Between 2018 and 2040, the number of patients requiring first-course chemotherapy annually will increase from 9.8 million to 15 million.
A study published in The Lancet, Oncology estimates that a steady growth curve of patients (eligible for chemotherapy) will be seen in low and middle income countries going from 63% in 2018 to 67% in 2040.
The most common indications for chemotherapy worldwide in 2040 will be lung cancer 16.4%, breast cancer 12.7% and colorectal cancer 11.1%.
“We estimated that in 2018, 65,000 cancer physicians were required worldwide to deliver optimal chemotherapy — a figure that we estimate will rise to 1,00,000 by 2040 [with estimates ranging from 50,000 to 1,50,000 depending on workload,’’ the study noted.
This first of its kind study is aimed at helping the global community scale up chemotherapy provisions. “Strategic investments in chemotherapy service provision and cancer physicians are needed to meet the projected increased demand for chemotherapy in 2040,’’ it said.
It adds that the incidence of cancer (excluding non-melanomatous skin cancers) is projected to rise from 17.0 million to 26.0 million between 2018 and 2040. A large proportion of these patients would derive the benefit from chemotherapy, but no studies so far have quantified current and projected global chemotherapy demands.
The study conducted by researchers, including those at the UNSW Sydney, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, the Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon looked at data for the incidence of 29 types of cancer in 183 countries in 2018, and projections of incidence in 2040, were obtained.
An Indian study “Projections of number of cancer cases in India by cancer groups’’ has noted that for the country the cancer cases are likely to go up from 9,79,786 cases in 2010 to 11,48,757 cases in 2020.