The need for effective supportive care in oncology will increase in the next decade as patients continue to live longer and cancer progresses to become more like a chronic disease. This includes the need for chemotherapy-related conditions, as chemotherapy will remain the backbone of cancer therapy for the foreseeable future, observes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The company’s latest report: ‘PharmaFocus: Supportive Care in Oncology’ states that while there are blockbuster treatments in the areas of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN), chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA), and bone metastases, other areas of supportive care in oncology are not as strong. The chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) features a wide array of treatment options but no blockbusters, while oral mucositis has a much smaller treatment portfolio and cancer cachexia currently has no approved treatments.
Supportive care increases patient quality of life, improves their chances of completing treatment, can reduce costs for healthcare institutions, and is fundamentally necessary given that patients are now living longer and cancer is becoming more like a chronic disease.
Arshad Ahad, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Despite the trends in oncology towards targeted therapies and new modalities of treatment such as immunotherapies, chemotherapy will remain the backbone of cancer treatment for the next five to 10 years. Thus, as the diagnosed incidence of cancer rises over the next decade, so will the diagnosed incident cases of chemotherapy-related conditions such as CINV.”
While the level of need varies greatly between them, unmet needs still remain in each indication. The greatest level of unmet need is present in cancer cachexia – an indication for which there are no products approved by the FDA, European Medicines Agency, or Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Thus, the main, over-arching unmet need in this indication is simply for any therapy to treat it. For indications where there are multiple therapy options already available, the unmet needs are much more granular and specific and thus the overall level of unmet need is lower.
Ahad adds: “There are opportunities for developers to rise to prominence within each indication by meeting an unmet need, including launching a therapy that addresses pain caused by bone metastases, an oral therapy for CIN, a safer or faster-acting agent for CIA, an effective and ideally non-topical treatment for oral mucositis, a therapy with more effective control of nausea for CINV, or merely any treatment for cancer cachexia.”
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.