Authors: Tramontano AC, Chen Y, Watson TR, Eckel A, Hur C, Kong CY
Title: Esophageal cancer treatment costs by phase of care and treatment modality, 2000-2013.
Journal: Cancer Med 8(11):5158-5172
Date: 2019 Sep
PubMed ID: 31347306
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Detailed cost estimates are not widely available for esophageal cancer. Our study estimates phase-specific costs for esophageal cancer by age, year, histology, stage, and treatment for older patients in the United States and compares these costs within stage and treatment modalities. METHODS: We identified 8061 esophageal cancer patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database for years 1998-2013. Total, cancer-attributable, and patient-liability costs were calculated based on separate phases of care-staging (or surgery), initial, continuing, and terminal. We estimated costs by treatment modality within stage and phase for esophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma separately. We fit linear regression models using log transformation to determine cost by age and calendar year. All costs are reported in 2018 US dollars. RESULTS: Overall, mean (95% CI) monthly total cost estimates were high during the staging ($8953 [$8385-$9485]) and initial phases ($7731 [$7492-$7970]), decreased over the continuing phase ($2984 [$2814-$3154]), and increased substantially during the 6-month terminal phase ($18 150 [$17 211-$19 089]). This pattern of high staging and initial phase costs, decreasing continuing phase costs, and increasing terminal phase costs was seen in all stages. The highest staging costs were in stages III ($9249, $8025-$10 474) and II ($9171, $7642-$10 699). The highest initial phase cost was in stage IV, $9263 ($8758-49 768), the lowest continuing phase cost was in stage I, $2338 ($2160-$2517), and the highest terminal phase costs were in stages II ($20 533, $17 772-$23 293) and III ($20 599, $18 268-$22 929). The linear regression models showed that cancer-attributable costs remained stable over the study period and were unaffected by age for most histology, stage, and treatment modality subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Our estimates demonstrate that esophageal cancer costs can vary widely by histology, stage, and treatment. These cost estimates can be used to guide future resource allocation for esophageal cancer care and research.