The market for prophylactic cancer vaccines is sizable, bigger in fact than the market for any type of cancer therapeutic. Afterall, doctors administer cancer drugs only after a patient has been diagnosed, while a vaccine can be administered to a far wider population.
In the U.S., nearly 300,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. At this moment, however, 80 million women are over the age of 40 – the time in life when women face an increased risk of developing breast cancer. And every year, several million additional women will age into this population bubble. Worldwide, the number is exponentially larger.
Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, and one of the most aggressive reproductive cancers among women. Most ovarian cancers are diagnosed at late stages (stage 3 or 4) due to the typical absence of symptoms and lack of screening approaches. Late stage diagnosis results in relatively high risks of recurrence and often poor prognosis. While the five-year survival rate for stage 1 ovarian cancer is over 80%, the corresponding survival rate for Stage 4 cancer is 20%. Worldwide, over 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed annually.
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