Brain Cancer Awareness Day, which occurs in Canada on 24 October, and Brain Tumor Awareness Week, which occurs globally during 28 October – 4 November, will highlight the challenges in brain tumour and cancer treatment, as well as the need for increased research efforts into these diseases. This year, over 7,000 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with a brain tumour, of which 2,660 cases will be cancerous. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, brain tumour incidence varies from 0.002% to 0.03% globally, amounting to 600,000 newly diagnosed cases each year.
Brain tumours pose a significant health risk as they can put pressure on areas of the brain that are used for thought, emotion, and movement. These tumours often go undetected until symptoms manifest, so early intervention is essential to preventing life-altering complications. Symptoms can range from headaches and seizures to changes in personality, memory, and coordination. Although more than two-thirds of all brain tumours are benign, they can still be life-threatening or significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Depending on the size, shape, location, and grade of the tumour, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination thereof can be used for treatment. However, there are over one hundred distinct types of primary brain tumours, which makes selecting the optimal treatment method difficult.
Recent advancements in this space have been focused on precision treatments that target tumour cells and minimise the disruption of nearby healthy tissues, thereby reducing potential complications. Minimally invasive neurosurgery and stereotactic radiosurgery are transforming patient outcomes by offering quicker recoveries and shorter hospital stays. GlobalData estimates that the global minimally invasive neurosurgical devices market will be worth $250m and the stereotactic radiosurgery market will be worth $780m by 2033, with North America capturing 34% and 38% of these respective markets. However, market growth may be limited by the need for specifically trained personnel and expensive instrumentation.
Access to these therapies remains a challenge for many patients. Rural communities and developing countries may lack the infrastructure or resources needed to accommodate radiosurgery systems. Additionally, minimally invasive and radiosurgery treatments have the potential to reduce overall healthcare costs for care but are not universally applicable to all tumour types, further highlighting the need for improvements in other conventional treatment methods. Addressing healthcare disparities will be a crucial aspect of improving outcomes in this space.
Current research is focused on understanding the genetic and molecular makeup of brain tumours and could be used to help design more targeted therapies and personalised treatment plans. As research continues to advance, GlobalData expects more effective and less invasive treatment options to emerge, ultimately improving the quality of life for all brain tumour patients.