According to the study “Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics in Asia-Pacific Markets to 2023-Launch of Premium Immunotherapies and Increasing Prevalence to Drive the Market”, all the cancer therapeutic includes an array of tools at the disposal of clinicians in the treatment of cancer. However, head and neck cancer are tough situations and typically include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery. These procedures are not often enough to get rid of cancer. All the cancer cells in a human body become resistant to the any type of treatments and more research is needed to overcome drug resistance. Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common cancer, and the number of incidents is growing in Asia-Pacific region. Head and neck cancers develop inside the mouth, nose and throat. HNC is common among the ages of 55 and 64. Head and neck cancer cases are increasing drastically every year along with related deaths. It is occurring due to human papillomavirus that is increasing every year. HNC is decreasing due to smoking incidences and is most common in the middle aged population.
Every type of cancer in human body is driven by multiple, possibly dozens of somatic genetic mutations that drive cell autonomous changes in the signalling pathways. These changes ultimately influence cell growth characteristics and tumorigenicity in a human body. Cell growth indicates how a cancer cell interacts with the microenvironment, determines whether or not life-threatening metastasis is occurring and dictates the fate of cancer stem cells. In the genomics era, advancements in the medical sciences has led to the development of characterizing the genetic makeup of individual tumors, providing a potential roadmap to cancer and its treatment. All the cancer therapeutic are developed with the involvement of sophisticated molecular tools, genetically defined preclinical animal models, clinical tumor samples, and functional genomics to identify and validate either new drugs and therapeutic opportunities or to improve the outcomes of the existing therapies. Majority of the pharmaceutical companies are focusing from drug development to cancer diagnostic devices because can they help in diagnosing, monitoring, and administering drugs in the cancer treatment process. Cancer diagnostic devices help pharmaceutical companies to develop specific drugs to treat cancer. Roche’s cobas EGFR mutation test is an example to diagnoses head and neck cancers.
Various treatments in head and neck cancer involve chemotherapies, targeted therapies (anti-EGFR), and immunotherapies (PD1/PD-L1 inhibitor). In the Asia-Pacific region four targeted therapies are available for HNC such as Erbitux, BIOMAb EGFR, Opdivo, Keytruda and the rest are generics. EGFR and PD-1/PD-L1 are the most commonly used therapies in HNC along with many innovative products which reflects a deepening scientific understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of HNC. Keytruda and Opdivo are approved in many countries such as Australia, South Korea and Japan. Avelumab (a PD-L1 inhibitor) is liable to be approved in Asian-Pacific countries as it is undergoing Phase III trials in Japan, Australia and South Korea. The leading companies involved premium immunotherapies in Asia-Pacific are Biocon, Biotech Pharmaceutical Co., Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, MedImmune, Merck & Co. and Pfizer.
It was observed that there are many innovative products in the developing stage for head and neck cancer. A deep scientific understanding is required in the area of underlying pathophysiology of head and neck cancer (HNC) and the growing list of molecules that have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this disease. There are various factors contributing to the adoption, limitations, and opportunities in the head and neck cancer therapeutics in Asia-Pacific markets. The increase in aging population with increased prevalence of chronic diseases, especially in head and neck related cancers has led to the launch of premium immunotherapies in Asia-Pacific. These trends will witness a launch in the various immunotherapies across the Asia-Pacific region in the next few years.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications