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J Med Econ. 2018 Feb;21(2):192-200. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2017.1389744. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Healthcare costs in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and disease progression during targeted therapy: a real-world observational study.

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a Vector Oncology , Memphis , TN , USA.
b AstraZeneca , Gaithersburg , MD , USA.
c West Cancer Center , Memphis , TN , USA.



To assess healthcare costs during treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and following disease progression in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


A retrospective analysis of medical records of US community oncology practices was conducted. Eligible patients had advanced NSCLC (stage IIIB/IV) diagnosed between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2015, initiated treatment with erlotinib or afatinib (first-line or second-line), and had disease progression. Monthly Medicare-paid costs were evaluated during the TKI therapy period and following progression.


The study included 364 patients. The total mean monthly cost during TKI therapy was $20,106 (95% confidence interval [CI] = $16,836-$23,376), of which 47.0% and 42.4% represented hospitalization costs and anti-cancer therapy costs, respectively. Following progression on TKI therapy (data available for 316 patients), total mean monthly cost was $19,274 (95% CI = $15,329-$23,218), and was higher in the 76.3% of patients who received anti-cancer therapy following progression than in the 23.7% of those who did not ($20,490 vs $15,364; p < .001). Among patients who received it, anti-cancer therapy ($11,198; 95% CI = $7,102-$15,295) represented 54.7% of total mean monthly cost. Among patients who did not receive anti-cancer therapy, hospitalization ($13,829; 95% CI = $4,922-$22,736) represented 90.0% of total mean monthly cost. Impaired performance status and brain metastases were significant predictors of increased cost during TKI therapy.


The study design may limit the generalizability of findings.


Healthcare costs during TKI treatment and following progression appeared to be similar and were largely attributed to hospitalization and anti-cancer therapy. Notably, almost one-quarter of patients did not receive anti-cancer therapy following progression, potentially indicating an unmet need; hospitalization was the largest cost contributor for these patients. Additional effective targeted therapies are needed that could prolong progression-free survival, leading to fewer hospitalizations for EGFR mutation-positive patients.


Advanced NSCLC; community oncology; cost; healthcare resource utilization

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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