The global oropharyngeal cancer therapeutics market is expected to have significant growth since the pipeline for oropharyngeal cancer is growing rapidly. Also, there are no specific drugs available for the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer providing increased opportunities for the major key players.
Oral cavity tumor or oral tumor, is tumor that begins in the mouth (also known as the oral cavity). Oropharyngeal malignancy begins in the oropharynx, which is the part of the throat behind the mouth. The oral cavity comprises of lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue and the bony roof of the mouth (hard palate). The area behind the wisdom teeth, called the retromolar trigone is also sometimes included in the oral cavity, though it is often considered part of the oropharynx.
The oropharynx is the part of the throat just behind the mouth and begins where the oral cavity stops. It comprises of base of the tongue (the back third of the tongue), the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth), the tonsils, and the side and back wall of the throat.
The different parts of the oral cavity and oropharynx are made up of many types of cells. Different tumors can grow from each type of cell. The differences are significant, because they can affect a person’s treatment options and diagnosis.Many types of cancers can grow in the oral cavity and oropharynx. The three major categories include, benign or non-cancerous growths that do not invade other tissues and do not spread to other parts of the body, harmless growths that can later develop into tumor. They are known as pre-cancerous conditions and the last category is cancerous growths that can develop into surrounding tissues and metastasize to other parts of the body.
There is no clear cause known for oropharyngeal cancer but it is assumed that heavy alcohol consumption and tobacco intake can lead to this cancer. These products damage the lining of cell inside the mouth and throat. The risk factors of developing oropharyngeal cancer includes, drinking, smoking, human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, UV light exposure, weakened immune system, genetic syndromes and poor nutrition. The symptoms of oropharyngeal cancers include, lump formation in the cheek or neck, weight loss, constant bad breath, swelling, loosening of teeth, trouble in movements or chewing or swallowing and constant pain.
The diagnosis for oropharyngeal cancer is done in various steps. The first step is physical examination, blood tests followed by complete head and neck examination. Head and neck examination includes, indirect pharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy, direct pharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy and panendoscopy. The confirmation is done by biopsy which includes, exfoliative cytology, incisional biopsy and fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. Various imaging tests such as CT scans, X- rays, MRI and PET scans are also done for the diagnoses. The options available in the market for treatment of oropharyngeal cancer include, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and palliative treatment.
The oropharyngeal cancer therapeutics market is segmented based on the therapy which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and palliative treatment. Chemotherapy holds the largest share since it contains maximum number of drugs including, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), Paclitaxel (Taxol) and Docetaxel (Taxotere). The palliative treatment segment holds the second largest share including, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, morphine or similar drugs. Targeted therapy holds the lowest share and includes only one drug, Cetuximab which may be combined with radiation therapy.
Some of the key players operating in the oropharyngeal cancer therapeutics market include Genticel S.A., AstraZeneca Plc, Kolltan Pharmaceuticals Inc., PNP Therapeutics Inc., Novartis AG, Advaxis Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., VLPbio and Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.