This News Covers
The American Cancer Society's recent report indicates a consistent reduction in the U.S. cancer mortality rate over the past thirty years. The research published in the ACS Journals - A Cancer Journal for Clinicians - was authored by Rebecca L. Siegel MPH, Kimberly D. Miller MPH, Nikita Sandeep Wagle MBBS, MHA, PhD, Ahmedin Jemal DVM, PhD. -
MarketsandMarkets welcomes this development and our editors share their views.
Cancer Moonshot – Bringing all of America Together Against Cancer
Cancer Moonshot - an initiative launched in 2016 - funded by the '21st Century Cures Act' passed in 2016 aims to cut cancer related deaths by half in the next 25 years.
MarketsandMarkets analysts estimate that the global cancer diagnostics market in terms of revenue is poised to reach $26.6 billion by 2026. Whereas, global cancer biomarkers market is poised to reach $28.2 billion by 2026.
Which top industries will be impacted?
Healthcare Industry: A decrease in the cancer death rate will have substantial implications for the healthcare industry. Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities might see reduced patient loads and might need to reconsider their allocation of resources. Pharmaceutical companies that produce cancer drugs may also be impacted, with potential decreases in demand for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other cancer treatments. However, this could also foster more investment in preventive care and healthcare technologies.
Insurance Industry: The health and life insurance sectors may see shifts due to this news. A decrease in cancer-related deaths may lead to changes in policy pricing and underwriting strategies. Lower cancer death rates could potentially decrease life insurance payouts and alter the calculations that go into setting insurance premiums.
Research and Development: Organisations involved in cancer research, including universities, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, might experience changes in funding allocation. If cancer deaths are decreasing, funding might be directed more towards prevention and early detection methods, or towards other diseases that are now becoming more prominent.
Non-Profit Sector: Charitable organizations focused on cancer research, patient support, and awareness campaigns might see changes in donations or operational strategies. The reduction in cancer deaths may cause some donors to shift their support to other causes, requiring these organizations to adapt their messaging and strategies.
Health Tech: A decrease in the cancer death rate could potentially stimulate more investment and innovation in health tech and AI sectors focused on preventive healthcare solutions, early detection tools, and personalized medicine.
Employment and Economy: If fewer people are dying of cancer, that means more people remaining in the workforce longer, which could impact a variety of sectors. This could lead to an economic boost but also put additional pressure on social security and retirement systems.
Public Health: A significant reduction in cancer mortality will also have broad implications for public health policy and planning, including health education and preventative measures.
Communities are set to play a major role in leading the reduction of cancer related deaths, as will the digital therapeutics.
What role is the National Cancer Institute playing?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is making significant investments to expedite the development and delivery of new cancer drugs and vaccines. Their strategy includes increasing funding for investigator-initiated research proposals, which can deepen the understanding of complex cancer biology and stimulate strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The NCI also plans to expand the NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) program, which helps move promising drugs from early-stage discovery to FDA review and approval.
Moreover, the NCI is committed to ensuring access to both current and new cancer care standards. They will enhance research in implementation science, which focuses on how care is accessed and aims to ensure effective interventions are readily available in local communities. This involves identifying and overcoming barriers to the uptake of these methods, thereby promoting equitable benefit from cancer research advances.
Additionally, the NCI is set to introduce programs to increase diversity in the cancer research workforce. Recognizing that a vibrant, diverse team is crucial to addressing cancer's challenges, they aim to attract scientists from varied backgrounds and improve inclusion within training environments.
How will this impact North American Hospitals?
Some of the top hospital chains by revenue or size in North America that focus on cancer treatment include:
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
These developments are likely to impact these hospital chains in several ways:
Increase in Patient Volume: The global increase in treated patients and the high number of oncology trials might lead to an increase in patient volume, requiring hospitals to expand infrastructure and resources to cater to this demand.
Financial Impact: The expected increase in spending on cancer medicines could boost hospital revenues but might also put pressure on the hospitals to manage the costs of these treatments, especially given the rising costs of cancer drugs.
Racial Disparities: The underrepresentation of Black/African American and Hispanic patients in oncology clinical trials could drive initiatives to increase diversity in these trials and in the hospitals' overall patient demographic.
Emergence of Biopharma Companies: The rise of emerging biopharma companies could create opportunities for partnerships and collaborations. However, it could also present challenges as these companies might compete with the hospitals for resources and talent.
Clinical Trials and Drug Development: The growth in products under development could increase the hospitals' involvement in clinical trials, leading to the need for more resources and staff training. The decline in large pharma companies' share in the oncology pipeline might also present opportunities for the hospitals to collaborate with these companies on new projects.
Mortality Rates and Quality of Life: The decline in overall cancer death rates and the focus on quality of life as an important measure could influence the hospitals' strategies in terms of patient care, treatment approaches, and resource allocation.
Given these potential impacts, these hospital chains would need to strategically plan for these developments and continue to adapt and innovate in their approaches to cancer treatment and care.
How will this impact global oncology product development?
We quote the IQVIA report released in May 2023 -
The number of products under development in oncology has grown significantly over the last decade, with more than 2,000 products currently under development.
Increased efficiency in dealing with cancer, better ability to avert deaths is a constant endeavour and mission. As part of their efforts, several biopharma companies are invested in creating better oncology products.
- Increased Demand: The surge in global treated patient numbers and spending on cancer medicines points to increased demand for effective cancer treatments. This creates a market incentive for developing new and better drugs.
- More Clinical Trials: The high level of oncology trial starts suggests an active development environment, which could lead to faster development and approval of drugs and increase competition, prompting companies to innovate.
- Emerging Biopharma's Role: Emerging biopharma companies are playing a dominant role in the oncology pipeline, suggesting a shift towards smaller, more agile companies in drug development. This could potentially lead to more innovative approaches and solutions in cancer treatment.
- Focus on Underrepresented Groups: The data on underrepresentation of certain racial groups in clinical trials highlights the need for more inclusive drug testing. This can result in the development of treatments that are effective across a wider range of population demographics, taking into account the genetic variations and responses to treatments.
- Significance of Mortality Rates: The emphasis on changes in age-adjusted mortality rates as a crucial indicator of progress against cancer may lead to a focus on developing drugs that not only treat cancer but also improve survival rates and quality of life.
- Large Pharma's Decreased Share: The decreasing share of large pharma companies in oncology product development might lead to more collaboration opportunities between large and small companies, with large companies potentially acting as distributors or providing resources and funding to smaller companies.
- Interest in Preventative Measures: With an understanding that increasing incidence rates can sometimes be due to overdiagnosis and not necessarily indicative of actual disease occurrence, there might be a future emphasis on developing products that also focus on prevention and early detection.
- Balancing Costs and Efficacy: The considerable increase in spending on cancer drugs implies that cost-effectiveness will be an important factor in future product development. Developers will need to balance creating effective oncology drugs with making these drugs accessible and affordable.
These factors together suggest a future of oncology product development that is more inclusive, innovative, and patient-centered, with an increased focus on survival rates, prevention, early detection, and affordability.