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Neuro Oncol. 2005 Apr;7(2):189-95.

Cost of temozolomide therapy and global care for recurrent malignant gliomas followed until death.

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Health Technology Assessment Unit, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Effectiveness and costs of care and treatment of recurrent malignant gliomas are largely unknown. In this study, 49 patients (32 males, 17 females; mean age, 49; age range, 23-79) were treated with temozolomide (TMZ) for recurrent or progressive malignant gliomas after standard radiation therapy. Cost assessment (payer's perspective) singled out treatment for first recurrence and all costs of care until death. We computed personnel costs as wages; drugs, imaging, and laboratory tests as prices; and hospitalizations as day rates. Patients were administered a median of five TMZ cycles at recurrence. Drug acquisition costs amounted to euro 2206 per cycle (76% of total costs). Seven patients showed no second recurrence (two are still alive), 16 received no further chemotherapy and died after 3.9 months, and 26 received second-line chemotherapy. After the second progression, median survival was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval, 1.8-6.1). Overall monthly costs of care varied between euro 2450 and euro 3242 among the different groups, and median cost-effectiveness and cost utility ranged from euro 28,817 to euro 38,450 and from euro 41,167 to euro 53,369 per life of year and per quality-adjusted life-year gained, respectively. We conclude that despite high TMZ drug acquisition costs, care of recurrent malignant gliomas is comparable to other accepted therapies.

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