Driven by an expanding patient population and the launches of a number of premium-priced branded treatments, the Russian market for drugs to treat prostate cancer is set to grow by around 6% each year to 2016, according to new forecasts.

The total number of diagnosed incident cases of prostate cancer in Russia will increase by 5% per year between 2011 and 2016, largely as a result of an ageing population and the rising number of disease diagnoses, according to the forecasts, from Decision Resources. 

The study also forecasts that a gradual increase and continued use of branded luteinising hormone-releasing (LHRH) agonists, such as AstraZeneca's Zoladex (goserelin) and Pharm-Sintez's Buserelin (buserelin acetate), will supplement the growth of the prostate cancer drug treatment market during the period under review. LHRH agonists and antiandrogens are the most commonly-prescribed agents for patients with localised and metastatic disease, in additional to prescribed chemotherapy for the latter patient group, the report points out.

Among uses of hormonal agents for the treatment of prostate cancer, branded LHRH agonises will partially replace lower-priced, generically-available antiandrogens, particularly the monotherapy regimens, and this change will parallel the shift in medical practice that has already taken place in the major markets, it adds.

"As is the case in the major markets, LHRH agonists and antiandrogens are by far the most frequently-prescribed therapies for treatment across all stages of prostate cancer in Russia, with locally-manufactured Buserelin as the most popular LHRH agonist," according to Natalia Reoutova, an analyst with Decision Resources.

"However, as the disease progresses, we've found that Russian oncourologists are more likely to resort to chemotherapy after the first-line hormonal treatment fails," she adds.

The report also forecasts the launch of three novel branded agents in Russia throughout the next five years. These are Takeda/Millennium’s orteronel (TAK-700), Medivation/Astellas' Xtandi (enzalutamide) and Algeta/Bayer Healthcare's Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride).

Together with the recent approvals of Sanofi's Jevtana (cabazitaxel) and Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), these therapies are expected to contribute 19% of the total market sales in 2016, Decision Resources forecasts.