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Oncol Rep. 1998 Nov-Dec;5(6):1475-82.

Treatments for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: analysis of survival data and cost-effectiveness evaluation.

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  • 1Drug Information Center, Pharmaceutical Service, Florence, Italy.


The main therapeutic options currently available to induce remission in newly diagnosed cases of multiple myeloma include: i) melphalan at conventional doses without concurrent administration of interferon; ii) melphalan at conventional dose combined with interferon; iii) autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). We conducted an analysis of the survival data reported in five large-scale published clinical trials and we evaluated the cost-effectiveness ratio. We determined the mean lifetime survival (MLS) for each treatment group using the Gompertz model. The cost data of patients given ABMT or standard chemotherapy were estimated from published information. The values of MLS were 3.47 years per patient for melphalan at conventional doses without interferon, 3.74 years for melphalan at conventional doses combined with interferon, and 7.28 years for ABMT. As compared with conventional melphalan treatment, ABMT yielded a significantly better survival. Survival after melphalan combined with interferon was not significantly different from that following melphalan alone. Using melphalan at conventional doses without interferon as reference term, the marginal cost-effectiveness ratio of ABMT was of about $26,000 per life year gained. For the induction treatment in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma, ABMT seems to be more effective and more cost-effective than the standard treatment with melphalan at conventional doses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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