Gallbladder cancer is a rare type of cancer that forms in the gallbladder, a small organ that sits under the liver. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile produced by the liver to aid in fat digestion. Symptoms can include jaundice, weight loss, abdominal pain and others.
The growth of the global gallbladder cancer market is majorly driven by the increasing incidence of gallbladder diseases such as gallstones, inflammation of gallbladder, polyps and genetic factors. According toGlobocan data, there were an estimated 11,700 new cases and 8,100 deaths from gallbladder cancer in 2020 in the United States. Also, risk factors such as obesity, older age, female gender and ethnic background increases the chances of developing gallbladder cancer. Additionally, strategic initiatives undertaken by key players for development of novel therapies further propels the market growth over the forecast period.
Increasing Prevalence of Obesity and Overweight Individuals as a Major Market Driver for Gallbladder Cancer Market
One of the key drivers for the growth of the gallbladder cancer market is the rising prevalence of obesity and overweight individuals across the globe. Obesity and being overweight are considered as major risk factors for gallbladder cancer. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, around 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight and 13% were obese. Similarly, obesity rates are also surging in developing countries leading to economic and health issues. Studies have shown that excess body weight increases the production of bile acids in the gallbladder leading to chronic inflammation which can eventually develop into cancer over time. With obesity continuing to be a growing health problem globally, it is expected to contribute significantly to the rise in gallbladder cancer cases, thereby propelling the market growth.
Increasing Geriatric Population as a Key Market Driver
Another important driver for the gallbladder cancer market is the growing geriatric population worldwide. Age is considered as a major risk factor for gallbladder cancer, with most cases being diagnosed in people aged 60 years or older. As per the WHO, the world’s population aged 60 years or over numbered 962 million in 2017 – more than twice as large as in 1980. This number is projected to grow steadily and reach nearly 2.1 billion worldwide by 2050. The increasing risk of gallbladder cancer with age can be attributed to factors like sedentary lifestyles and co-morbid conditions like obesity in the older population. Moreover, health issues typically escalate with age, making senior citizens more prone to developing various types of cancers including gallbladder cancer. Thus, the surging geriatric demography will drive greater demand for screening, diagnosis and treatment options for gallbladder cancer in the coming years.
High Cost of Treatment as a Major Market Restrain
One of the key challenges restraining the growth of the gallbladder cancer market is the high cost associated with treatment of the disease. Gallbladder cancer has a poor prognosis due to its asymptomatic and often late-stage presentation. First-line treatment options include radical and extended surgical resection requiring a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, oncologists, etc., followed by adjuvant radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Some patients may also require biologic or targeted therapy. However, treatment costs can run very high due to extensive surgery, long hospital stays, multiple drug regimens, intensive care needs, and follow up care costs. For instance, the average cost of gallbladder cancer surgery in the US ranges between $20,000 to $150,000 depending on the stage and type of surgery. Moreover, gallbladder cancer has a low incidence rate and hence doesn’t attract much investment for research and drug development. The high financial burden on patients and lack of adequate health insurance coverage, especially in developing nations, are major constraints to market growth.
Personalized Medicine as a Lucrative Market Opportunity
One promising opportunity for the gallbladder cancer market lies in the rising focus on personalized medicine. Due to the heterogeneity observed in gallbladder cancers, there is an urgency to identify novel biomarkers and molecular subtypes that can aid personalized treatment approaches. Research efforts are ongoing to discover new biomarkers related to diagnosis, prognosis and targeted therapy response. For example, biomarkers like HER2 amplification and FGFR gene fusions are being identified to guide HER2-targeted therapies and FGFR inhibitors respectively. Several ongoing clinical trials are examining biomarker-driven patient selection and treatment regimen optimization. As personalized medicine helps deliver superior outcomes compared to conventional one-size-fits-all therapies, it addresses an unmet need and could emerge as a lucrative avenue for market players in the future. As research capacities increase, the potential for biomarker-guided personalized medicine appears opportune for companies in the gallbladder cancer therapeutics segment.
Increasing Adoption of Combination Therapies as a Key Market Trend
A notable trend gaining traction in the gallbladder cancer market is the increasing adoption of combination therapies over single agents. Historically, chemotherapy has been the mainstay of treatment for advanced gallbladder cancer. However, low response rates achieved with single cytotoxic agents has driven recent research towards evaluating chemotherapy in combination with other modalities. Studies have shown improved survival benefits with doublet or triplet chemotherapy regimen compared to monotherapy.
- Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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