Cancer is considered as the most significant cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and early detection of the same is essential for the best chance of prevention. Serum tumor markers are widely used in the diagnosis of cancer, monitoring of treatment and evaluation of cancer status. Tumor markers are the proteins that ideally confirm the presence of malignancy. Tumor markers are the substances that can be found in the body of cancer patients. Ideally, these substances would be found in higher quantities than normal amounts in the blood of the cancer patients compared to normal individuals. Each of these tumor markers has special properties and a variable usefulness in the diagnosis, screening, monitoring the reappearance of cancer, prognosis and response to therapy.
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Most of the tumor markers are found in blood, but some of them are also found in the body fluid and urine. Among the various types of tumor markers, some of them are linked to only one type of cancer, while others can be found in various types of cancers. Different types of tumor markers that are found in the blood and urine include alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-2-microglobulin (B2M), bladder tumor antigen (BTA), CA15-3, CA27.29, CA 125, CA 19-9, calcitonin, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), chromogranin A, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), immunoglobulins, inhibin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), NMP22, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP).
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Whereas, the tumor markers that are found only in the cancer include anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HER2 (or HER2/neu, erbB-2, or EGFR2), hormone receptors and BRAF. The common cancer types for which these tumor markers are used for early detection and diagnosis include testicular cancer, colorectal malignancy, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer.
The primary contributing factor for the growth of this market include rising number of cancer cases worldwide. Additionally, technological advancements, to identify the exact cause of cancer and increasing tumor markers applications would also drive the market in coming years. Moreover, rising demand for the cost effective, safer and efficient treatments for various cancer types, increasing government focus towards development of innovative diagnosis and treatment tools for malignancy further anticipated to boost the market.
Geographically, the North American region accounts for the largest market share of the overall hospital tumor marker market followed by the European region. The dominance of North America in this market is seen due to rapidly aging population and presence of various market leaders, which allows easy penetration in the North America region. In addition, rising number of patients seeking tumor marker diagnosis in this region would also anticipated to drive the market. The European hospital tumor marker market follows the North America market due to extensive government support for the development of innovative tools for cancer diagnosis. Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the fastest growth rate in the near future due to rising population base and increasing awareness about the cancer diagnosis and prevention.
Some of the major players operating in this market include Abbott Laboratories, Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Biomedical Diagnostics, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Siemens Healthcare, Targeted Diagnostics & Therapeutics, Epigenomics AG, Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Mackay Life Sciences, Radient Pharmaceuticals Corporation and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.