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J Clin Oncol. 2000 Jan;18(1):64-71.

Predicting costs of stem-cell transplantation.

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Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Few studies have formally evaluated the relationship between costs, baseline patient characteristics, and major complications of stem-cell transplantation. We sought (1) to determine whether obtaining baseline information enabled identification of patients whose treatments would be the most costly and (2) to estimate inpatient costs for managing specific transplantation complications.


We collected inpatient costs and clinical information for 236 consecutive patients undergoing transplantation at a single institution between July 1, 1994, and February 20, 1997. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the associations between baseline patient characteristics and costs of hospitalization for initial transplantation and between clinical events and such costs.


The median initial inpatient cost in 1997 dollars was $55,500 for autologous transplantation (range, $28,200 to $148,200) and $105,300 for allogeneic transplantation (range, $32,500 to $338,000). When only baseline variables were considered, use of a mismatched allogeneic donor and year of transplantation were significant predictors of costs. No characteristics predicted which patients would incur the highest 10% of costs. When clinical events were considered, infection and in-hospital death were associated with higher costs in autologous transplant recipients ($18,400 and $20,500, respectively), whereas infection, veno-occlusive disease, acute graft-versus-host disease, and death were predicted to add between $15,300 and $28,100 each to allogeneic transplantation costs.


We were not able to identify before transplantation the patients whose treatments would be the most costly. However, the association between clinical complications and higher costs suggests that prevention may have significant economic benefits. Interventions that decrease these complications may have favorable cost-benefit ratios even if they do not affect overall survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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