During ovarian cancer awareness month, analysis from global independent analyst firm, Datamonitor Healthcare, has revealed that just 25% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in Stage I despite it being the fourth most common cancer among women.
Patients diagnosed during early-stages of the disease have a 75-80% chance of recurrence-free survival over the next five years, as a high percentage of these cases can be treated by surgery alone. However, in advanced disease, although platinum-based chemotherapy results in high response rates of between 70-80%, the majority of these patients will have reoccurring incurable tumors.
Ovarian cancer is the prevailing cause of death from gynecological malignancies in the Western world and Datamonitor Healthcare predicts that the number of newly diagnosed patients will increase from 67,300 to 71,000 by 2018 across the US, Japan and five major EU markets*.
Dominique Fontanilla, analyst at Datamonitor Healthcare said: "Almost two-thirds of cases are found in those over the age of 60 and we expect the number of cases to increase across the seven major markets** as the global population ages.
"This is because key risk factors for ovarian cancer are hormone-related, and therefore prolonged exposure to estrogen, for example during postmenopausal estrogen therapy, is believed to stimulate mutations in the epithelial cells of the ovaries."
Avastin, the first targeted therapy to be approved for the treatment of ovarian cancer in the EU, was expanded in 2012 to include the treatment of women with first reoccurrence of platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer and is predicted to generate revenues of $6.8 billion by 2018.