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The radiation therapy market has been forecast to hit a value of US$6.8 billion by 2018, with the industry set to be driven by the rising incidence of cancer around the globe, with over 13 million cases recorded in 2008. Worldwide, the rate of growth of cancer is expected to rise further and reach 17 million by 2030.
An aging population, lifestyle-related issues, changing dietary habits, and elevated smoking rates are responsible for rising incidence of cancer, and continue to enhance the demand for radiation therapy globally.
Radiation Therapy refers to the medical use of ionizing radiation as a part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells by destroying their DNA. Various types of radiations are generally used for the treatment. Some of the major ones include: high energy photons, electron beams, proton beams and neutron beams.
In the treatment, radiation can either come from a machine outside the body, called external beam radiation therapy or from radioactive material placed inside the body, which in this case is called internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy. Some of the major types of external radiation therapy treatments include: 3D-CRT, IMRT, IGRT, Tomotherapy, Stereotactic radiosurgery, SBRT and Proton Therapy.
In recent years, developed nations have been serving as major growth markets. However, demand from such nations is expected to decelerate due to slow recovery as well as higher rate of unemployment and fiscal deficit. In developing countries, growth is expected to be driven primarily by a considerable increase in demand pertaining to cancer drugs and radiation therapies.
In the global external beams therapy systems market there is one company that stands above all others. California based Varian Medical Systems held a 49% share in 2011, a dominance attributed to a large installation base and a popular range of products.
Elekta AB came in second with 30% in a year in which they completed the acquisition of radiotherapy company Nucletron, obtaining the company's brachytherapy business in the transaction. Accuray/Tomotherapy and Siemens Healthcare came a somewhat distant third and forth with 10% and 6%, respectively.
For more information on the radiation therapy market, see the latest research: Radiation Therapy Market
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