Objectives: To estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of treatments for patients with FIGO stage IB2 cervical cancer and no evidence of metastasis as determined by combination of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT).
Methods: A Markov state transition model was constructed to compare two strategies: (1) radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy with tailored adjuvant therapy (RH+TA); (2) primary chemoradiation (CR). Five-year survival estimates for FIGO stage IB2 cervical cancer were obtained from literature. Medicare reimbursement rates and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality database were used to obtain costs of treatment regimens and grades 3-5 adverse events. Strategies were compared using incremental cost per year of life saved (YLS). Extensive sensitivity analyses were performed.
Results: Overall survival estimates were 78.9% for CR; 79.6% for RH+TA. Mean cost for CR at 5 years was $21,403 compared to $27,840 for RH+TA. RH+TA cost $63,689 per additional year of life saved (YLS) compared to CR. Results were most sensitive to survival estimates and the costs associated with high dose rate (HDR) versus low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy. If 90% of patients with intermediate pathologic risk factors at surgery were assumed to receive adjuvant CR, the ICER of RH+TA rose to $100,000 per YLS compared to CR.
Conclusions: RH+TA is potentially cost effective when compared to CR for patients with stage IB2 cervical cancer without metastatic disease by PET/CT imaging. Key factors in the cost-effectiveness of treatments include physician's expected recommendation of adjuvant therapy, brachytherapy modality employed for primary CR and quality of life related to both treatment and its complications.