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Oncology. 2006;70(1):71-80. Epub 2006 Feb 6.

Burden of pancreatic cancer and disease progression: economic analysis in the US.

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Medstat Inc., Washington, DC 20008, USA.



The few studies that have estimated the costs of pancreatic cancer were limited by small sample sizes, geography or patient age range. Using a large nationwide claims database, this study examines the cost of pancreatic cancer beginning with initial diagnosis and the additional costs when disease progresses.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a claims database of 3 million individuals covered by large US employers. The study population consisted of patients newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1999-2000 and a demographically matched control group. Utilization and costs were summarized as monthly means. Changes in cancer severity and treatment over time were used to approximate disease progression and its associated costs.


The study included 412 pancreatic cancer patients and 1,236 controls. The mean follow-up time was 7.5 months. Regression-adjusted monthly costs attributable to pancreatic cancer were USD 7,279; over 60% resulted from hospitalizations. Patients with disease progression (over 50%) incurred an additional USD 15,143 per month compared to patients without disease progression.


Compared to patients without cancer, the costs of pancreatic cancer patients were substantial, especially when patients experienced disease progression. New therapies that prevent or delay disease progression could potentially offset the costs to patients, providers and society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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