An oncolytic virus is a special virus that favorably infects and kills cancer cells. These are deployed as a part of cancer immunotherapy and act by selectively targeting cancer cells and carrying out oncolysis. Oncolytic virus is known to not only kill the cancer cells directly but also to stimulate the patient’s own anti-tumour immune responses. The first oncolytic virus immunotherapy was approved in Latvia in 2004 for treatment of skin melanoma. Inevitable changes in the environment occurring due to human activity are giving rise to various factors leading to increase in the incidence of numerous cutaneous malignancies including non-melanoma skin cancer. The conventional radiation and chemotherapy for treatment of various cancers including skin melanomas is known have restricted therapeutic index and an array of therapy related side effects. The first US FDA approved oncolytic herpes virus (a modified herpes simplex virus) is the drug talimogene laherparepvec (OncoVex, T-VEC), approved in 2015, for the treatment of advanced inoperable melanoma.
The global oncolytic virus immunotherapy market is anticipated to expand at a steady pace during the forecast period due to rise in the number of cancer cases across the globe. Prevalence of diseases such as cancer has increased due to rising geriatric population and changing lifestyle in developing economies. The above-mentioned factors are anticipated to drive the demand for better diagnosis and prevention of cancer in the near future. This, in turn, would offer growth opportunities to companies operating in the oncolytic virus immunotherapy market in the next few years. High investments in research and development of alternate therapies by public as well as private organizations for cancer treatment with high potency and low toxicity compared to other conventional and chemotherapy is also anticipated to drive the global oncolytic virus immunotherapy market during the forecast period. However, high cost of treatments is one of the major concerns for patients as well as payers. Moreover, lack of awareness about skin disorders in developing countries is expected to hamper the global oncolytic virus immunotherapy market during the forecast period.
Some of the wild type viruses considered potential candidate for oncolytic virus immunotherapy include reovirus, senecavirus, vaccinia virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, poliovirus, rigvir, and others. There are number of research studies undergoing in different phases of clinical trial to explore the potential of these viruses in cancer immunotherapy. Based on geography, the oncolytic virus immunotherapy market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are projected to account for the largest share of the market due to high adoption of novel potential therapies, high expenditure on health care R&D, and introduction of technologically progressive services in the region. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a high CAGR owing to adoption of advanced treatment options increasing in developing regions, thereby providing growth opportunities to the global market. The market in developing countries in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a rapid growth rate during the forecast period. Key factors driving the market are rapid development of health care infrastructure, rise in affordability, increase in per capita income, and increase in emphasis on research & development in the health care sector. One of the most important driving factors for the developing countries such as India and China is the availability of superior treatment facilities at quite lower prices than countries in the West. This attracts patients from the U.S. and Europe, where cancer is highly prevalent, toward these countries. Moreover, growing medical tourism in developing economies is anticipated to open new avenues for the cancer treatment market in these countries in the next few years.
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