From The Cancer Chronicles #4
© 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

[More recent figures are available in Questioning Chemotherapy. Here is an analysis based on an earlier survey. --RWM]

The cancer business is booming. Cancer therapy product sales topped one billion dollars for the first time in 1989, according to a new report, "U.S. Market for Cancer Therapy Products," published by the market researchers, Frost & Sullivan. They estimate "the total cancer therapy market, from drug segments to equipment device products, at more than $1.03 billion in 1989. The forecast looks for this market to top $1.74 billion by 1993." The market continues its rapid growth: $313.3 million in 1981, $609.8 in 1985, and $705.6 in 1986.

Chemotherapy constitutes nearly three-quarters of this, while radiation takes 17.1 percent of market share. Hyperthermia, immuno-proteins and other more exotic products make up the rest. The report predicts, however, that chemotherapy will decline to 52.3% by 1993. Radiation therapy, also failing, will be down to 12.3%.

The market report, not intended for public consumption, is refreshingly candid about radiation and chemotherapy's drawbacks, such as "lack of specificity, with adverse side effects caused by damage to normal cells and tissue." Radiation equipment is "extremely expensive, and sales at present are suffering from cost containment pressures," the study says.

The 641-page report costs an incredible $5,500 and reviewer copies are not available. The above figures are quoted from a press kit from the research company. It predicts a surge in the sale of "newer, more effective forms of...immunotherapy" in the near future. This "triggers the body¹s own...defense mechanisms (i.e. antibodies), does not have to deal with the problem of distinguishing between normal and cancerous cells."

Among immuno-proteins, only alpha-interferon is currently on the market. But Frost & Sullivan say that several new products, beta- and gamma- interferon, as well as interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor will also come to market in 1990. In fact, they predict that such proteins will increase from a mere $60 million (5.8%) in 1989 to $428 million (24.6% share) by 1993.

Monoclonal antibody (MAB) conjugates, a still-experimental method which deliver cancer-killing substances to target tissues, should reach market by 1991. The study predicts rapid acceptance and a $158 million in sales for MABs by 1993 (or 9.1 percent market share).

Drug companies have not been caught off guard by the changes. In fact, 30 percent of new cancer products are already biotechnology-based products.

These projections are confirmed by the U.S. government¹s figures. According to the U.S. Census, sales of "specific antineoplastic agents" topped $452 million in 1986 and reached $566 million in 1987 (1988 figures, due in November 1989, are not out yet.)

Sales of biotech treatments for "autoimmune" diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are also booming. "Optimists predict sales someday of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, for effective treatments" (New York Times). "To chase these wonder drugs of tomorrow, companies are rushing to raise money and form alliances."

"The field is just exploding," said Hubert Schoemaker of Centocor. Merck, Pfizer and Sandoz are joining with small biotech companies to exploit new developments.

Sources: Frost & Sullivan, Inc., 106 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038. (212) 233-1080. Attn: Sheila A. McDonald; New York Times, 1/10/90. U.S. Department of Commerce ³Current Industry Reports: Pharmaceutical Preparations Except Biologicals (MA28G)² Beth Eldridge, Census Bureau, (301) 763-2414.

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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