A major shift in the preferred treatments of cancer is likely to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry, it has been claimed.
An independent report published today by market analyst Datamonitor argues that a significant shift away is underway from traditional cytotoxic drugs used in chemotherapy towards therapies that target cancer cells more specifically.
The current cancer treatment market sees cytotoxic drugs as the market leader with a 45 per cent share, beating therapeutic treatments with 30 per cent and a third method, antihormonal therapies, which hold 25 per cent of the market.
Today's report from Datamonitor suggests that this position will change in the next nine years. It predicts therapeutic treatments will gain an overall majority, 55 per cent, by 2015.
Fleur Pijpers, Datamonitor's oncology expert, believes that therapeutic treatments have "great potential for the future treatment of cancer" and predicts that products made by pharmaceutical firms Onyx, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Amgen will be extremely popular in the future.
"Datamonitor believes that by 2015 all four [products] will be ranked amongst top 20 in cancer therapeutic drug sales," Ms Pijpers said.
But she said that existing products, as well as those currently in the pipeline, will also have an impact on sales.
Rather than treating all cells, including healthy ones, targeted therapies focus specifically on cancer cells.
Datamonitor predicts sales of these therapies will reach a peak of $31 billion (?16.4 billion) in 2010.See all the latest jobs in Pharmaceutical