A biomarker is any cellular, physical, chemical, or molecular change that can be noted and a normal or abnormal process in human body can be studied. The effects of treatment, the presence, progress or risk for a disease can be checked by studying any alteration in the normal amount of a biomarker. A tumor marker, like a biomarker, is a naturally occurring substance in the body. An increased quantity of a tumor marker can show the presence of a cancer. Some tumor markers are related to several different types of cancer, while some are specific to one type of cancer. Tumor markers may also increase with non-cancerous conditions. A tumor marker can be prepared by cancer cells or by the body in response to cancer.
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There are many different types of tumor markers such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG or b-HCG), cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), cancer antigen 125 (CA125), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Tumor markers can provide information that can be used for screening for cancer, diagnose cancer, determine stage of cancer, determine a person’s prognosis, guide treatment, monitor treatment, and determine recurrence of the cancer. Some markers can be used in people with family history of a particular cancer. Prostate specific antigen can be used to screen for prostate cancer. Tumor markers can be used to help determine how far the cancer has spread into other tissues or organs. Some markers are used to determine how aggressive a cancer is likely to be. Some markers may help doctors predict what treatments the cancer is likely to respond to.
A tumor marker test is done to make available a baseline level before treatment, when any type of cancer is suspected, to check if cancer has returned after treatment being given, and to check a person’s reaction to cancer treatment. Tumor markers are molecules found in urine, blood, and body tissues. It is a protein found in large amounts in presence of cancer. Hence, measuring the levels of tumor markers may help in detecting the presence of cancer. Presence of a tumor in body stimulates the production of tumor markers from tumor or non-tumor cells. The tumor marker testing market has been categorized based on diagnostic method, type of cancer, and technology employed for cancer detection. Organ specific tumor marker: bladder, breast, colorectal, gastrointestinal, liver, lung, oral, ovarian, pancreatic, prostatic, skin testicular cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and others; Clinical laboratory methods for measuring tumor markers: Abbott diagnostics’ AxSYM, Roche Diagnostics System, Fischer Thermo Scientific B.R.A.H.M.S KRYPTOR and others; New technologies for cancer diagnostics: Monoclonal antibodies, proteomics, new protein markers, stem cell markers, DNA microassays and others; Clinical methods for cancer diagnosis: Screening, imaging, theranostics, sigmoidoscopy and others.
Currently, cancer is the one of the leading causes of death in North America and Europe. North America holds the largest share of the tumor marker testing market, followed by Europe, due to vast discoveries and innovations for detecting cancer in early stages. Major factors driving the tumor marker testing market in these regions are rising incidence of cancer disease, increase in geriatric population, ongoing research in the field of cancer detection, and improved government reimbursement policies. However, high cost acts as a major restraint of the market.
Geographically, North America held the larger market share, followed by Europe. High research on tumor marker and increasing number of cancer patients in these regions are likely to boost the tumor marker testing market. However, affordability has become a restraining factor in this market in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America. However, the tumor marker testing market in Asia Pacific is expected to experience strong growth.
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Major players in the tumor marker testing market are Abbott Diagnostics Ltd., Affymetrix, Inc., Agilent Technologies, Inc., Beckman, Dickinson and Company (BD) Diagnostics, BioCurex, BioModa, Inc., Clarient, Inc., Correlogic Systems, Inc., Epigenomics AG, Gen-Probe, Inc., Hologic, Inc., Roche Diagnostics Corp., and Veridex LLC, among others.
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