Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Aug;15(8):1485-9.

The cost of prostate cancer chemoprevention: a decision analysis model.

Author information

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX 75390-9110, USA.

Erratum in

  • Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 May;16(5):1042.



The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial found reduced prostate cancer prevalence for men treated with finasteride. The public health cost of wide-scale chemoprevention is unclear. We developed a model to help clarify the cost effectiveness of public use of prostate cancer-preventive agents.


A Markov decision analysis model was designed to determine the lifetime prostate health-related costs, beginning at the age of 50 years, for men treated with finasteride compared with placebo. Model assumptions were based on data from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, a literature review of survival and progression rates for patients treated with radical prostatectomy, and costs associated with prostate cancer disease states.


Chemoprevention with finasteride resulted in a gain of 8.7 [corrected] life years per 1,000 men at a cost of $1.107 million [corrected] per life year saved (LYS). However, if finasteride is assumed to not increase the incidence of high-grade tumors, it renders a gain of 16.9 [corrected] life years per 1,000 men at a cost of $578,400 [corrected] per LYS; finasteride must cost $160 per year [corrected] to reach $100,000 [corrected] per LYS. When applied to a population at higher risk (lifetime prevalence >or=40%) [corrected]for developing prostate cancer, the cost of finasteride must be reduced from its current cost ($62/month) to <$15/month [corrected]for the cost effectiveness to fall below $50,000 [corrected] per LYS.


Given the natural history of treated prostate cancer, implementation of chemoprevention would require an inexpensive medication with substantial cancer risk reduction to be cost effective. Targeting populations at higher risk for developing prostate cancer, however, allows for considerable flexibility in the medication cost to make prostate cancer chemoprevention a more attainable goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center