*The translation of this article in French and Portuguese has been made through machine translation and has not been edited yet. we apologise for any inaccuracies.
Oncology and haematology are among the fastest-evolving medical fields. Between January 2020 and March 2023, over 170 new oncology treatments were approved by the FDA. New approvals for the first quarter of 2023 include treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer, prostate cancer, and leukaemia.
Read about these new cancer treatments and upcoming oncology market research opportunities:
Lung cancer is the second most prevalent cancer worldwide, following breast cancer.* As of 2022, the treatment landscape for NSCLC lung cancer has continued to evolve, providing patients with new treatment options. Some of these approved therapies are:
- Fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki, the first targeted therapy for advanced NSCLC with the HER2 mutation.
- Adagrasib, the second drug to be approved for the treatment of advanced NSCLC with a KRAS G12C mutation.
- Nivolumab, approved for patients with early-stage NSCLC (IB-IIIA) in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy before surgery. This is the first immunotherapy approved for adjuvant use.
In January 2023, the FDA approved Pembrolizumab for adjuvant treatment following resection and platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with stage IB, II, or IIIA NSCLC.
In the Phase 3 clinical trial (KEYNOTE-091), Pembrolizumab reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 27% versus placebo, and the disease-free survival (DFS) improved by nearly two years (23.8 months). For the first time, there is an adjuvant immunotherapy treatment option for this type of NSCLC regardless of PD-L1 expression.
Breast Cancer Treatments
Since 2008, breast cancer incidence rates have increased globally by more than 20%, with mortality rates also increasing by 14%.* Among women, breast cancer is the most common cancer, making it the world’s most prevalent cancer today.
- Elacestrant, an estrogen receptor antagonist used to treat postmenopausal women and adult men with estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has a mutation in the ESR1 gene and is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. The medication binds to proteins called estrogen receptors, which are found in some breast cancer cells and may cause cancer cells to grow. Elacestrant blocks these proteins and may keep cancer cells from growing.
- Sacituzumab govitecan-hziy, is an antibody drug used to treat triple-negative breast cancer that has spread (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable locally advanced), among others. It is given to patients who have received two or more cancer treatments, including at least one treatment for metastatic disease. The medication interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed.
- Abemaciclib, a targeted therapy drug used alongside endocrine therapy to treat estrogen receptor positive, HER2 negative, and node-positive early breast cancer at high risk of recurrence. Patients defined as high risk include those having either four or more pathologic axillary lymph nodes or one to three pathologic axillary lymph nodes and either a grade 3 tumour or a tumour ≥ 50 mm. Abemaciclib was previously approved for the above high-risk population with the additional requirement of having a Ki67 score of ≥ 20%; the new approval removes the Ki67 testing requirement.
Prostate Cancer Treatments
According to WHO, prostate cancer is among the top five most common cancers worldwide and the second most commonly occurring cancer in men. Treatment usually includes surgery, radiotherapy, and/or systemic therapy (chemotherapy, hormonal treatments, targeted biological therapies).
In March 2022, Pluvicto was approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Pluvicto is a precision cancer treatment that combines a targeting compound (ligand) with a therapeutic radioisotope (a radioactive particle). The therapy works by locating prostate cancer cells that express a biomarker called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Once the biomarker is identified, the drug attaches itself to the cancer cell and delivers radiation that kills off the cell and others around it.
There are yet to be any new treatment approvals for prostate cancer by the FDA in 2023, however, multiple phase III clinical trials show promising results. Many of which are combination treatments of already approved drugs.
The findings from the Phase 3 TALAPRO-2 Study indicated that the Talazoparib and Enzalutamide combination therapy resulted in a 37% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. This treatment combination outperformed the placebo in treating this condition. The research team believes this new treatment combination will add significant clinical benefits for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Globally in 2020, leukaemia accounted for approximately 2.5% of all new cancer incidences and 3.1% of cancer-related mortality.* Chemotherapy is the main treatment for many kinds of leukaemia and radiation therapy is most often used to prevent leukaemia from spreading or to prepare the bone marrow for stem cell transplant.
Between 2021-2022, eight new treatment options were approved for leukaemia, including Olutasidenib for patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. This year, the FDA approved Zanubrutinib, a new treatment for people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).
Clinical trial results show that Zanubrutinib has fewer side effects compared with other non-chemotherapy treatments for naïve patients with CLL, which is the most prevalent form of leukemia in adults.
The treatment inhibits a protein called BTK that fuels the growth and survival of CLL cells. In clinical trials, after two years of treatment, more than 78% of patients receiving Zanubrutinib remained alive with no cancer growth, compared to 66% of patients receiving other treatments.
Upcoming Paid Market Research Opportunities for Oncologists and Haematologists
With more than ten new FDA-approved oncology treatments entering the healthcare market in the first quarter of 2023 alone, the demand for oncology market research will likely increase throughout the year. As hospitals, physicians, and patients are introduced to these new drugs and treatments, pharmaceutical companies seek continuous feedback from consumers about how they are used and perceived to further develop their products and services.
Market research in healthcare serves as a bridge between research and practice. It helps doctors and nurses improve quality, keeps patients safe, and provides data to track the ever-evolving healthcare system. It´s a way for life science organisations to gain insights directly from healthcare professionals and patients to make informed decisions about future applications and improvements.
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