Radiotherapy is used for the treatment of cancer. Currently, more than 50% of the patients suffering from cancer are prescribed with radiotherapy. Radiotherapy kills the cancer cells or slows down progression of the disease by using high-energy rays such as X-rays. Heavy-ion radiotherapy uses carbon ions, which are accelerated at a speed of approximately 70% of that of light before attacking the body tumor. Carbon ions are usually used due to their selective irradiation property and effectiveness in killing the tumor cells. Heavy-ion radiotherapy offers numerous advantages over conventional radiotherapy. These include painless therapy, short duration of treatment, suitability for application on X-ray-resistant tumors, and good tolerance observed in elderly patients. Also, in heavy-ion radiotherapy, a high dose of beams can be bombarded on the cancer cells, maintaining a lower dose of beams on the adjacent delicate organs such as the spinal cord and the skull. This makes heavy-ion radiotherapy suitable for application on deeply placed cancer cells and tumors close to vital tissues. Heavy-ion radiotherapy systems consist of two parts: patient-handling system and tracking irradiation therapy system. Currently, heavy-ion radiotherapy is used for the treatment of prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, bone and soft tissue cancer, cerebral arteriovenous malformation, juvenile angiofibroma, and other benign tumors. The heavy-ion radiotherapy treatment is available at a very few hospitals worldwide including Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany; Gunma University, Japan; and Osaka Heavy Ion Therapy Center, Osaka, Japan.
Increased prevalence of cancer, less-side effects associated with heavy-ion radiotherapy, and rise in the adoption of the therapy in developed countries are some of the factors expected to propel the global heavy-ion radiotherapy market during the forecast period. High costs associated with the treatment are projected to hamper the heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market in the near future.
The global heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market can be segmented based on indication, end-user, and region. In terms of indication, the heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market can be classified into prostate cancer, lung cancer, bone and soft tissue tumor, and others. The prostate cancer segment dominated the market in 2017 and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This can be attributed to factors such as proven efficiency of heavy-ion radiotherapy systems against prostate cancer and less side-effects compared to conventional X-ray radiotherapy. Based on end-user, the heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market can be segregated into hospitals, research institutes and others. In 2017, the hospitals segment accounted for a leading market share and the trend is expected to continue from 2018 to 2026.
In terms of region, the global heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to account for a prominent share of the global heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market during the forecast period. Technological advancements and increase in preference for heavy-ion radiotherapy systems in countries of Asia are likely to propel the heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. Gunma University Hospital, Japan is equipped with the world's first heavy-ion radiotherapy system for worldwide use. To date, it has treated more than 2,000 cancer patients across the globe. The heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market in North America is expected to expand at a high CAGR between 2018 and 2026. This high growth rate can be attributed to availability of heavy-ion radiotherapy systems in the U.S. and increased awareness regarding the same among people in the country.
Key players operating in the global heavy-ion radiotherapy systems market are Hitachi, Ltd. and Toshiba Corporation.
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