Originally published in Pharma’s Almanac

The healthcare burden of cancer is increasing worldwide. There were an estimated 18 million new cancer cases in 2018,1 a 28% annual increase from 2012. Alarmingly, by 2030, annual diagnoses are expected to increase another 31% to 23.6 million new cases per year.

The Cancer Burden

Contemplating both the ominous increase in cancer rates and its biological drivers, reviewing the oncology landscape becomes akin to studying the military strategies of Attila the Hun. The story is one of deception, traitorous conversion, brute force and surrender. Cancer cells’ number-one priority is to survive, thrive and expand their territory.

Until recently, the medical community’s primary strategy to battle cancer was to reduce or eliminate cancer cells or cancerous masses by surgery, radiation, cell-killing chemotherapy or a combination of the three. Because of an incredible array of scientific, biological, medical and therapeutic advancements, there is now a diverse set of treatment approaches — many still in various stages of development.

An Expanding Arsenal

The expanding set of treatment options include more efficacious and less toxic chemotherapies, targeted therapies, hormone therapies, stem cell transplants, increasingly sophisticated biomarkers, immunotherapies, therapeutics utilizing cancer’s metabolic behaviors and a growing understanding of ways to deliver on the promise of precision medicine.

Immunotherapy, currently the darling of the oncology world…continue reading article