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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009 May;15(5):564-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Costs of hematopoietic cell transplantation: comparison of umbilical cord blood and matched related donor transplantation and the impact of posttransplant complications.

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University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a complex and costly procedure. Unrelated umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an alternative graft source for patients without matched related donors (MRD); however, costs of UCB HCT have not been described. We compared the costs of HCT within the first 100 days among recipients of MRD (myeloablative = 67, nonmyeloablative = 54) or UCB (myeloablative = 63, nonmyeloablative = 110) HCT. Cost and hospitalization data were obtained from the institutional accounting department. The 100-day probabilities of overall survival (OS) and cumulative incidence of treatment-related mortality (TRM) were comparable among 4 transplant types; however, neutrophil recovery was delayed and graft failure was more likely in UCB recipients. The median cost per day survived (excluding costs of graft acquisition) was $1016 for myeloablative MRD, $2082 for myeloablative UCB, $612 for nonmyeloablative MRD, and $1156 for nonmyeloablative UCB recipients, respectively (P < .001). In multivariate analysis, adjusting for important patient, disease, and HCT-related characteristics, as well as major post-HCT complications, factors associated with higher costs within the first 100 days were myeloablative UCB HCT (relative risk 1.3 [95% confidence intervals, 1.1-1.5] versus myeloablative MRD HCT), graft failure (1.8 [1.7-1.9]), need for dialysis (1.3 [1.1-1.5]) or mechanical ventilation (1.3 [1.2-1.4]) and total hospital stay in the highest tertile (>48 days; 2.1 [1.9-2.3]). The median cost per day survived for patients with graft failure was $6976 (versus $1105 for no graft failure), dialysis was $4764 (versus $1102 for no dialysis), and $5099 for mechanical ventilation (versus $977 for no mechanical ventilation). Within the first 100 days, the absolute costs of myeloablative and nonmyeloablative UCB are higher than myeloablative and nonmyeloablative MRD transplantation. These costs are primarily driven by severe posttransplant complications, graft failure, and prolonged inpatient stay. Strategies to enhance engraftment will decrease the costs of UCB transplantation.

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