Publication Abstract

Authors: Poonawalla IB, Lairson DR, Chan W, Piller LB, Du XL

Title: Cost-Effectiveness of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy versus Primary Surgery in Elderly Patients with Advanced Ovarian Cancer.

Journal: Value Health 18(4):387-95

Date: 2015 Jun

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer has increased in recent years. There is uncertainty about NAC's effectiveness and no study of its cost-effectiveness compared with that of standard primary debulking surgery (PDS). OBJECTIVES: To seek answers to three important questions: 1) What is the lifetime cost of treating elderly patients with advanced ovarian cancer, based on the primary treatment received? 2) Are the extra costs expended by the NAC group worth any extra survival advantage? 3) Would NAC potentially benefit a particular subgroup and serve as a cost-effective first-line treatment approach? METHODS: A cohort of elderly women (≥65 years) with stage III/IV ovarian cancer was identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare linked database from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2009. Cost analysis was conducted from a payer perspective, and direct medical costs incurred by Medicare were integrated for each patient. Cumulative treatment costs were estimated with a phase-of-care approach, and effectiveness was measured as years of survival. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and propensity-score-adjusted net monetary benefit regression was used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of NAC per life-year gained. Analyses were further stratified by risk group categorization on the basis of tumor stage, patient age, and comorbidity score. RESULTS: Average lifetime cost for treatment with NAC was $17,417 more than with PDS. With only 0.1 incremental life-year gained, the ICER estimate was $174,173. Stratification, however, helped to delineate the treatment effect. Patients in the high-risk subgroup incurred $34,390 and 0.8 life-years more than did patients in the PDS subgroup, with a corresponding ICER of $42,987. In the non-high-risk subgroup, NAC use was dominated by PDS (more costly, less effective). CONCLUSIONS: Administering NAC before surgery to patients in the high-risk subgroup was cost-effective at "normal" levels of willingness to pay, but not for the overall sample or for patients in the non-high-risk subgroup.