Opportunities in Oncology Clinical Trials in Latin America

Opportunities in Oncology Clinical Trials in Latin America

Clinical trial in Oncology involves one of the most expensive and complex protocols in a research environment.  For the past few years, Latin America has been included in the scenario of this study area due to its patient’s recruitment potential, quality and effectiveness in data generation.


The Latin American pharmaceutical market is among the fastest growing across the world. The top eight pharmaceutical markets in Latin American were worth more than $30 billion dollars in 2009. Brazil is the largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America and accounts for more than $14 billion dollars, growing at double-digit rates.  Aging of the population, access to medicines in the public and private sector and initiatives from the local governments have given Latin America a permanent spot in pharmaceutical companies’ investment.


The cancer incidence in Brasil is about 500 thousand new oncologic cases per year.  The cancer subtypes most observed are: breast, melanoma, prostate, lung and uterus (scenario that does not differ much in the others Latin-America countries).  It is also important to mention that Latin America is involved in many cases to rescue patient’s recruitment for international clinical trials when associated to common cancer types or rare conditions (pancreas and esophageal cancer, respectively).


The quality of the data is another important feature that is now widely recognized in studies conducted in Latin America.  Part of this may be explained by the participation of Brazilian and other countries investigators in many international events (e.g.: ASCO). A growing number of genuine studies are also being conducted by these investigators who have shown great experience in managing these trials.


Giovanni Carvalho Giovanni Carvalho Pharmacist, MSc, PhD.

Nick Taylor Nick Taylor Senior Editor