Cancers are becoming a major economic burden in many countries across the globe. Radiation therapy has been a boon to many cancer sufferers across the globe, however, the technique of using X-rays has presented A major technological advancement in cancer treatment has been the availability of proton therapy systems. Proton therapy is used to treat a host of cancers and is specifically appropriate in circumstances where the treatment options for a patient are limited or conventional radiotherapy presents an undesirable risk to the patient.
Proton therapy, also known as proton beam therapy, is a type of radiation treatment that utilizes protons rather than x-rays to treat cancer. A proton is a positively charged particle, and at high energy, protons have the ability to destroy cancer cells. Oncologists use proton therapy by itself or in combination with standard radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and/or immunotherapy.
According to the WHO, there were an estimated 14.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2012, and these are anticipated to rise to 24 million by 2035. Every cancer patient undergoing treatment of cancer is inclined toward receiving a therapy which would be quick, efficient and minimally invasive or non-invasive in nature. The advantage rendered by a proton therapy device is that it is non-invasive and specific in its target to the specific tumor. Thus, radiation is specifically directed to the tumor, sparing the healthy tissues. These factors along with the alarming rise of cancer cases, are anticipated to drive the proton therapy systems market toward profitable growth during the forecast period. Proton therapy systems are highly effective in treating the most complex tumors, such as those in the prostate, brain, eye, including cancers in children, by leaving healthy tissue and other critical areas of the body unharmed. However, the high cost of equipment systems shall restrain market growth, creating a need for cost effective and lower priced systems, especially in price sensitive emerging markets. Moreover, proton therapy systems require a large infrastructural investment since they occupy substantial space at installation. However, the availability of ready to install systems shall be a value proposition for hospitals since they can save time and efforts in designing and installing the system and rely on the vendor for the same. This benefit is likely to fuel market growth for proton therapy systems during the forecast period. Furthermore, the proton therapy systems are built to last for much over a decade, making them a beneficial investment for hospitals, which shall in turn fuel market growth during the forecast period.
The global market for proton therapy systems is segmented on the basis of type of cancer, type of system, and geography:
On the basis of type of cancer, the proton therapy systems market has been segmented into cancers of the central nervous system and brain, including head and neck cancers, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal and liver cancer, ocular cancer and others. The market for proton therapy systems is expected to be highest in the arena of prostate cancers and solid tumors in pediatric patients. The rising incidence of prostate cancer shall drive market growth for this segment. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Moreover, Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the U.S. population. In India too, the cancer projection data by National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research shows that the number of prostate cancer cases will double by 2020 which shall drive the proton therapy systems market.
On the basis of type of system, the proton therapy systems market has been segmented into pencil beam scanning systems, uniform scanning systems and passive scattering systems. Passive scattering belongs to a former generation of proton therapy, which is what most established proton centers use. Recently, however, pencil beam scanning is regarded as a more precise form of proton therapy, and it is the choice of the majority of new proton centers. Thus, the market for pencil beam scanning is expected to grow owing to it being a recent technological advancement and the new customers inclined towards purchasing these systems.
On the basis of regional presence, global proton therapy systems market is segmented into five key regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. While Asia Pacific is a lucrative market due to the sheer number of cancer patients in the region, North America is slated to be the most prominent market owing to better adoption rates and higher affordability compared to the emerging markets. Most proton therapy centers in the U.S. treat patients with proton therapy at the same cost that they do for regular intensity modulated radiation. This allows more patients to opt for the proton therapy. Moreover, the first hospital in the world to offer proton treatment was the Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California, in the late 1980’s, which clearly depicts that the U.S. is an established market for proton therapy systems and in the future too has high potential for profitable investment, as cancer incidence rises and the preference to opt for safer and targeted radiation increases among prospective patients. The U.S. is an early adopter for innovations and thus more receptive to latest product advancements available in the proton therapy systems market.
Some of the major players in the global proton therapy systems market are Varian Medical Systems, Mevion Medical Systems Inc., Optivus Proton Therapy, Inc., Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., Advanced Oncotherapy plc, Ion Beam Applications SA, and Hitachi Ltd.
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