Economic evaluation of docetaxel/gemcitabine versus docetaxel as frontline treatment of patients with advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in Greece

Lung Cancer. 2007 Nov;58(2):275-81. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2007.06.012. Epub 2007 Aug 3.


Objectives: The combination of docetaxel/gemcitabine is an acceptable chemotherapy regimen for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. An economic evaluation is undertaken alongside a multi-centre randomized phase III trial, which compares docetaxel/gemcitabine combination with docetaxel monotherapy, in untreated patients with advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

Methods: Trial resource utilisation data are combined with unit price data used to evaluate the cost of chemotherapy, concomitant medications, hospitalisations, diagnostic and laboratory tests and second-line chemotherapy. Treatment cost is combined with survival to estimate the incremental cost per-life-year-saved with the combination therapy versus monotherapy. To deal with uncertainty, stochastic analysis is used to plot cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.

Results: Median survival is 9.1 months (range 1-36.2) and 8.3 months (range 1-26.8) (p: 0.025) in the combination and monotherapy groups, respectively. The mean total treatment cost of patients with docetaxel is estimated at Euro5736 and with docetaxel/gemcitabine at Euro7417, a difference of Euro1542 (95%CI: Euro499-2561). The incremental cost per-life-year-saved of the combination therapy is euro9538 and the probability to be cost-effective is 91% at a threshold of Euro20,000, 97% at a threshold of Euro35,000 and 98% at a threshold of Euro50,000.

Conclusions: The data support that docetaxel/gemcitabine combination represents a cost-effective treatment option in relation to docetaxel monotherapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer in the Greek NHS setting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / economics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / economics*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / economics
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Docetaxel
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / economics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Taxoids / adverse effects
  • Taxoids / economics
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Taxoids
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Docetaxel
  • Gemcitabine