Oncology Clinical Trials Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Oncology Clinical Trials Market is Segmented by Phase (Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV), Design (Treatment Studies and Observational Studies), Cancer Type (Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Prostate Cancer, and Other Cancer Types), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Oncology Clinical Trials Market Overview
Study Period: 2018-2026
Base Year: 2019
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 5.4 %

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Market Overview

The global oncology clinical trials market is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a potential economic impact and implications on most sectors, including the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Worldwide governments responded to the threat of COVID-19 with all the essential measures, such as social distancing, nationwide lockdown, travel restrictions, and large-scale quarantines that were anticipated to impact the businesses and consumer spending negatively. Many countries had been in lockdown and have suspended the trades with other countries, leading to declining market capitalizations of major companies, worldwide, along with a decline in industrial production and other businesses.​

The impact of COVID-19 on the oncology clinical trials market was negative because cancer clinical trials number was decreased to prevent the spread of the virus. For instance, according to a research article by Emma Wilkinson published in the Journal - The Lancet February 2021, there was a 60% decrease in new cancer clinical trials and biological therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020.

The rising number of cancer cases, the need for personalized medicines, and the high R&D spending of the pharmaceutical industry for oncology are some of the key factors driving the market growth. For instance, in September 2018, the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) announced the list of scientific projects and researchers who have been awarded funding for the next few years out of the five cancer researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (Barcelona).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2018, approximately 70% of the deaths in low and middle-income countries were due to cancer. With this growing burden, the prevention of cancer is one of the most significant challenges.

It has also been found that there are a large number of unmet clinical needs in emerging countries, due to the high burden of cancer. For instance, as per GLOBOCAN 2020 Data, globally, in 2020, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Female breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung cancer (11.4%), colorectal cancer (10.0 %), prostate cancer (7.3%), and stomach cancer (5.6%). Lung cancer remained the leading cause of cancer death, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18%), followed by colorectal cancer (9.4%), liver cancer (8.3%), stomach cancer (7.7%), and female breast (6.9%) cancer.

The growth of the studied market is attributed to the favorable government and non-government initiatives supporting cancer research. For instance, National Cancer Institute (NCI) is running several clinical trials programs and initiatives to support clinical research. Thus, the research for treating cancer is moving forward at a rapid pace. For FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the 21st Century Cures Act allocated USD 6.56 billion to National Cancer Institute (NCI), a USD 119 million increase over the regular and Cancer Moonshot appropriations allocated in FY 2020.

Additionally, IQVIA, PAREXEL International Corporation, and PRA Health Sciences have entered this field. For instance, in June 2018, Acurian and Synexus, a part of PPD, launched SynexusPlus. SynexusPlus is a site solution for patient enrollment in clinical studies. Thus, owing to the factors mentioned above, it is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

As per the scope of the report, oncology clinical trials are experiments that are conducted under clinical research and follow a regulated protocol. These experiments are primarily performed to obtain data regarding the safety and efficacy of newly developed drugs. Clinical trial data is mandatory for drug approval and for it to be introduced in the market. These trials are performed under different phases, which depend upon various factors. The global oncology clinical trials market is segmented by phase (phase I, phase II, phase III, and phase IV), design (treatment studies and observational studies), cancer type (lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, and other cancer types), and geography (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Phase
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
Phase IV
By Design
Treatment Studies
Observational Studies
By Cancer Type
Lung Cancer
Breast Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Other Cancer Types
By Geography
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
South Korea
Rest of Asia Pacific
Middle-East and Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America

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Key Market Trends

Lung Cancer Segment is Expected to Hold Significant Market Growth Over the Forecast Period

Lung cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that multiply in one or both lungs. People who smoke have the highest risk of lung cancer, though it can also affect people who never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with the duration and number of cigarettes the patient smoked.

According to a research article by Zhang H et al., published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2020, the study results found that cancer patients who contracted COVID-19 had a 23% risk of mortality compared to a 6% risk for non-cancer patients. In patients treated with chemotherapy, surgery, or immunotherapy, the case fatality rate was 25.6%, 27.6%, and 24.3%, respectively. Additionally, according to the National Clinical Trials (NCT) Registry 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, lung cancer treatment, diagnosis, and subsequent management have been affected. These rapid changes reflected the shifting risk-benefit ratio for patients and diminished resources.

Moreover, as per the above source, lung cancer had a higher risk of mortality from COVID-19 than any other cancer type (33%). Lung cancers are the most common cancer, accounting for almost 13% of new diagnoses and the top cause of cancer death, worldwide.

Furthermore, according to the Globocan Database, in 2020, worldwide, around 2,206,771 new lung cancer cases. Additionally, in 2020, about 1,435,943 (14.3%) new lung cancer cases were registered in men and women, around 770,828 (8.4%) new lung cancer cases.

Globally, lung cancer is the leading cause of death in men and women. The highest incidence rates in women are in North America, Northern and Western Europe (notably in Denmark and the Netherlands), China, and Australia & New Zealand, with Hungary topping the list. Moreover, it is estimated that the number of new cases may grow from 18.1 million to 29.4 million, between 2018 and 2040.

According to the National Clinical Trials (NCT) Registry, as of April 3, 2021, around 8,306 clinical trials are related to lung cancer across the various phases of development. The positive outcome of these clinical trials is expected to show a positive impact on the market in the future. Thus, owing to the factors mentioned above, it is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.

Oncology Clinical Trials Market Growth

North America Dominates the Market and is Expected to do the Same over the Forecast Period

Some of the factors driving the market growth include the rising burden of cancer, the presence of big outsourcing firms, and increasing R&D in the region.

In the North American region, the impact of COVID-19 on the market was negative because clinical trials related to cancer were suspended or terminated due to COVID-19. In the United States, some biopharmaceutical companies, such as Merck & Co. Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company, announced clinical trial delays. For instance, data from ClinicalTrials.gov showed that more than 200 interventional oncology studies were suspended in March and April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, 60% of institutions in the United States have suspended clinical trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 report, it is estimated that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 220,400 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Canada in 2019. The number of cases expected in males (113,000) is slightly higher than in females (107,400).

In the North American region, the United States is expected to lead the market, and it is mainly due to factors, such as the increasing R&D investments, rising government support, and increasing demand for drug development. For instance, there is a tremendous amount of funding in the United States, to increase R&D in the field of cancer. As per the data published by NCI in FY 2019, the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act included USD 5.74 billion for NCI, a USD 79 million increase over FY 2018. The NCI also received USD 400 million in FY 2019, for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot.

Moreover, with the increase in cancer cases, the number of clinical trials is expected to rise in the coming few years. For instance, according to the National Clinical Trials (NCT) Registry, as of April 3, 2021, in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, there are around 38,445, 5,692, and 726 clinical trials related to cancer across the various phases of development. Thus, considering above mentioned factors, it is expected to fuel the market growth in the North American region over the forecast period.

Oncology Clinical Trials Market Share By Region

Competitive Landscape

The oncology clinical trials market is fragmented competitive. The major pharmaceutical companies are found making enormous investments in R&D, especially in the emerging nations, to gain opportunities for market growth in the major regions. The strategic partnerships among pharmaceutical companies and the CROs are expected to have a significant impact on the market's growth. Some market players include Novartis AG, Merck & Co. Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb Company, F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and Pfizer Inc.

Recent Developments

In March 2021, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. started a phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of fixed-dose co-formulated pembrolizumab/quavonlimab (MK-1308A) plus lenvatinib in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In July 2020, Novartis AG started a phase III clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of alpelisib in combination with trastuzumab and pertuzumab, as maintenance treatment of patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Growing Burden of Cancer Worldwide

      2. 4.2.2 Increasing Role of Precision and Personalized Medicine for Cancer Treatment

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Stringent Regulations for Patient Enrollment

    4. 4.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Phase

      1. 5.1.1 Phase I

      2. 5.1.2 Phase II

      3. 5.1.3 Phase III

      4. 5.1.4 Phase IV

    2. 5.2 By Design

      1. 5.2.1 Treatment Studies

      2. 5.2.2 Observational Studies

    3. 5.3 By Cancer Type

      1. 5.3.1 Lung Cancer

      2. 5.3.2 Breast Cancer

      3. 5.3.3 Leukemia

      4. 5.3.4 Prostate Cancer

      5. 5.3.5 Other Cancer Types

    4. 5.4 By Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 5.4.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.4.3 Asia Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. South Korea

        6. Rest of Asia Pacific

      4. 5.4.4 Middle-East and Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa

      5. 5.4.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Johnson & Johnson

      2. 6.1.2 Pfizer Inc

      3. 6.1.3 F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd

      4. 6.1.4 Novartis AG

      5. 6.1.5 Merck & Co. Inc.

      6. 6.1.6 GlaxoSmithKline PLC

      7. 6.1.7 Sanofi

      8. 6.1.8 AbbVie Inc.

      9. 6.1.9 AstraZeneca PLC

      10. 6.1.10 Bristol Myers Squibb company

      11. 6.1.11 Eli Lilly and Compan

      12. 6.1.12 Astellas Pharma Inc.

      13. 6.1.13 Boehringer Ingelheim

      14. 6.1.14 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
**Competitive Landscape covers- Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies and Recent Developments

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Oncology Clinical Trials Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Global Oncology Clinical Trials Market is growing at a CAGR of 5.4% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2019.

Novartis AG, Merck & Co Inc., F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Pfizer Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb Company are the major companies operating in Global Oncology Clinical Trials Market.

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