Availability of Advanced Diagnostics at a Reduced Cost to Benefit Cancer Patients Worldwide
After the completion of the human genome project in 2003, the cost of assembling one genome has reduced tremendously and cut down the time of analysis with the development of highly-advanced sequencing equipment. For instance, in January 2014, Illumina Inc. launched the HighSeq X Ten Sequencer, which cut down the cost of genome sequencing to as low as US$ 1,000 including reagents cost, sample preparation equipment depreciation cost, etc. Further advancements may continue to pull down the cost of genome sequencing for cancer diagnosis to less than a cost of an X-ray, which would enhance the accessibility of this technology and thus enhance the adoption of cancer diagnostics. This would also facilitate the use of highly-advanced cancer diagnostic technologies by smaller cancer diagnostics research and clinical laboratories who have less technical expertise and low resources, which is expected to benefit the cancer diagnostics market greatly.
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Meeting the Needs of Hospital Laboratories: Huge Opportunity for Players in the Global Cancer Diagnostics Market
Attributing to the healthcare cost containment in a majority of mature markets, hospital-based cancer diagnostic laboratories are facing pressure to supply more services at reduced costs. Healthcare facilities are catering to the increased aging population and witnessing a rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases. By 2018 end, almost 10% of the global population is expected to be aged 65 & above. This imposes cost management pressure on cancer diagnostic laboratories and general diagnostic laboratories.
Thus, majority of diagnostic laboratories have started adopting informatics solutions, which help them increase overall productivity within the existing resources. In line with this, manufacturers of diagnostic tests can grab the opportunity to provide complementary services and support to hospital-based cancer diagnostic laboratories. These services would help high-burden cancer diagnostic laboratories to reduce unexpected down time and better manage laboratory workflow. For instance, Abbott Laboratories recently launched AlinIQ support and services to help its laboratory partners manage operations to maximize throughput and capacity. The company is also planning to launch next-generation systems for point-of-care testing, immunoassay, clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, etc. BioMérieux’s LEAN lab assessment program is witnessing increased diagnostic laboratory productivity by up to 30%.
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Cancer Biomarkers Continue to be the Most Rapidly Advancing Field in Cancer Diagnostics
The number of biomarkers that can be utilized for early cancer detection from blood or plasma samples is continuously expanding, which is expected to bring new cancer biomarker tests in the market in nearest future. These cancer biomarkers can be used as screening tests or cancer diagnostics in the general population or for early diagnosis of specific cancer.
Advancements in cancer biomarkers, coupled with the introduction of sophisticated cancer diagnostic technologies such as microarray and automated sequencing would bring about revolutionary changes in the cancer diagnostics market. For instance, researchers at the University of Sheffield have recently identified over 700 new blood biomarkers that can be used for early cancer diagnosis. As per OECD statistics, the global biomarkers market for companion diagnostics was valued at US$ 5.2 Bn in 2012 and raked US$ 8.4 Bn by 2016. The growth in companion diagnostics is indicative of the acceptance of biomarkers in healthcare systems and may offer attractive incentives for biomarkers’ business development in cancer diagnostics.
Despite Advances in Molecular Diagnostics, Imaging Techniques Remain Mainstay in the Cancer Diagnostics Market
Multiple imaging techniques are used in all phases of cancer screening, cancer diagnostic, and treatment management and thus, are an essential part of clinical protocol. Imaging has become an important aspect of cancer screening and cancer diagnosis and recent progress in tumor imaging technologies has improved the diagnosis of five common cancers including breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers. For instance, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation has developed an ultrasound technology MicroPure for the early detection of microcalcification in breast tissue. With the increasing demand for PET cameras, technology has gone evolved to cut down the time for image processing. The introduction of PET/CT has enabled the acquisition of morphological and functional information.
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Biopsy Segment Dominates the Global Cancer Diagnostics Market in Terms of Revenue
For a majority of cancers, biopsy is the primary test a physician would prescribe and thus, it holds the largest share in the global cancer diagnostics market. Even though liquid biopsy is becoming more popular due to its non-invasive nature, to obtain an accurate diagnosis, solid tumour biopsies or tissue biopsies are still preferred. New developments in fine needle aspiration tools for cancer diagnosis for different indications including lung cancers, head and neck cancers, advanced breast cancer among others have led to the increased demand for tissue biopsy. Majority of lung cancers are diagnosed in the late stage of where fine needle aspiration biopsy is the only possible test done to confirm the cancer presence.
Lung Cancer Indication Segment is the Most Lucrative for Manufacturers of Cancer Diagnostics
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers across the globe and is the cause for thousands of deaths each year. However, the incidence and pattern of lung cancer show huge variations among geographic regions, ethnicity, etc. The screening of lung cancer patients, thus, presents difficulties to healthcare systems across the globe. In one recent study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences India, screening of lung cancer patients with low dose computed tomography (CT) showed ~20% reduction in lung cancer deaths, but with 95% false positive rate. New techniques of lung cancer diagnostic and screening are thus immediately needed. The development of specialized biomarker tests for non-small cell lung cancer by key players in the cancer diagnostic industry is expected to benefit patients. In 2014, Medicare spent US$ 38.3 Mn on lung cancer diagnosis in the U.S. and biopsy held a significant proportion of the lung cancer diagnostic tests conducted in 2014.