Vaccines are biological preparations that boost the inbuilt immune system's ability to fight against pathogens or microorganisms. Cancer vaccines help stimulate a person's immunity against cancer.
Cancer vaccines belong to a class of substances known as biological response modifiers. They improve the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections by stimulation or restoration of the immune system. They help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Prevention of certain types of cancer is possible with some of the vaccines. The three treatments of cancer are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy which have severe adverse effects; in contrast, the cancer vaccine strengthens the body’s immune system to heal itself -- an advancement in the cancer therapy that could prevent the cutting and burning of currently used cancer treatment. Cancerous cells express certain types of markers called cancer-specific antigens acting as identifiers for the body’s immune system to attack. In most cases, immune cells recognizes the cancerous cells and destroy them. Usually cancer vaccines are combined with other substances called adjuvant to help the immune system respond even better.
A combination of pharmacotherapy with cancer vaccines is preferred by physicians for the treatment of cancer. This combination therapy is not only efficient but also assists in improving the overall survival of cancer patients. The global cancer vaccines market is driven by factors such as increasing cancer incidence, rising aging population, globally growing awareness about vaccines, promising late-phase pipeline candidates, and government driven initiatives. In addition, advancements and increase in investment in health care services and sponsored patient-assistance schemes augment the growth of the cancer vaccines market. According to the World Health Organization, 14 million incidences of cancer and 8.2 million cancer deaths were recorded in 2012. Lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancers are the most common types of cancer. Thus, there is a rise in demand for vaccines to prevent and treat cancers. Today’s researchers are exploring other ways to boost the immune system’s response to cancerous cells. However stringent regulatory process for the approval of the cancer vaccines, Cold chain or temperature controlled supply chain management and low accessibility of cancer vaccines in remote areas are few of the market restraints for cancer vaccines.
Cancer vaccines are intravenously administered and can be prescribed to both children and adults. On the basis of vaccine type, the market can be segmented into preventive vaccines and therapeutic vaccines. Cancer vaccines intended for the prevention of cancer in healthy population are preventive (or prophylactic) vaccines; and cancer vaccines intended for the treatment of an existing cancer by boosting the ability of the body’s immune system to fight against the disease are therapeutic (or treatment) vaccines. The market share for therapeutic vaccines market is anticipated to increase globally due to its increased uptake.
Based on technology cancer vaccine is segmented into Antigen vaccine, Cancer stem cell vaccine, Heat shock protein vaccine, Anti-idiotype vaccines, Peptide/protein vaccines, Tumor cell vaccines, DNA- and vector-based vaccines.
Geographically, the global market can be distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Other cancer therapeutics such as chemotherapy and radiation account for a higher market share when compared to cancer vaccines. The smaller size of the cancer vaccines market is due to nascent stages of industry life cycle and late introduction of cancer vaccines in the market. Active investment by global companies for cancer vaccine product development is observed. Market penetration is expected to increase with rise in competition among various pharmaceutical companies to obtain a larger share of this market. Currently, North America dominates the market, with the U.S. accounting for a major market share. However, the Asia market is likely to witness a growth owing to government initiatives, rising focus of major players on the vaccine technology market in India, and growing immunization initiatives by WHO and GAVI.
Some of the key players in the cancer vaccines market include AstraZeneca plc, Prima BioMed, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Plc., Sanofi S.A, Merck Co, Inc., Aduro BioTech, Oxford BioMedica, Advaxis, Agenus CureVac NovaRx, Vaccinogen, OncoThyreon, Transgene SA, Oncovir, Inc. and UbiVac.
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