Cytokines are molecular messengers that allow the cells of the immune system to communicate with one another, to generate a coordinated, robust, but self-limited response to a target antigen. There are two types of cytokines used to treat patients with cancer, namely, interferons (INFs) and interleukins (ILs). A third type, called hematopoietic growth factors, is used to counteract some of the side effects of certain chemotherapy regimen. The growing interest, over the past two decades, in harnessing the immune system to eradicate cancer has been accompanied by heightened efforts to characterize cytokines and exploit their vast signaling networks, to develop cancer treatments. They directly stimulate immune effector cells and stromal cells at the tumor site, and enhance tumor cell recognition by cytotoxic effector cells. Numerous animal tumor model studies have demonstrated that cytokines have broad anti-tumor activity, which has been translated into a number of cytokine-based approaches for cancer therapy. Cytokines have proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer, and may continue to play a major role in the development of cancer immunotherapy. Cytokines are finding increasing acceptance in cancer therapy over the world.
Key Market Trends
Application in Cancer is Expected to Hold the Largest Share of the Market
The mixture of cytokines that is produced in the cancer microenvironment has an important role in cancer pathogenesis. Cytokines that are released in response to infection, inflammation and immunity can function to inhibit cancer development and progression. Alternatively, cancer cells can respond to host-derived cytokines that promote growth, attenuate apoptosis and facilitate invasion and metastasis. To circumvent these impediments, cytokines are have been investigated clinically with new engineered cytokine mutants (superkines), chimeric antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (immunokines), anticancer vaccines, checkpoint inhibitors, and cancer-directed monoclonal antibodies to increase their antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or sustain cellular responses and anticancer efficacy.
Moreover, the demand for this therapy is expected to increase as Cancer Research UK suggests that the population suffering from cancer is expected to increase in the future. As per the report, if recent trends in incidence of major cancers and population growth are consistent, it is predicted there will be 27.5 million new cancer cases worldwide each year by 2040, as
comapred to 17 million in 2018. This factor is, hence, expected to help the market growth.
North American Region Holds the Largest Market Share of the Cytokine Market
North America is dominating the cytokine market, due to the rising prevalence of cancer in the region. Numerous animal tumour model studies have demonstrated that cytokines have broad anti-tumour activity, which has been translated into a number of cytokine-based approaches for cancer therapy. As per the American Cancer Society, there were an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States, numbers which are expected to rise in future. Augmenting growth in the R&D of cancer therapy, along with lesser side effects (as compared to chemotherapy), has predisposed cytokine therapy, which is a non-specific immunotherapy. This factor has increased the market share of cytokines among cancer therapies, in the United States.
The cytokine market consists of several major players. The comapanies are implementing certain strategic initiatives, such as a mergers, new product launches, acquisitions, and partnerships, which help them in strengthening their market position. For instance, in October 2017, US FDA approved Stelara (ustekinumab) for the treatment of adolescents with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, which is developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica.
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