Trabectedin in the treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma: cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and value of information

Ann Oncol. 2011 Jan;22(1):215-223. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq339. Epub 2010 Jul 13.


Background: to assess the cost-effectiveness of trabectedin compared with end-stage treatment (EST) after failure with anthracycline and/or ifosfamide in metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (mSTS).

Design: analysis was carried out using a probabilistic Markov model with trabectedin → EST and EST arms, three health states (stable disease, progressive disease and death) and a lifetime perspective (3% annual discount rate). Finnish resources (drugs, mSTS, adverse events and travelling) and costs (year 2008) were used. Efficacy was based on an indirect comparison of the STS-201 and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer trials. QLQ-C30 scale scores were mapped to 15D, Short Form 6D and EuroQol 5D utilities. The outcome measures were the cost-effectiveness acceptability frontier, incremental cost per life year gained (LYG) and quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained and the expected value of perfect information (EVPI).

Results: trabectedin → EST was associated with 14.0 (95% confidence interval 9.1-19.2) months longer survival, €36 778 higher costs (€32 816 using hospital price for trabectedin) and €31 590 (€28 192) incremental cost per LYG with an EVPI of €3008 (€3188) compared with EST. With a threshold of €50 000 per LYG, trabectedin → EST had 98.5% (98.2%) probability of being cost-effective. The incremental cost per QALY gained with trabectedin → EST was €42 633-47 735 (€37 992-42 819) compared with EST. The results were relatively insensitive to changes.

Conclusion: trabectedin is a potentially cost-effective treatment of mSTS patients.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / economics
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dioxoles / economics
  • Dioxoles / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma / economics
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / economics
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Trabectedin


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Dioxoles
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines
  • Trabectedin