Gamma knife is an advanced radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer in adults and children. Gamma knife is not really a knife; it is a beam of highly focused gamma rays, to precisely cut or destroy the tumor or damaged cells, generally in the brain, causing little or no damage to the surrounding normal cells. Gamma knife technology is used to treat medium brain tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, epilepsy, nerve disorders that causes chronic pain, abnormal blood vessel formations called arteriovenous malformations, and other neurological conditions.
Patients with serious diseases can be treated with the help of this technology which is a noninvasive procedure and get cured in a few days with no long hospital stay, returning to normal life and activity promptly. Typically, gamma knife treatment is completed in a few hours with little or no side effects. According to Leksell Gamma Knife Society, gamma knife technology is universally preferred and no other radiosurgery system has greater clinical acceptance as gamma knife. Gamma knife radiosurgery is performed in leading hospitals around the world, with more than 70,000 patients treated every year. To treat with gamma knife technology the surgeon neither requires to make an incision in the scalp, nor an opening in the skull.
The gamma knife market can be segmented by disease indication and geography. Based on disease indication, the market is classified into cancer, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), trigeminal neuralgia, essential tremor and others (epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease etc.). Cancer holds the dominant share of the gamma knife market by disease indication, and its increasing prevalence is expected to boost the overall market. There are over 100 types of cancer. According to WHO, about 16% of the world population die because of cancer. In 2015, 8.8 million people died of cancer. This is expected to be the prominent driver for the gamma knife market.
Geographically, the gamma knife market is classified into five regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America has the leading market share followed by the other developed region, Europe. The U.S. accounts for a major share of the global market. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2016, about 1,685,210 new cancer cases were diagnosed. Advanced technologies, high awareness levels, and high purchasing power in North America influenced the gamma knife technology market expansion significantly.
However, the same factor of affordability has restrained the markets in developing regions. Despite this, the gamma knife market in Asia Pacific has shown significant increase in growth rate. Rising population, increase in disposable income, increase in the geriatric population, and increase in awareness levels are some key factors driving the Asia Pacific market. Due to these factors, the Asian market is observing a large number of new entrants compared to developed regions.
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Other factors that drive the gamma knife market are increasing prevalence of various types of cancer, increasing preference toward non- and minimally-invasive procedures, high adoption and acceptance in developed markets, high success rate of gamma knife procedure, innovations and developments in technology, and comprehensive health insurance cover for radio surgery procedures. The market is also experiencing certain restraints such as stiff competition among existing players, high cost of the procedure, low equipment availability, and lack of awareness about gamma knife therapy among the rural population in developing and underdeveloped economies.
The major players in the gamma knife market include Elekta, Varian Medical Systems, Huiheng Medical, Inc., Nordion Inc., ET Medical Group, and American Shared Hospital Services.
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