Publication Abstract

Authors: Kwan SW, Mortell KE, Hippe DS, Brunner MC

Title: An economic analysis of sublobar resection versus thermal ablation for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer.

Journal: J Vasc Interv Radiol 25(10):1558-64; quiz 1565

Date: 2014 Oct

Abstract: PURPOSE: To compare medical costs for a matched-pair cohort of Medicare patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who underwent treatment with sublobar resection or thermal ablation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients at least 65 years of age with stage IA/IB NSCLC treated with sublobar resection or thermal ablation from 2007 to 2009 were identified from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results/Medicare-linked data and matched by propensity scores. The primary outcome of interest, cost from the payer's perspective, was derived from Medicare claims data. A partitioned inverse probability-weighted estimator was used to calculate mean and median treatment-related costs and costs at 1, 3, 12, 18, and 24 months after treatment. Baseline characteristics, Kaplan-Meier survival curves, and calculated cost variables were compared between the two groups. RESULTS: The final matched cohort of 128 patients had similar baseline characteristics and overall survival (P = .52). Patients who underwent ablation had significantly lower treatment-related costs than those who underwent sublobar resection (P < .001). The difference in median treatment-related cost was $16,105. At 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months after treatment, cumulative costs remained significantly different (P ≤ .011). Lower cost associated with ablations performed in the outpatient setting was a major contributor to the differences between the two treatment modalities, although inpatient ablations maintained a small cost advantage over sublobar resections. CONCLUSIONS: Among matched Medicare patients with stage I NSCLC, thermal ablation resulted in significantly lower treatment-related costs and cumulative medical costs 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months after treatment compared with sublobar resection.