The Present and Future of Radiotherapy

The radiation therapy market is growing due to several factors, such as the increase in the number of new cancer cases and the technological advancements in hardware and software used in radiation therapy. Current international markets are under-equipped to deal with new cancer cases. In low- and middle-income countries, only 10% of the population has access to radiation therapy. Therefore, there is a large gap between the demand and the base of installed equipment, which provides a huge opportunity for companies to expand in the radiotherapy market. The expansion of the radiotherapy market can be both life-saving and profitable.

Effective treatment planning

It is necessary, and continuous technological developments are underway to minimize radiation exposure to healthy tissue, in order to avoid any side effects. This objective is a driving force for R&D in radiotherapy. Software is playing an increasingly important role in cancer management. Population growth and increased life expectancy add to the incidence of cancer. The Software and Services segment includes software, which is used for planning, analysis and treatment services, required for the maintenance and efficient use of radiation therapy equipment. The business software and services segment is expected to grow as software products help improve physician engagement and clinical knowledge sharing, patient care management, and the management of cancer clinics, radiation therapy centers, and clinics. oncology practices for better performance. Companies like Varian are continually expanding their software portfolios. Software is playing an increasingly important role in cancer management. At the same time, health systems are under severe budgetary constraints in almost all countries. As a result, healthcare providers face the challenge of doing more using fewer resources. To achieve this goal, hospitals have a strong need for software platforms that make radiotherapy treatments profitable. The development of effective software will improve the delivery of advanced radiation therapy in the future.

Introduction of new technologies

Technology is another important feature. Radiotherapy remains an important modality for the treatment of cancer, which is the main determining factor for the design of new techniques to improve the survival rate of cancer patients. New technologies, like proton beam therapy, are available in developed countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, thanks to well-established reimbursement policies. Proton therapy can be used on very sensitive tissues, such as tumors of the brain, spine and eyes. It is more precise than other X-ray radiation therapy.

Advances in technology also help execute radiation therapy planning.

Technological advancements in existing technologies, such as computed tomography imaging, make imaging more precise and consistent. This can give a better representation of a tumor and help with better planning. Already existing technologies such as IMRT, SBRT, IGRT, Compliant 3D, VMAT and others that are used for radiation therapy treatment are undergoing various advancements. For example, Varian is developing software that can be used to develop better planning tools, in which statistical models can be used to calculate the quality of IMRT treatment for a patient. This is expected to increase the use of IMRT for cancer treatment. IGRT is the type of radiation therapy. Research is more focused on IGRT, in order to prove its fewer side effects. IGRT may include electronic portal imaging, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT reconstruction, and respiratory trigger technology. SBRT is also developing as an option for cancer treatment. SBRT is used to increase the dose to the target tumor, which can increase local control while limiting the dose to nearby critical structures and normal tissues. This will cause minimal damage to the surrounding tissues and, therefore, will experience strong growth during the forecast period.

Internal radiotherapy occupies a small part in the radiotherapy market. Containing Yttrium 90, a radioactive substance, it is also an emerging technology. There are only two manufacturers supplying marketed forms of SIRT, as of April 2015. SIRT is increasingly a common treatment; Other manufacturers are actively pursuing its commercialization, resulting in the growth of the internal radiation therapy segment. However, SIRT is not yet widely available in the UK.

Internal radiation therapy is more precise at targeting cancer cells because it is placed near a tumor, reducing the risk of damaging healthy tissues and organs, thus helping the growth of the internal radiation therapy market segment.

To increase market share, companies are constantly investing in R&D. The positive results of this extensive R&D and strategic partnerships can help companies gain significant momentum in the emerging field of radiotherapy.

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