Liver Cancer Drugs Market Size to Capture USD 9.94 Bn Leading at 14.2% of CAGR by 2032


The liver cancer drugs market size was worth USD 2.67 billion in 2023 is expected to grow to USD 9.94 billion by 2032, rising with a CAGR of 14.2% from 2024 to 2032.

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Liver cancer, responsible for over 800,000 deaths annually, ranks as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

Public health authorities are deeply concerned about liver cancer due to its increasing incidence and the low 30%–35% projected 5-year survival rate after diagnosis. Primary liver cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the liver tissues. It’s important to distinguish primary liver cancer from metastatic cancer, which originates elsewhere in the body and spreads to the liver.

Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for approximately 90% of liver cancer cases, with other types like hepatoblastoma and intrahepatic carcinoma being less common. While the exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, chronic hepatitis infections, particularly hepatitis B and hepatitis C, are significant risk factors.

For example, in 2019, the WHO estimated that there were 296 million individuals worldwide living with chronic hepatitis B infection, with 1.5 million new cases occurring annually. Hepatitis B is responsible for around 820,000 deaths globally, mainly due to hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis, both forms of primary liver cancer.

The primary treatment for advanced liver cancer includes various medications and immunotherapy, while second-line treatments consist of chemotherapeutic medications derived from natural and synthetic sources. First-line treatments such as sorafenib and lenvatinib are used, while regorafenib and ramucirumab are among the second-line options. Treatment selection depends largely on the stage of the disease. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), along with other second-line treatments, have shown to prolong survival and improve outcomes in a large population of patients, including those who have undergone immunotherapy, with a stable safety profile.

Surgical options for liver cancer include hepatectomy, liver transplantation, as well as ablation and radiation therapy.

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CSIR’s Latest Research Highlights on Liver Cancer Prevention, January 2024

In January 2024, the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) in India, in collaboration with CIMAP, CBMR, and CSIR-CDRI, released new findings suggesting that preventing liver cancer may involve targeting metabolic changes in cells.

The study, led by Dr. Madhav Nilakanth Mugale of CSIR-CDRI, focused on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer. It revealed that cancer cells undergo metabolic reprogramming, which could be utilized for both preventive and diagnostic purposes.

Using an animal model to mimic human HCC development, the study observed specific alterations associated with HCC progression, including decreased body mass, elevated serum enzyme levels, and changes in hepatic architecture.

Published in the prestigious international journal Elsevier, this research opens avenues for the development of targeted therapies based on metabolic reprogramming.

Link Between Type 2 Diabetes, Liver Cancer, and Screening Implications

Excess fat production in individuals with type 2 diabetes results from the liver’s inability to consistently regulate high blood sugar levels. This increases the likelihood of liver cancer, particularly in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD can lead to irreversible liver inflammation and scarring, ultimately causing cirrhosis. Type 2 diabetes exacerbates liver damage, significantly elevating the risk of liver cancer, which is two to four times higher in diabetic individuals compared to non-diabetic individuals.

A recent Stanford Medicine study, published in February 2024, suggests that a readily measurable biophysical characteristic can identify type 2 diabetics who are at increased risk of liver cancer but may not meet existing screening criteria.

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Implications of the Study:

  1. Current screening standards primarily target individuals with cirrhosis. However, many high-risk individuals, especially those with type 2 diabetes who may not develop cirrhosis, are overlooked.
  2. The research highlights the necessity of reevaluating screening procedures to include patients with diabetes. Early detection through expanded screening could lead to better outcomes.
  3. This research not only impacts liver cancer screening but may also influence screening strategies for other diabetes-related cancers, such as breast cancer.

Advancements in Liver Cancer Therapy

In recent years, significant strides have been made by major players in cancer therapeutics in studying and developing new treatment approaches for liver cancers. Manufacturers are actively conducting clinical trials on combination therapies and advancing treatment options.

For instance:

Terumo Introduces B-TACE (Balloon-TACE) Therapy

  • In March 2024, Japan-based company Terumo launched B-TACE (Balloon-TACE), an advanced therapy for managing liver cancer. Terumo’s B-TACE device, Occlusafe, allows chemotherapy drugs to be delivered to the tumor with greater precision and targeting. This results in less harm to surrounding healthy tissues.

Biosyngen’s BST02 Receives Fast Track Designation

  • In February 2024, Biosyngen’s BST02 received a Fast Track Designation (FTD) grant from the US FDA covering the management of all forms of liver cancer, including cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

AstraZeneca’s EMERALD-1 Trial Shows Positive Results

  • In January 2024, AstraZeneca’s EMERALD-1 Phase III trial yielded positive results. Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) eligible for embolization saw a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) when Imfinzi (durvalumab) was combined with TACE and bevacizumab, compared to TACE alone.

Terumo Introduces B-TACE (Balloon-TACE) Therapy

  • In November 2023, Japan-based company Terumo launched B-TACE (Balloon-TACE), an advanced therapy for managing liver cancer. Terumo’s B-TACE device, Occlusafe, allows chemotherapy drugs to be delivered to the tumor with greater precision and targeting, resulting in less harm to surrounding healthy tissues.

Evolution of Liver Cancer Therapy Landscape

Over the past 16 years, the treatment landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma has exhibited a significant transformation due to major advancements in targeted therapy. This growing journey can be attributed to several factors such as:

  • Sorafenib (2007): Sorafenib being the first ever effective and approved targeted therapy for advanced HCC, marked a turning point in liver cancer therapeutics. This innovation opened new doors to more therapeutic developments.
  • Emerging Treatment Options: New targeted medicines such as Lenvatinib and the combination of Bevacizumab and Atezolizumab have become viable first-line therapeutic choices for patients with advanced HCC, capitalizing on the therapeutic efficacy of Sorafenib. The introduction of Ramucirumab, Regorafenib, and Cabozantinib (for patients with AFP > 400 ng/mL) has greatly expanded the therapeutic choices available for advanced HCC patients receiving second-line treatment.

Sr. No.

Type of Therapy

Targeted Therapies


Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors






VEGF Inhibitors

Bevacizumab + Atezolizumab



Other Targeted Agents




Galunisertib + Sorafenib


Patients with advanced HCC can now expect better treatment outcomes and a more optimistic prognosis because of these developments in targeted therapy.

BST02’s Fast Track Designation Grant: A Recent Breakthrough in Liver Cancer Treatment

Biosyngen’s immune therapy product, BST02, received the FDA’s Fast Track Development Grant in February 2024 for its clinical development to treat all types of liver cancer. Biosyngen, an immune-oncology company, is pioneering cancer treatment development and approval by leveraging the patient’s immune system to combat cancer—a strategy that may outperform more established TIL medicines. BST02 is an adoptive immune cell treatment, a T cell therapy based on the patient’s own tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, which are expanded in vitro. It holds promise in treating liver cancer in all its forms, offering renewed hope for sufferers. Compared to conventional TIL therapies, BST02 boasts several advantages, including its cryopreserved form, which allows it to overcome geographic limitations, and reduced reliance on large interleukin-2 dosages.

Geographical Disparities in Liver Cancer Incidence

Despite significant progress in prevention and control, the incidence and prevalence of non-infectious diseases have surged in recent decades.

Liver cancer ranks second in cancer-related deaths and is the sixth most common cancer globally. In Asia alone, approximately 609,596 new cases of liver cancer were reported in 2020, accounting for about 72.5% of global liver cancer incidence.

Regional variations exist; sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia have the highest rates, though their underlying causes differ. High-income countries have witnessed a decline in liver cancer cases due to widespread viral hepatitis treatment and vaccination programs. Conversely, there is an increase in low-income countries, often linked to unsafe injection practices and viral hepatitis.

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Liver Cancer Drugs Market Players

  • Bayer AG
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Eisai Co., Ltd.
  • Exelixis, Inc.
  • Merck KGaA
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Eisai Inc.
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Liver Cancer Drugs Market Segments

By Drug Class

  • Targeted Therapy 

    • Bevacizumab
    • Cabozantinib
    • Lenvatinib
    • Ramucirumab
    • Regorafenib
    • Sorafenib
    • Other Targeted Therapies

  • Immunotherapy 

    • Atezolizumab with Bevacizumab
    • Nivolumab with Ipilimumab
    • Pembrolizumab
    • Durvalumab with Tremelimumab
    • Other Immunotherapies

  • Chemotherapy 

    • Gemcitabine
    • Oxaliplatin
    • Cisplatin
    • Doxorubicin
    • 5-fluorouracil
    • Capecitabine
    • Mitoxantrone
    • Other Chemotherapies

By Distribution Channel

  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Retail Pharmacy
  • Online Pharmacy

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa
  • South America

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