Top 10 Anticancer Drugs In India For Prevalent Cancers

Anticancer Drugs In India
1 Jul 2022
13 mins
Table Of Content
Top 10 Anticancer Drugs In India For Prevalent Cancers

    Do you know? 


    Globally, cancer is the leading cause of death, and in India 2 people die from cancer every minute. Cancer is a group of disorders that can start anywhere in the body when the cells grow abnormally in an uncontrolled manner. The type of cancer treatment for an individual is unique and depends on various factors such as age, overall health, stage and location of cancer.


    Recent statistics show that the number of persons with cancer in India for 2020 is 1,392,179. And the leading cancers of the Indian population are breast cancer, cancer of the lip, oral cavity, cervix uteri cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, blood cancer, ovarian cancer, and liver cancer. This content will highlight the top 10 anticancer drugs in India for the most common cancers. With the advancement in cancer medicine, the latest study shows that the overall survival rate of cancer has increased to 70% in India when compared to previous years. 

    Effective Cancer Treatments


    Successful cancer treatment depends on two major parameters that include the stage of cancer and the effective cancer medicine. In India, oncologists follow multi-disciplinary treatment options to treat cancers such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Among these varied therapies, immunotherapy and targeted therapy have proven benefits in cancer patients as they are more specific in their actions and produce better treatment responses.


    Keep reading this article to learn more about the top 10 anti-cancer drugs that are making great strides in curing cancer.

    1. Pembrolizumab - Immunotherapy 

    Pembrolizumab belongs to the immunotherapy class of drugs in cancer treatment. This medication is used in treating the cancers of the lung, colorectal cancer, breast, ovarian, skin, stomach, and esophagus. Besides this, it is also used in treating blood cancers and cancers of the head & neck. 

    The pembrolizumab produces its action by boosting the immune system to act against the cancer cells, thereby preventing the progression of cancer. The mechanism involved here is that this medicine binds to the receptors present in the immune cells and inhibits the proteins that serve as signals for the growth of cancerous cells.

    Pembrolizumab can be administered as injectables such as an intravenous infusion. The latest report highlights that the survival rate of cancers treated with pembrolizumab has witnessed a tremendous surge and it is labeled as the blockbuster drug for cancer for its high success in treating advanced-stage lung cancer.

    2. Trastuzumab - Targeted Therapy

    In India, breast cancer is ranked number one cancer, where there is one woman who gets diagnosed with breast cancer every minute. Since most breast cancers in India are diagnosed at stages 3 and 4, the treatment strategy involves the use of targeted therapy that helps in increasing the survival rate. Among the different types of breast cancer, HER2-positive breast cancer is becoming a relatively common diagnosis and it is also classified as the most aggressive cancer.

    The drug that is predominantly used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer is trastuzumab which is a monoclonal antibody that acts by attacking the HER 2 proteins that play a key role in the rapid growth of cancer cells. This drug, trastuzumab selectively binds to the HER2 receptors and inhibits the abnormal multiplication of breast cancer cells. Trastuzumab has shown some promising results in treating breast cancer as women presented with better outcomes, it is administered via the intravenous route. It can either be used as a standalone therapy or combined with chemotherapy or surgery. In addition to breast cancer, trastuzumab is also used in the treatment of stomach and esophageal cancer.

    3. Bevacizumab -Targeted therapy


    Ovarian cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in Indian women. Bevacizumab works by inhibiting the vascular growth factor, a protein that is involved in the development of blood vessels within the tumor and enhances the progression of cancers. A current study has reported that the treatment of ovarian cancer with bevacizumab as a first-line agent produced effective results and also it has produced favorable outcomes in treating the relapse of ovarian cancer.


    This medicine is a monoclonal antibody that selectively targets the factor that is responsible for tumor growth. Above all this medicine is beneficial in treating several types of cancers such as lung cancer, advanced brain cancer, and cancers of the colon, breast, and cervical that have widely spread across the body.


    4. Nivolumab - Immunotherapy


    Nivolumab has produced dramatic outcomes in the treatment of advanced lung cancers in India. It has emerged as a resort for those who expressed failure towards platinum chemotherapy. A recent study also states that nivolumab has been very effective in Indian patients in tackling recurrent lung cancer. 


    The working mechanism of nivolumab is that this drug acts as an immunoglobulin 4 antibody and produces its action by binding to the immune cells. It enhances the immune system to fight competitively against cancer cells.


    Besides treating lung cancer, nivolumab is also indicated for its use on several other cancers such as colorectal cancer, head & neck cancer, gastric cancer, blood cancer, and cancers of the kidney, liver, skin, and the bladder. In the latest report, it was highlighted that low dose nivolumab has improved the survival rate of patients with head and neck cancer.


    5. Ipilimumab - Immunotherapy


    Ipilimumab has given some positive reviews on its use for treating metastatic colorectal cancer, in India colorectal cancer is among the top 5 leading cancers. Ipilimumab belongs to the class of immunotherapy and works by making use of the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. However, this medicine was initially approved for its use in treating deadly skin cancer and gained huge popularity. Now, Ipilimumab is being used as a combination with nivolumab in treating the cancers of the liver, lung, and advanced kidney cancer.


    6. Ramucirumab - Targeted Therapy


    India is witnessing a steady rise in cases of stomach cancer and it is reported that the incidence is quite higher among Indian men. Ramucirumab works as a targeted agent by blocking the growth of blood vessels in the tumor cells and stopping the further development of gastric cancer. Ramucirumab has been indicated for its use in advanced gastric cancer. The recent trials demonstrated that ramucirumab and chemotherapy agents together produced positive results in terms of efficacy and the prognosis of advanced gastric cancer was also improved.


    7. Atezolizumab - Immunotherapy


    Lung cancer is the second leading cancer in India. The reports state that atezolizumab has produced favourable outcomes in terms of improving the survival rate in lung cancer patients. It is estimated that about 1 in 5 lung cancer patients who received atezolizumab have expressed 2 years of survival rate. It is formulated as monoclonal antibodies that produce its action against the cancer cells by enhancing the immune system and functions of immune cells.  It can be administered for non-small lung cancer after the surgery or as a combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of extensive small cell lung cancer.


    8. Ribociclib - Targeted Therapy


    For treating advanced metastatic breast cancer in younger women, this drug called ribociclib has given excellent results and oncologists also stated that women with advanced breast cancer treated with ribociclib are able to extend their life expectancy when compared to the mainstream chemotherapy.

    9. Sunitinib - Targeted Therapy


    Renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer that accounts for almost 85% of kidney cancer and the incidence is greater in Indian men compared to women. Studies show that the drug called sunitinib that belongs to targeted therapy has reported a better patient response rate that produced 60% of disease control in advanced kidney cancer patients. This medication is intended for oral use and besides its use in treating kidney cancer it is also indicated for treating pancreatic cancer and tumors in the stomach. Sunitinib acts by blocking the enzymes that generate signals for cancer cell growth. Thereby it interrupts the signalling and factors that are responsible for cancer progression.  

    10. Ibrutinib - Targeted Therapy


    In India, there are about 1 lakh people diagnosed with blood cancer every year. It has become a growing health of concern as it affects more children. The growing requirement for treatment led to the development of ibrutinib, a targeted therapy that got its approval in 2016 as first line treatment for a certain type of leukemia. Recently, it is observed that ibrutinib has given successful results in treating blood cancer as it extended the survival rate in patients by delaying the cancer advancement. The ibrutinib produces its action by inhibiting the Bruton’s protein kinase, a protein that helps cancer cells grow abnormally. It is taken as pills and it is part of first-line blood cancer therapy.

    Kick Cancer Before It Kicks You


    Although the success rate of the top 10 anticancer drugs is high, the mortality rate due to cancer is surging as most of the cancers are detected only at the advanced stages. There are ample anticancer drugs, yet the above-mentioned drugs have significantly produced the effective outcomes in cancer patients by extending the life expectancy. It is recommended to catch the symptoms earlier and incorporate the practice of cancer screening to improve the survival rate and quality of life.


    Written by
    Monikashree.TContent Writer
    AboutPharm D
    Tags :Effective cancer treatmentsTop 10 anticancer drugsanti-cancer medicineanticancer drugscancer medicine