Dublin based market analysis firm Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Global Cancer Immunotherapy Market Outlook 2020” report to their available offerings.
The report notes that cancer immunotherapies have been evolving significantly with numerous products being introduced in the market. Additionally, many cancer immunotherapies are being tested in clinical trials to investigate their pharmacological and commercialization potential, with an array of novel cancer immunotherapies at different trial stages, many of which can be expected to enter the global market in coming years.
These pharmacological agents can be broadly divided in two classes: specific and non-specific cancer immunotherapy, with the basis of these classifications being their ability to identify specific antigen related to a particular malignancy. Modalities used for developing these medicines may be different but Research and Markets says all of them will involve the activation of immune system for elimination of cancer, and that in some cases, overlapping boundaries are quite possible because a single cancer immunotherapy may have multiple effects.
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) maintains that cancer immunotherapy — treatments that harness and enhance the innate powers of the immune system to fight cancer — represents the most promising new approach in cancer treatment since development of the first chemotherapies in the late 1940s.
The CRI observes that because of the immune system’s extraordinary power, its capacity for memory, its exquisite specificity, and its central and universal role in human biology, immunotherapy treatments have potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cancer cures, with few or no side effects, and for any cancer patient, regardless of their cancer type.
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America notes that cancer may develop when the immune system breaks down or is not functioning adequately. Immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy works by either stimulating your immune system to attack cancer cells or providing your immune system with what it needs, such as antibodies, to fight cancer.
The American Cancer Society calls our attention to the fact that cancer cells are different from normal cells in the body, for example sometimes having unusual substances on their outer surfaces that can act as antigens. However germs are very different from normal human cells and are often easily seen as foreign, whereas cancer cells and normal cells have fewer clear differences. Because of this, the immune system doesn’t always recognize cancer cells as foreign. Consequently, cancer cells are less like soldiers of an invading army and more like traitors within the ranks of the human cell population.
THe ACS observes that there are clearly limits on the immune system’s ability to fight cancer on its own. Many people with healthy immune systems still develop cancer. Sometimes the immune system doesn’t see the cancer cells as foreign because the cells are not different enough from normal cells. Sometimes the immune system recognizes the cancer cells, but the response might not be strong enough to destroy the cancer. Cancer cells themselves can also give off substances that keep the immune system in check. To overcome this, researchers have found ways to help the immune system recognize cancer cells and strengthen its response so that it will destroy them.
The cancer immunotherapy (also sometimes called biological therapy and biotherapy) general classification actually includes many types of cancer treatments, some of which stimulate the body’s own immune system to fight the disease — either by boosting the immune system in a general way, or by training it to attack some part of cancer cells specifically.
Cancer immunotherapies harbor targeted therapeutics for treatment of some malignancies, and have been made to target few antigens putatively linked to the cancerous cells. As a result, they have been introduced for limited malignancies due which large unmet medical necessities are observed in this segment. This fact was recognized by pharmaceutical companies and they started to lay emphasis on identification of new biomarkers.
Biomarker identification followed by their development is a complex process and requires lots of time. This issue was solved by using knowledge from bioinformatics and allied fields which has been able to save time, investments and precious resources. However, pharmacological and commercialization potential of cancer therapeutics based on novel biomarkers would be known by clinical data.
Research and Markets observes that the versatility of these cancer immunotherapies allows them to be administrated for different cancer indications due to which their market share is increasing. Different cancer immunotherapy products have different pharmacological profiles due to which some products show higher acceptance rates than other cancer immunotherapies. However, they have superior pharmacological capabilities as compared to their conventional counterparts.
Other treatments under the immunotherapy umbrella, also known as targeted therapy, use immune system components (such as proteins known as antibodies) that are made in the lab. Some of these boost the immune system once they enter the body, while others don’t really affect the immune system much, if at all, but rather the antibodies themselves target certain proteins that help cancer cells grow. By binding to these proteins, the antibodies stop cancer cells from growing or even better make them die.
The main types of immunotherapy currently being used to treat cancer include:
Monoclonal antibodies – man-made versions of immune system proteins. Antibodies can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.
Cancer vaccines – substances put into the body to initiate an immune response that can help prevent or treat cancer.
Non-specific immunotherapies – treatments that stimulate the immune system in a general way to increase activity against cancer cells. Some examples include man-made versions of cytokines, a chemical in immune cells, such as interleukins and interferons.
Immunotherapy drugs are now used to treat many different types of cancer. Some of the products belonging to cancer immunotherapy were introduced few decades ago, while others have received marketing approval in past few years. Research and Markets notes that cancer immunotherapeutics as a segment seems to be quite dynamic, having has received highly developed products which have been absent in other cancer therapeutic categories. A large number of products belonging to different categories have opened up myriad choices for patients to choose suitable products according to their particular necessities. Cancer immunotherapeutics have been able to dominate the cancer market segment of pharmaceutical industry — a trend that is expected to continue for several years more at least.
Research and Markets notes that new modalities, biomarkers and underlying principles are expected to be introduced in global market in coming years. These changes are expected to be propelled by increased fundings and technological advancement in the field of cancer immunotherapeutics — a scenario indicating that they are going to play an important role in the treatment of various malignancies and that cancer immunotherapies are going to have a promising future.
For more information visit:
Research and Markets
Cancer Research Institute (CRI)
The American Cancer Society
Cancer Treatment Centers of America