Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Springerplus. 2014 Jun 30;3:328. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-328. eCollection 2014.

Health resource utilization associated with skeletal-related events in patients with advanced breast cancer: results from a prospective, multinational observational study.

Author information

  • 1Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
  • 2National Cancer Institute IRCCS Giovanni Paolo II, Bari, Italy ; Oncology Institute ASL, Lecce, Italy.
  • 3Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal (CIOCC), Madrid, Spain.
  • 4Health Economics, Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Zug, Switzerland.
  • 5Instituto Catalán d'Oncología ICO-IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 6Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield, UK.
  • 7University Hospitals Bristol, Bristol, UK.
  • 8Biostatistics, Ovatech Solutions, London, UK.
  • 9Biostatistics, Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA USA.
  • 10Scientific Publications, Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Zug, Switzerland.
  • 11Forschungszentrum Ruhr, Witten, Germany.


Patients with breast cancer and bone metastases often experience skeletal complications (skeletal-related events [SREs]: pathologic fracture, radiation to bone, surgery to bone or spinal cord compression). Prospective data on the health resource burden of SREs are needed for planning healthcare requirements and estimating the value of new treatments, but limited data are available. This prospective, observational study collected health resource utilization (HRU) data independently attributed to SREs by investigators. Eligible patients had bone metastases secondary to breast cancer, life expectancy ≥6 months, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤2, and at least one SRE in the 97 days before enrollment. Data, collected retrospectively for 97 days before enrollment and prospectively for 18-21 months, included number and duration of inpatient stays, outpatient visits, emergency room visits and procedures. Altogether, 223 patients were enrolled from Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Of the 457 SREs, 118 (25.8%) were associated with inpatient stays. The mean duration of stay was 19.5 (standard deviation [SD] 19.2) days per SRE (based on 117 SREs). Surgery to bone and spinal cord compression were the SREs most likely to require inpatient stays (77.8% and 57.9% of SREs, respectively), while radiation to bone was the least likely (9.7%). Spinal cord compression required the longest inpatient stay per event (34.2 [SD 30.2] days) and radiation to bone the shortest (14.3 [SD 10.2] days). Overall, 342 SREs (74.8%) required an outpatient visit, with radiation to bone the most likely (85.7%), and surgery to bone the least likely (42.6%). Radiation to bone was also associated with the greatest number of outpatient visits per event (6.8 [SD 6.7] visits). All SREs were associated with substantial HRU therefore, preventing SREs in patients with breast cancer may reduce the burden imposed on healthcare systems.


Bone metastases; Breast cancer; Europe; Health resource utilization; Skeletal-related events

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk