The number of patients requiring first-course chemotherapy annually will rise from 9.8 million to 15 million between 2018 and 2040, reported a new study published in Lancet Oncology. The study estimates that the number of cancer physicians required to deliver optimal chemotherapy will increase to 100,000 by 2040 worldwide.
The study which aims at calculating to meet the global chemotherapy demands revealed that the incidence of cancer (excluding non-melanomatous skin cancers) is estimated to rise from 17·0 million to 26·0 million between 2018 and 2040. The most common indications for chemotherapy worldwide in 2040 will be lung cancer (16%) , breast cancer (13%) and colorectal cancer (11%), the study noted.
The study estimates that in low or middle income countries, the proportion of patients requiring chemotherapy will increase from 63% in 2018 to 67% in 2040.
The study was conducted by the researchers at UNSW Sydney, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon. The study collected data for the incidence of 29 types of cancer in 183 countries in 2018, and their incidence in 2040, were estimated. The findings were calculated according to evidence-based guidelines for optimal chemotherapy utilisation.
The study shows that strategic investments in chemotherapy service provision and cancer physicians are needed to meet the estimated increased demand for chemotherapy in 2040.