Cancer cachexia is a complex metabolic condition which leads to progressive weight loss and depletion of host reserves of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Cachexia represents the clinical condition out of a chronic, systemic response that leads to rise in buildup of liver proteins and consequent depletion of essential amino acids. Cachexia causes additional problems as the patient becomes more prone to infections and less able to withstand the toxic effects of cancer therapies. Up to 80% of advanced cancer patients may suffer with cachexia and it has been implicated as the cause of death in up to 20%.
In cachexia the CD4 count drops below CD8 count having a major impact on the loss of appetite until the patient develops anorexia. The astonishing part is that the body still needs nourishment to perform day to day activity and withstand the chemotherapy treatment. To fulfill the unmet energy requirement it begins the breakdown of fat stores alternatively coined as glycogenesis. The metabolic activity of tumor or cancer cells is completely different from normal cell. Normal body cells metabolizes aerobically as compared to cancer cells which metabolizes anaerobically through a process of fermentation. In fermentation process the amount of sugar required is much higher than normal cell and hence leads to death of patient out of starvation or inability to feed tumor.
Cancer Cachexia Market: Drivers and Opportunities
Overall cachexia is characterized into three prominent stages namely pre-cachexia, cachexia and refractory cachexia. In pre-cachexia stage patients lose muscles mass despite the overall weight being unaffected. In cachexia the patient undergoes prominent weight loss and muscles depletion yet the weight loss can be controlled with the help of health supplements. In refractory cachexia, the reversal of weight loss is negligible even with the diet supplements however the symptoms of cachexia such as nausea or tiredness can be alleviated.
Currently there is no therapeutic agent approved for cachexia treatment, although two classes of drugs, progestins and steroids are commonly used off-label. Looking at the exponential rise in the global cancer patients and continuous demand for nutrient supplements for combating cancer and other immunological disorders many pharma giants are now in a process to develop novel vaccines or drugs to fulfill the unmet global demand which act as a prominent driver for the global cancer cachexia market. Some of the pipelined and available drugs in the cancer cachexia market include enobosarm, anamorelin hydrochloride, bimagrumab, dronabinol among others.
Cancer Cachexia Market: Region-wise Outlook
Geographically, though the demand for such cancer drugs and supplements are in great demand yet with respect to revenues the cancer cachexia market is currently dominated by developed economic countries such as the United States and Europe. Owing to rise in demand for novel and low cost medicines and increase in government interventions and university based research studies has led to significant growth and awareness among about such therapeutics among physicians as well as cancer patients.
Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World cancer cachexia market is expected to be the fastest growing cancer cachexia market due to past improvements in healthcare infrastructure and rise in cancer care centers. Looking at the untapped potential of the Asian and Middle East market many key players in the cancer cachexia market have focused their sales and manufacturing services towards these emerging and growing countries. Lack of approved therapeutics in the cancer cachexia market is major restraints to the growth and acceptance of drugs.
Cancer Cachexia Market: Key Players
Some of the prominent players in the cancer cachexia market include Aphios Corporation, Aeterna Zentaris Inc., Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc., XBiotech USA, Inc., Helsinn Healthcare S.A., Itis Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, and Novartis AG among other players in the cancer cachexia market.
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