You are here:

Oncology (General Cancer)/Rough estimate of % of patients on platinum based chemo


Dear Dr. Higby - I am doing some research into new nanocarrier formulations of chemotherapies and wanted to better understand the patient size/market opportunity for these. My question is, in your experience, how many patients with pancreatic cancer are given a platinum-based chemo (cisplatin, oxaliplatin or carboplatin)? If you had an estimate for NSCLC, CRC, head and neck and solid tumours that would be immensely helpful too.

Would you have similar estimates for epirubicin (and/or doxorubicin) in solid tumours and breast cancer?  And paclitaxel in breast cancer?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

for pancreatic cancer:  30%
for NSCLC -- 85%
for CRC -- 50%
for HN -- 50%
for other solid tumors -- 35%

anthracyclines in solid tumors other than breast cancer -- 20%
in breast cancer -- 65%

Taxol in breast cancer -- 25%

I am basing these estimates on my experience.  I can't find much in the literature that answers the precise question.  I am also considering all comers.  If one were to think only about patients with higher stages of disease, the numbers would be larger.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2016 All rights reserved.