgehammers that destroy even healthy dividing cells at the cellular level. There is an urgent need for developing newer ways to target cancer`s diversity and evolution. While a cure for cancer is unlikely, targeted therapies will witness huge gains for their better prognosis. Targeted therapies revolve around identifying major pathways responsible for the disease and its progression and administering specific drugs targeting these pathways. Targeted therapies have lower side effects and are more effective than conventional therapies. However, targeted therapy increases the risk of emergence of treatment-resistant phenotypes. As an antidote to this problem is the interest shed on combined therapy targeting, stem cell transplants, molecular targeted therapy, and nanotechnology. Will these emerging therapies offer new paradigms in cancer treatment in the future, is however a question which only time will answer. Nevertheless, new advancements being made infuse optimism. For instance, scientists are close to identifying the key molecule involved in cancer`s mix and match diversity and evolution. Dubbed as DHX8, the protein influences the fundamental process in a cell called "alternative splicing`. Aberrations in alternative splicing are linked to cancer`s progression and drug resistance. Drugs targeting the DHX8 Gene can likely help us find the elusive chink in cancer`s biological armor allowing us to finally steal a march over this complex disease. An exciting future currently awaits cancer therapies through 2025 despite all the challenges involved. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 68% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 11.2% over the analysis period supported by the massive strides taken by the country in developing affordable next-generation therapies. Aggressive reforms in drug regulations and approval mechanisms have helped China emerge into the second largest pharmaceutical industry worldwide.