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Horwitz EM , Hanlon AL , Pinover WH , Hanks GE
The cost effectiveness of 3D conformal radiation therapy compared with conventional techniques for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1999 Dec 1;45(5) :1219-25
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BACKGROUND: We previously demonstrated the advantages of three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) in improved rates of biochemical (bNED) control in certain subsets of patients with clinically localized prostate cancer. However, in this era of cost consciousness and limited resources, the cost effectiveness of 3DCRT compared with conventional external beam irradiation (CRT) remains unexamined. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between October 1, 1987 and November 30, 1991, 193 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer received definitive external beam irradiation at Fox Chase Cancer Center. The 1998 Medicare fee schedule was used to determine treatment charges and to provide a reference for a national comparison. Complete charges for pretreatment work-up, treatment, and follow-up were tabulated for each patient. The mean total charges (MTC) using the Lin method of estimating medical costs was used to analyze and compare costs between groups. A matched case/control analysis was performed to further evaluate the effect of cost between techniques. The median follow-up was 72 months (range 3-118). RESULTS: The overall 5-year actuarial rate of bNED control was 41% and 53%, respectively, for the CRT and 3DCRT patients (p = 0.03). The MTC for the CRT patients was $10,544.53. For the 3DCRT patients, the MTC was $8,955.48. The sample mean of the total costs from the observed deaths for the two patient groups by follow-up interval ranged from $9,800.63 to $59,635.01 for the CRT patients to $17,259.00 to $24,250.38 for the 3DCRT patients. No statistically significant difference in cost was observed between groups using the matched case/control analysis. CONCLUSION: Initial work-up and treatment costs were greater for patients treated with 3DCRT compared with patients treated with conventional techniques. However, with longer follow-up, the mean total cost of treatment was not statistically different between the two treatment groups. Because of improved rates of bNED control for these patients and the increased costs associated with the treatment of a greater fraction of patients with recurrent disease following CRT, 3DCRT was cost effective for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer.
0360-3016 Journal Article