Press Release

Global Market for Brachytherapy Devices Forecast to Reach $322M by 2018, U.S. Takes Market Share


August 6th, 2012

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Brachytherapy Devices - Global Opportunity Assessment, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2018" by GlobalData.

The global brachytherapy devices market is forecast to grow from $268.2m in 2011 to $322m by 2018 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3%, as shown in the following figure.

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The market is expected to be driven by the increasing incidence of cancer. Brachytherapy is an effective outpatient procedure that can be easily customized to the individual patients needs. As a lifetime treatment option, brachytherapy costs are substantially lower than for radical prostatectomy and Intensity-modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Furthermore, higher adoption of brachytherapy for the treatment of cancers such as brain tumor, liver cancer and macular degeneration will continue to drive demand for brachytherapy devices in the future.

The US is the Biggest Market for Brachytherapy Devices

The US is the biggest market for brachytherapy devices, accounting for 51% of the global brachytherapy market in 2011. It was valued at $136.8m in the same year and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3% to $164.2m by 2018, as shown in the following figure:

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Demand for brachytherapy devices products in the US is mainly driven by the increasing incidence of cancer and the adoption of brachytherapy devices for treatment.

Technological advancements such as three-dimensional (3D) treatment planning solutions allow physicians to administer more accurate and precise doses, resulting in a dramatic decrease in treatment and recovery times. In addition, the positive outcome associated with temporary High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy for gynecological cancers have made brachytherapy standard treatment protocol. A similar trend of acceptance for the treatment of other types of cancer is expected to drive the future growth of the US brachytherapy devices market.

Increasing Global Incidence of Cancer to Drive the Brachytherapy Devices Market

According to a Globocan report from 2008, the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed worldwide increases annually. It is becoming a global pandemic with rising incidence and death rates in low and middle-income countries. Each year, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer globally, of which men accounted for nearly 6.6 million cases in 2008.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated 12 million new cases of cancer and 7.6 million cancer deaths globally in 2007. By 2050, this is expected to grow to 27 million new cases and 17.5 million deaths per year, mainly due to growing elderly populations in both developed and developing countries. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in developed countries after heart disease and causes two million deaths each year. It ranks third in developing countries and causes nearly five million deaths each year.

Age is a key contributor, but other causative factors include smoking, unusual dietary patterns and lack of physical activity.

The growing number of cancer patients will result in increased demand for oncology treatment devices, including brachytherapy devices, and the benefits that they offer will drive demand for brachytherapy devices in the future.

Cost Effectiveness of Brachytherapy Compared with Other Radiation Therapies make it a High-value Treatment Option

The growing cost of cancer treatment has intensified the focus on cost-effective treatment approaches. Assessment of the relative costs and benefits of new and existing cancer treatment methods are of considerable interest to clinicians, payors and healthcare policy makers.

In 2010, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) in the US published a report on the comparative effectiveness and value of low-risk prostate cancer. In this report, ICER considered the comparative value of radical prostatectomy, brachytherapy, IMRT and proton therapy in low-risk prostate cancer. Their assessment includes clinical effectiveness and the initial and lifetime costs of the various treatment options. According to the report, lifetime treatment costs for brachytherapy were nearly $3,000 lower than for radical prostatectomy, making it a high-value alternative. By contrast, the significantly higher costs of approximately $9,500 for IMRT over radical prostatectomy rendered IMRT a low-value option, with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of over $35,000 per Quality-adjusted Life Year (QALY).

Data from US patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer over five and half years revealed a wide discrepancy in overall treatment costs. Brachytherapy was among the most cost-effective options ($35,143) while External-beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) was among the most expensive ($59,455). The analysis also revealed that treatment costs rose in line with the level of risk. EBRT was consistently more expensive than brachytherapy in each group.

As a lifetime treatment option, brachytherapy costs are substantially lower than those of radical prostatectomy and IMRT, making it a high-value treatment option.

Nucletron and Oncura were the Leading Players in the Global Brachytherapy Devices Market in 2011

In 2011, Nucletron was the leader in the global brachytherapy devices market with a share of 29%, followed by Oncura with 16%. Varian and CR Bard also had a significant market presence, each with a share of 15%, as shown in the following figure:

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Nucletron specializes in the development, manufacture, sale, service and support of cancer treatment products in the brachytherapy category. It currently has a strong position in the temporary brachytherapy market as a global systems supplier, particularly for afterloaders, but is a small player in the permanent market. One of Nucletrons products in the permanent brachytherapy seeds market is SeedSelectron, which is a prostate cancer-specific solution comprising a robotic delivery device.

Oncura is second in the global brachytherapy devices market. It has strong presence in the permanent brachytherapy segment with products in both Iodine (I-125) and Palladium (Pd-103) seeds. Its presence in the market for over the past 15 years combined with the high acceptance of its brachytherapy products and numerous scientific studies such as quality of life, 5 years after Iodine 125 brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer by Franks K.N et al. supporting long-term effectiveness and low level of side effects are responsible for its strong position.


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