Cost-effectiveness of modern radiotherapy techniques in locally advanced pancreatic cancer

Authors


Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Radiotherapy may improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer but at an increased cost. In this study, the authors evaluated the cost-effectiveness of modern radiotherapy techniques in the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

METHODS:

A Markov decision-analytic model was constructed to compare the cost-effectiveness of 4 treatment regimens: gemcitabine alone, gemcitabine plus conventional radiotherapy, gemcitabine plus intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT); and gemcitabine with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Patients transitioned between the following 5 health states: stable disease, local progression, distant failure, local and distant failure, and death. Health utility tolls were assessed for radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments and for radiation toxicity.

RESULTS:

SBRT increased life expectancy by 0.20 quality-adjusted life years (QALY) at an increased cost of $13,700 compared with gemcitabine alone (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER] = $69,500 per QALY). SBRT was more effective and less costly than conventional radiotherapy and IMRT. An analysis that excluded SBRT demonstrated that conventional radiotherapy had an ICER of $126,800 per QALY compared with gemcitabine alone, and IMRT had an ICER of $1,584,100 per QALY compared with conventional radiotherapy. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the probability of cost-effectiveness at a willingness to pay of $50,000 per QALY was 78% for gemcitabine alone, 21% for SBRT, 1.4% for conventional radiotherapy, and 0.01% for IMRT. At a willingness to pay of $200,000 per QALY, the probability of cost-effectiveness was 73% for SBRT, 20% for conventional radiotherapy, 7% for gemcitabine alone, and 0.7% for IMRT.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current results indicated that IMRT in locally advanced pancreatic cancer exceeds what society considers cost-effective. In contrast, combining gemcitabine with SBRT increased clinical effectiveness beyond that of gemcitabine alone at a cost potentially acceptable by today's standards. Cancer 2012;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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