The requirement for effective supportive care of cancer patients is expected to grow over the coming decade as survival rate increases and disease progression results in a chronic condition, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘PharmaFocus: Supportive Care in Oncology’, the report also forecasts that chemotherapy will continue to be the main treatment for oncology, leading to an increased need of drugs for its related conditions.

The associated disorders such as chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN), chemotherapy-induced anaemia (CIA), and bone metastases have ‘blockbuster’ treatments, which are currently lacking for various other areas such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), oral mucositis and cancer cachexia.

Supportive care is said to improve a patient’s quality of life and chances of completing treatment, as well as decrease costs for healthcare institutions. It is believed to become a necessity as patients are living longer and cancer progresses to become like a chronic disease.

“The report further predicts that the growing incidence of cancer diagnosis will be accompanied by the increase in diagnosed incident cases of chemotherapy-related conditions.”

For the next five to ten years, chemotherapy will continue being the backbone of cancer treatment despite emerging new trends and modalities such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies, states Arshad Ahad, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData.

The report further predicts that the growing incidence of cancer diagnosis will be accompanied by the increase in diagnosed incident cases of chemotherapy-related conditions.

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In addition, cancer cachexia is reported to feature the most unmet need as it currently does not have any therapies approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency or Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Such unmet need is considered to be lower for other conditions that have a variety of existing therapy options.

Ahad further added: “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.”