WHAT IS ONCOLOGY SUPPORTIVE CARE?
“So, the idea of whole-person care is actually supported by the integration of palliative and symptom management into standard oncology care. Many of our therapies result in long-term toxicities that need continuous management and ongoing attention, especially now with so many survivors living with cancer as a chronic disease,” said board certified medical and palliative oncologist Dr. Jamie Von Roenn, MD, FASCO while serving as Vice President of Education, Science, and Professional Development of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at the 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium: Advancing Palliative Research Across the Care Continuum, held in San Francisco.1
Supportive care interventions can prevent or minimize the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment, across all phases of cancer patient’s experience. According to the National Cancer Institute, supportive care is defined as “care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of supportive care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment”2
Benefits of Supportive Care include:3, 4
- Alleviation of symptoms and complications of cancer
- Prevention or reduction of treatment toxicities
- Increased tolerance, and thus benefits, of active therapy
- Easing of the emotional burden for patients and caregivers
- Decreased longer term costs and usage of the health care system
- Improved communication between patients and caregivers
WHAT DOES THE PROJECTED MARKET FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR SUPPORTIVE ONCOLOGY CARE?
Cancer is a major economic expenditure for all developed countries and cancer costs are expected to continue to rise due to an aging population and improvements in survival, as well as trends in treatment patterns and costs of care following cancer diagnosis.5 Cancer treatment-induced toxicities may not only distress the patients, but can also lead to treatment cessation, which in turn increases patient mortality. As the number of people being diagnosed with cancer grows and access to effective treatment that allows patients to survive longer increases, demand for safe and effective cancer supportive care drugs are on the rise. “Supportive care makes excellent cancer care possible, the strapline for the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (“MASCC”), has never before been more relevant, for all countries at different stages of the current pandemic, as increased stressors threaten the wellbeing of people with cancer, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.”6
The cancer supportive care product market consists of drugs intended to prevent or treat the symptoms of cancer, and reduce the side effects of cancer treatments, with an emphasis on improving overall quality of life. The global cancer supportive care market is poised to reach $23B by 2026 and is driven by the growing prevalence of cancer cases.7 Lung and breast cancer are the most prominent cancer types with the highest demand for supportive care drugs.7
HOW DOES BIOCURITY’S PROPOSED PRODUCTS UNDER DEVELOPMENT FIT INTO SUPPORTIVE ONOCLOGY CARE?
BioCurity’s oncology supportive care drugs under development are designed to prevent certain side effects of radiation therapy for cancer patients. Drugs that reduce side effects of chemotherapy have been developed by some major pharmaceutical companies. An oncology supportive care drug to mitigate the side effects caused by radiation therapy for cancer patients could transform essential radiation treatment for cancer patients into a more tolerable therapy with fewer long-term negative consequences.
Cancer treatments and radiation therapy are not elective procedures and continue irrespective of the other demands on hospitals and healthcare services. Approximately $3B was billed by hospitals in the US alone in 2018 for in-patient medical care costs to treat medical complications caused by radiation therapy.8,9 These economics do not include outpatient treatment costs, or the emotional costs endured by the cancer patients and their families.
BioCurity’s oncology supportive care drugs, if proven safe and effective can make difference and reduce demands on hospitals, staff and insurance providers.
“What we have in the pipeline with BioCurity Pharmaceuticals may be a really significant addition to our toolbox,” says Clarence Brown, MD, Former President and CEO of MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando (formerly affiliated with Orlando Health) and current Board Chairman of the University of Central Florida Lake Nona Medical Center.
After one of BioCurity’s presentations at an investor conference held in Miami, Florida, an Oncologist from the audience stated ‘It [BioCurity’s proposed products] is a game changer.”
1. “Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium Emphasized Caring for the Whole Patient From Diagnosis to End of Life.” The ASCO Post. www.ascopost.com. 25 January 2020. Web. 30 December 2020.
2. “Supportive Care.” National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.gov. 2020. Web. 30 December 2020.
3. “What is Supportive Care?” Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Oncology. www.mascc.org. 2020. Web. 29 December 2020.
4. “Cancer Supportive Care Needs.” Australian Government Cancer Australia. www.edcan.org.au. 2020. Web. 29 December 2020.
5. Berman, Rachel et al. “Supportive Care: An Indispensable Component of Modern Oncology.” Clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain)), 2020 3: 781-788.
6. Young, Annie et al. “Uncertainty upon uncertainty: supportive Care for Cancer and COVID-19.” Support Care Cancer, 2020 28:4001–4004.
7. “Cancer Supportive Care Drugs Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Therapeutic Class (G-CSFs, Bisphosphonates, Antiemetics, Opioids, NSAIDs, ESAs), By Region, And