Home Healthcare IT Global Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Size, Top Share, Report to 2032

Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market

Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy), By Route of Administration (Injectable, Oral), By Distribution Channel (Retail and Specialty Pharmacies, Hospital Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRHI56201DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 12.7%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 3.3 billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 10.8 billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
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Market Overview

The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 10.8 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 12.7% during the forecast period (2024-2032). The rising incidence of head and neck cancer will drive market expansion.

Head and neck cancer is a term used to describe a group of malignant tumors that develop in the tissues of the head and neck region. Locations such as the oral cavity (mouth), throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, nasal cavity, and sinuses are encompassed within this group. Various factors, including tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to specific chemicals and substances, infection with certain forms of human papillomavirus, inadequate oral hygiene, and specific hereditary variables, can contribute to the onset of head and neck cancer.

The rising incidence of neck and head cancer, the growing demand for combination therapy to treat these malignancies, and the significant expansion of research and development efforts to provide new cancer treatments are the primary factors fueling the market's rise. These factors are expected to increase the use of head and neck cancer treatments, increasing the market's growth. 


  • Immunotherapy generates the highest revenue share based on type. 
  • Oral accounts for the largest market share by route of administration.
  • Online pharmacies account for the largest market share by distribution channel.

Market Dynamics

Global Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Drivers

Surging Prevalence of Neck and Head Cancer

The increasing incidence of head and neck cancer, attributed to several factors including alcohol and tobacco intake, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, is a significant factor contributing to the need for medications used in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancer is significantly associated with the use of tobacco and excessive use of alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 2022, the prevalence of tobacco product usage among middle school pupils was roughly 4.5%, while among high school students it was approximately 16.5%. 

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) August 2022 report, head and neck cancer ranks as the sixth most prevalent disease worldwide, with over 1.0 million cases reported annually. Moreover, in the United States, around 4% of all cancer cases are associated explicitly with the head and neck. Approximately 66,470 individuals, consisting of 48,520 males and 17,950 females, were diagnosed with this illness in 2022. Approximately 900,000 instances of neck and head cancer and approximately 400,000 associated deaths are reported worldwide each year. Furthermore, males are impacted at twice the rate of females. Hence, these figures serve as the primary catalysts behind expanding the worldwide market for medications targeting head and neck cancer.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in cases of oropharyngeal malignancies linked to high-risk strains of HPV, specifically HPV16. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 47,199 new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in regions of the body where human papillomavirus (HPV) is frequently found. Oropharyngeal cancers caused by HPV typically impact younger individuals who may not exhibit traditional risk factors such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. Several countries, including the United States, have experienced a rise in cases attributable to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Consequently, the increasing incidence of head and neck cancer is having a substantial effect on the market's expansion. 

Global Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Restraint

Severe Side Effects

Some cancer therapies, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs, might have lasting effects, such as an elevated risk of developing new cancers or harm to organs and tissues. In addition, continuous follow-up treatment is necessary to identify and address any possible long-term problems. Chemotherapy and certain targeted medications can suppress the immune system, increasing infection susceptibility. Therefore, it is imperative to take preventive measures such as refraining from interacting with patients and practicing exceptional cleanliness.

Additionally, Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can decrease the production of blood cells, leading to the development of anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. This elevates the probability of infection, fatigue, and hemorrhaging. Consequently, the adverse effects of chemotherapy have consequences for the demand for head and neck cancer treatments, thereby impeding market expansion.

Global Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Opportunity

Robust Product Pipeline

The proliferation of several pharmacological molecules under development and subsequent approval for treating head and neck cancer contributes to the market's growth.  Tipifarnib, tiragolumab, Tecentriq, Rozlytrek, and Afatinib are some products that are now being developed. Tipifarnib is a farnesyltransferase inhibitor, tiragolumab is an anti-TIGIT drug, Tecentriq is atezolizumab, Rozlytrek is entrectinib, and Afatinib is another product under development. During the projected period, market expansion is anticipated to be stimulated by the successful execution of trials and subsequent approval. 

In February 2021, Kura Oncology, Inc., a firm specializing in developing targeted therapies for cancer, obtained approval from the U.S. FDA for its drug tipifarnib. This medication offers treatment to patients who are experiencing metastatic or recurrent HRAS mutant head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). This medicine is powerful and can be used orally. It has a selective character. Due to the increasing number of drug approvals for head and neck cancer therapy, the market is projected to expand substantially during the forecast period.

Regional Analysis

The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America.

North America Dominates the Global Market

North America is the most significant global head and neck cancer therapeutics market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% over the forecast period.  The North American market is projected to have a leading position due to factors such as its advanced healthcare infrastructure and the proactive involvement of many government agencies in addressing the increasing burden of head and neck cancer. The American Head and Neck Society is one of the largest organizations in North America dedicated to enhancing research and development education in the field of head and neck oncology. The organization's primary objective is to improve the quality of care in head and neck reconstructive surgery through educational initiatives.

Additionally, the prevalence of head and neck cancer cases in the United States is a significant driver for the expansion of the North American market. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), head and neck cancer accounts for 4% of all deaths in the United States. The organization projected that around 66,470 individuals in the United States will receive a diagnosis of head and neck cancer in 2022. Of these cases, it is anticipated that 48,520 will be among males and 17,950 among women.

Moreover, the local participants constantly engage in product launches, mergers, and acquisitions to achieve a prominent position in the industry, enhancing the regional market's growth. In November 2022, Fulgent Genetics, Inc., a US-based gene testing firm, announced its acquisition of Fulgent Pharma Holdings, Inc. This transaction offers a comprehensive solution for addressing head and neck cancer in the region. Therefore, consolidating companies through mergers and acquisitions contributes to the regional market's growth. Thus, due to the factors above, the North American region is expected to experience growth in the studied market. 

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 12.9% over the forecast period.  The presence of a large population, increasing prevalence of head and neck cancer due to the rising rates of smoking, increasing alcohol and tobacco consumption, growing awareness about the availability of innovative drugs, and rising healthcare expenditure are the main factors contributing to this phenomenon. The increasing consumer awareness regarding early cancer detection and the growing demand for improved therapies are driving considerable market expansion in this region.

Europe holds a significant market share. Multiple significant factors drive the European market for head and cancer therapeutics. First and foremost, progress in medical technology and pharmaceutical research plays a crucial role in creating cutting-edge treatments and therapies. Moreover, promoting cancer preventive and early detection efforts stimulates market expansion. In addition, government regulations that provide support and money for research and development activities further encourage market growth. Moreover, the increasing number of elderly individuals and evolving lifestyles contribute to the rising occurrence of cancer, hence fueling the need for treatments. Finally, partnerships between pharmaceutical businesses and research institutes facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills, stimulating market advancement.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy
  3. Targeted Therapy
By Route of Administration
  1. Injectable
  2. Oral
By Distribution Channel
  1. Retail and Specialty Pharmacies
  2. Hospital Pharmacies
  3. Online Pharmacies
Company Profiles AstraZeneca PLC Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Eli Lilly and Company Fortress Biotech, Inc F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Immutep Limited Merck & Co., Inc. Merck KGaA Novartis AG Pfizer Inc.
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market is segmented based on type, route of administration, and distribution channels. 

The market is segmented based on type into Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation Therapy, Targeted Therapy, and Others. 

The chemotherapy segment dominated in 2023. This increase is attributed to the rise in the use of chemotherapeutic drugs during radiation therapy and the enhanced benefits of combination therapy. Currently, the following drugs have been approved for the treatment of head and neck cancer: bleomycin, cetuximab, docetaxel, paclitaxel, capecitabine, hydroxyurea, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil. Consequently, the growing prevalence of head and neck cancer and the rising adoption of chemotherapeutics for its treatment, along with the introduction of more therapeutic options, are driving the market expansion of this particular category. 

The targeted therapy segment is the fastest growing. Targeted therapy is a specific form of cancer treatment focusing on a particular genetic abnormality that aids in cell growth, division, and spread. The increase can be attributed to the rising acceptance of molecular targeted therapy, which offers improved selectivity and reduced adverse effects. As a result, it is the preferred treatment option for Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. 

The immunotherapy segment is the second largest. Immunotherapy utilizes the immune system to treat cancer. Pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug that inhibits the PD1 protein and targets explicitly cells with impaired DNA repair ability, could be classified in this group.

The market is divided based on the route of administration into Injectable and Oral. 

The oral segment dominated in 2023 as a result of the increasing prevalence of oral medications used in the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer. The study's successful completion and subsequent launch are expected to encourage growth in the segment. Oral chemotherapy is given to patients with cancer.

The injectables segment is the fastest growing. Injectables are crucial in the treatment of head and neck cancer as they allow for precise administration of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and supportive medicines. Their utilization provides for accurate delivery directly to damaged regions, hence improving the effectiveness of treatment while reducing the occurrence of systemic side effects. Due to continuous progress in drug formulations and delivery technologies, injectables are expected to continue playing a crucial role in the comprehensive approach to treating head and neck cancer. This will lead to innovation and the improvement of treatment techniques.

Based on distribution channels, the market is segmented into Hospital Pharmacies, Drug Stores, Retail Pharmacies, and Online Stores. 

The online stores segment dominated in 2023. The growth is attributed to the convenience of accessing essential medications online with a simple click and the growing preference for online stores over traditional physical pharmacies, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when people must stay home, and global lockdowns are in place.  The increasing acceptance of online prescriptions, especially among older people and individuals with disabilities, is driving the expansion of this sector.

Retail and specialty pharmacies are the fastest growing. Specialty pharmacies provide pharmaceuticals that are not accessible in regular pharmacies, such as immunotherapy therapies. Providing them through a specialty pharmacy guarantees these medications' proper and safe distribution, propelling the segment's growth.

Market Size By Type

Market Size By Type
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Recent Developments

    • May 2024– The interim analysis of the ECHO Phase III trial revealed encouraging outcomes for AstraZeneca's Calquence (acalabrutinib) when used in combination with standard-of-care chemoimmunotherapy bendamustine and rituximab. The results demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful enhancement in progression-free survival (PFS) compared to the standard of care treatment in adult patients with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
    • April 2024– The U.S. approved the use of Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan), developed by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo, in adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive (IHC 3+) solid tumors. This approval is specifically for individuals who have already undergone systemic treatment and do not have any other suitable treatment choices available.
    • March 2024 – AstraZeneca formally agreed to purchase Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical business in the advanced stages of developing radioconjugates (RCs) for medical use. The acquisition represents a significant advancement for AstraZeneca in achieving its goal of revolutionizing cancer treatment and improving patient outcomes. This will be accomplished by replacing conventional treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more precise and focused therapies.

    Top Key Players

    Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Share of Key Players

    Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Market Share of Key Players
    AstraZeneca PLC Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Eli Lilly and Company Fortress Biotech, Inc F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Immutep Limited Merck & Co., Inc. Merck KGaA Novartis AG Pfizer Inc. Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the head and neck cancer therapeutics market?
    The global head and neck cancer therapeutics market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 10.8 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 12.7% during the forecast period (2024-2032).
    Oral segment is the leading segment for the market during forecast period.
    Surging prevalence of neck and head cancer is some key driver supporting the growth of the head and neck cancer therapeutics market.
    North America region has the highest growth rate in the head and neck cancer therapeutics market.
    Key verticals adopting head and neck cancer therapeutics include: - AstraZeneca PLC, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Eli Lilly and Company, Fortress Biotech, Inc, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Immutep Limited, Merck & Co., Inc., Merck KGaA, Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc.

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