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Pediatrics. 2013 Jan;131(1):e273-87. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0912. Epub 2012 Dec 24.

Economic evaluation of pediatric cancer treatment: a systematic literature review.

Author information

  • 1Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. hvoelker@bcm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although there is a growing national focus on health care cost containment and accountability in resource utilization, childhood cancer therapy costs continue to increase without proportionate survival improvements. Economic evaluations (EEs) such as cost and/or cost effectiveness analysis may identify areas to improve resource efficiency. This review aims to identify and characterize the EE studies performed in this field.

METHODS:

We performed a structured literature search of the Medline, PubMed, and the National Health Service EE databases from 2000 to 2011. Concepts for the search included "cost analyses," "child," and "cancer." Studies were limited to original research, comparison of 2 or more treatments using monetary units, English language, and originating from economically developed countries. Identified studies were assessed by the Drummond checklist and characterized by the therapy studied, data sources, and research perspectives.

RESULTS:

Forty studies met inclusion criteria. Eleven studied chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. Twenty-nine studied supportive measures such as growth factor support or treatment of infection. The median Drummond score was 6 of 10 (range, 2-9). Only 15 (36%) included treatment outcomes when comparing costs. Methodological limitations were common.

CONCLUSIONS:

A wide variety of topics and methodological limitations made comparisons between studies difficult. Strategies for increasing the generalizability of future EE studies are presented. Substantial opportunity exists for EE research in childhood cancer.

PMID:
23266919
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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