Background: There is no standard treatment for patients with platinum-resistant or refractory epithelial ovarian cancer. Single agent chemotherapies have evidence of more efficacy and less toxicity than combination therapy. Most are very expensive, with appreciable toxicity and minimal survival. Since it is difficult to make comparison between outcomes, economic analysis of single-agent chemotherapy regimens and best supportive care may help to make decisions about an appropriate management for the affected patients.
Objective: To evaluate the cost effectiveness of second-line chemotherapy compared with best supportive care for patients with platinum-resistant or refractory epithelial ovarian cancer. Materials and
Methods: A Markov model was used to estimate the effectiveness and total costs associated with treatments. The hypothetical patient population comprised women aged 55 with platinum-resistant or refractory epithelial ovarian cancer. Four types of alternative treatment options were evaluated: 1) gemcitabine followed by BSC; 2) pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) followed by BSC; 3) gemcitabine followed by topotecan; and 4) PLD followed by topotecan. Baseline comparator of alternative treatments was BSC. Time horizon of the analysis was 2 years. Health care provider perspective and 3% discount rate were used to determine the costs of medical treatment in this study. Quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) were used to measure the treatment effectiveness. Treatment effectiveness data were derived from the literature. Costs were calculated from unit cost treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer patients at various stages of disease in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital (KCMH) in the year 2011. Parameter uncertainty was tested in probabilistic sensitivity analysis by using Monte Carlo simulation. One-way sensitivity analysis was used to explore each variable’s impact on the uncertainty of the results.
Results: Approximated life expectancy of best supportive care was 0.182 years and its total cost was 26,862 Baht. All four alternative treatments increased life expectancy. Life expectancy of gemcitabine followed by BSC, PLD followed by BSC, gemcitabine followed by topotecan and PLD followed by topotecan was 0.510, 0.513, 0.566, and 0.570 years, respectively. The total cost of gemcitabine followed by BSC, PLD followed by BSC, gemcitabine followed by topotecan and PLD followed by topotecan was 113,000, 124,302, 139,788 and 151,135 Baht, respectively. PLD followed by topotecan had the highest expected quality-adjusted life-years but was the most expensive of all the above strategies. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) of gemcitabine followed by BSC, PLD followed by BSC, gemcitabine followed by topotecan and PLD followed by topotecan was 344,643, 385,322, 385,856, and 420,299 Baht, respectively.
Conclusions: All of the second-line chemotherapy strategies showed certain benefits due to an increased lifeyear gained compared with best supportive care. Moreover, gemcitabine as second line chemotherapy followed by best supportive care in progressive disease case was likely to be more effective strategy with less cost from health care provider perspective. Gemcitabine was the most cost-effective treatment among all four alternative treatments. ICER is only an economic factor. Treatment decisions should be based on the patient benefit.