Friday, 27 January 2017

Cancer Immunotherapies - Offering a Fighting Chance to Cancer Patients

Cancer is a deadly disease which has taken millions of lives globally. Modern treatments such as chemotherapy & radiotherapy have shown low success rates. Instead of directly treating the disease, doctors have decided to strengthen patients’ immune systems through a new treatment dubbed ‘’cancer immunotherapy’’.

Cancer Immunotherapies Market
Cancer Immunotherapies:

Cancer immunotherapies are used to strengthen the existing immune system. The immune system can detect foreign particles within the body & eliminate infection risks with the help of antibodies. But some cancers are tricky enough to attack the immune system’s cells. This lowers the body’s ability to fight infections.

Types of Immunotherapies:

Cancer vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and other non-specific therapies are the various immunotherapies.

Cancer vaccines : They are substances which prompt an immune response to diseases. Cancer vaccines are sometimes administered in combination with cells known as adjuvants. This helps boost their effect against cancer cells. Sipuleucel-T is the only cancer vaccine which is approved for mass production in the U.S. It is used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors :
These substances are attached to infection-responding cells. PD-L1 is a checkpoint on T-cells, a protein acting as a primary line of defense against cancer. Merck Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have launched “Keytruda” & “Opdivo” drugs to protect these checkpoints.

mAbs : Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) target the antigens on cancer cells. Naked, conjugated, and bispecific constitute their types. Naked mAbs such as Herceptin work against HER2 proteins in stomach & breast cancer cells. Conjugated antibodies work in conjunction with radiotherapy to target specific antigens.

Others : Cytokines and interferons are non-specific immunotherapies. Interleukins generate chemical signals between blood cells. IL-2 is an interleukin for treating advanced kidney cancer. Interferons are chemicals which defend viral infections.

Market Outlook:

The worldwide cancer immunotherapies market is set to reach around USD 112.1 billion by 2024. It can expand at a CAGR close to 24% in the forecast period (2016-2024). Unhealthy habits (like smoking) and prevalence of cancers drive the market.

The global industry is split according to immunotherapies, vaccines, end-users, and regions. mAbs had the largest shares in 2014 on account of approvals granted to mAbs drugs. Hospitals were the biggest end-user in 2016 due to the adoption of immunotherapeutic drugs. Prominent market players are BMS, Merck, Novartis AG, and Amgen, Inc.

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