Aromatase inhibitor drugs are used to treat breast cancer by reducing levels of estrogen in blood circulation. These inhibit the enzyme aromatase. Androgens are converted to estrogen by aromatase. Less availability of estrogen reduces the stimulation of the growth of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer cells.
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Over 80% of all breast cancers are ER positive. Usage of aromatase inhibitors prevents ovaries from producing estrogen. Hence, these drugs are only used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in many parts of the breast such as non-glandular tissue, small sacs that produce milk (lobules), and ducts that carry milk to the nipple is known as breast cancer.
The two types of breast cancer are invasive and non-invasive. Invasive breast cancer is characterized by cancerous cells in the lining of the lobules or ducts. Due to invasive cancer cells, the surrounding tissues like skin, connective tissues, and fatty tissues become cancerous. Non-invasive breast cancer is characterized by cancerous cells in lobules or ducts.
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Rise in prevalence of breast cancer across the world boosts demand for aromatase inhibitor drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2,141 men and 236,968 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 465 men and 41,211 women succumbed to the disease in the U.S. in 2014. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer accounted for 40,610 deaths, and 252,710 new invasive breast cancer and 63,410 non-invasive breast cancer cases were reported in 2017.
According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer accounted for 11,433 deaths in 2014, and 55,122 new cases of invasive breast cancer were registered in the U.K. in 2015. Increase in awareness about cancer drives demand for aromatase inhibitor drugs across the world. Rise in research and development on aromatase inhibitor drugs is attributed to the significant growth of the global aromatase inhibitor drugs market. According to The Pink Initiative, breast cancer accounted for 47,984 female deaths and 187,213 new cases were reported among women in China in 2012.
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The global aromatase inhibitor drugs market can be segmented based on product, distribution channel, and region. In terms of product, the market can be categorized into letrozole, exemestane, testolactone, and anastrozole. Based on distribution channel, the global aromatase inhibitor drugs market can be classified into retail pharmacies, online pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
Geographically, the global aromatase inhibitor drugs market can be categorized into Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, North America, and Middle East & Africa. North America held the largest market share owing to increase in health care expenditure and rise in prevalence of breast cancer.
Europe held the second largest market share in 2017 due to increase in research and development on aromatase inhibitor drugs in the region. High incidence of breast cancer in developing countries and investment by key players in emerging economies with large patient population are anticipated to drive the market in Asia Pacific.
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The global aromatase inhibitor drugs market in Middle East & Africa is expected to be driven by rise in prevalence of breast cancer. The market in Latin America is expected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026 due to increase in awareness about breast cancer among the people.
Key players in the global aromatase inhibitor drugs market include Novartis AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Company, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer, Inc.
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