Introduction | Burden of Disease | Current Treatment Paradigm

Cancer - Burden of Disease


We are losing the winnable war against cancer.  Over recent decades, the incidence of cancer in industrialized nations has escalated to epidemic proportions, with lifetime cancer risks in the United States now approaching one in two for men and one in three for women.  For 2001, the estimated number of new cancer cases was 1.3 million; the estimated number of deaths from cancer, 550,000 (Greenlee et al., 2001).  The overall increase in the incidence of all cancers in the United States from 1950-1997 was 58 percent [Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), 1973-1997].  Similarly, a survey of 17 other major industrialized nations has shown that non-smoking related cancers are responsible for about 75 percent of the overall increased incidence of cancer since 1950 (Davis and Hoel, 1990).  This is in stark contrast to the death rate related to other major chronic disease ,such as cardiovascular disease, which have decreased substantially over the same period.“The World Cancer Report tells us that cancer rates are set to increase at an alarming rate globally" said Dr. Paul Kleihues, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and co-editor of the World Cancer Report.  The report notes that:

  • In the year 2000, malignant tumours were responsible for 12 per cent of the nearly 56 million deaths worldwide from all causes, and in many countries more than a quarter of deaths are attributable to cancer,
  • Cancer rates could further increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in the year 2020,
  • Cancer has emerged as a major public health problem in developing countries, matching its effect in industrialized nations.
  • The predicted sharp increase in new cases – from 10 million new cases globally in 2000, to 15 million in 2020 - will mainly be due to steadily ageing populations in both developed and developing countries and also to current trends in smoking prevalence and the growing adoption of unhealthy lifestyles.
  • While cancer rates have escalated, our ability to treat and cure most cancers (with the notable exception of the relatively rare childhood and testicular cancers), has remained largely unchanged for decades. Despite general impressions, the five-year survival rates for all cancers in the U.S. population from 1974 to 1990 only increased from 49 percent to 54 percent for all races.

Sales Of Cancer Therapeutics

Key points related to the Oncology therapeutic market:

  • Driven by the cytotoxic, adjunct and innovative drug classes, the cancer market grew by 16% in 1999 to a global value of almost $19bn, and is now poised on the verge of a period of significant expansion,
  • Oncology drugs forecast to grow at 10-15%per annum of the medium to long term (source: Datamonitoring Aug 2002),
  • Driven by USD15 billion in oncology drugs coming of patent in 2010 (source: Datamonitoring Aug 2002),
  • Total global interferon alpha sales for all indications including hepatitis B, C and several cancers were in excess of $2.9 billion in 2002.
  • is prescribed for chronic granulomatous disease to reduce the frequency of serious infections. Interleukin-2 is used in the treatment of cancer, notably renal cell carcinoma, metastatic melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute myelogenous leukemia For these GeneMedix has engineered cell lines and a process for both that is in early stage development. EGF (Epidermal growth factor), which is used for the treatment of burns, is also currently being developed by GeneMedix in China, ultimately for the Chinese market.
  • The interferon gamma generic products market was estimated to be AUD25 billion in 2000.
  • The estimated global value of the Erythropoietin market was AUD10 billion in 2000(not for Kancer company)