Cancer is the leading cause of death in Taiwan, and the overall incidence rate has gradually increased. The four most common cancers in Taiwan are colorectal, lung, breast and liver cancers. With the rise in incidence, the clinical use and costs of all anticancer drugs have steadily increased. The costs of novel therapeutics, such as targeted therapies and immunotherapy were accounted almost two-third of all antineoplastic agents in Taiwan. Moving forward, it will be necessary to discuss the economic impacts to clinical use of new therapeutics, while continuing to monitor and improve the quality of cancer therapy. In this review, we describe the epidemiology, disease screening policies and medication treatment policies for colorectal, lung, breast and liver cancer. We focus on the recent developments in cancer therapeutics, discuss the use of biomarkers, and finally consider the costs and the recent advances of anticancer medications in Taiwan.
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