Health-state utility values in breast cancer

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2010 Oct;10(5):553-66. doi: 10.1586/erp.10.65.


Health-related quality of life is an important issue in the treatment of breast cancer and health-state utility values are essential for cost-utility analysis. A literature review was conducted to identify published values for common health states for breast cancer. In total, 13 databases were searched and 49 articles were identified providing 476 unique utility values. Where possible mean utility estimates were pooled using ordinary least squares with utilities clustered within study group and weighted by both number of respondents and inverse of the variance of each utility. Regressions included controls for disease state, utility assessment method and other features of study design. Utility values found in the review were summarized for six categories: screening-related states; preventative states; adverse events in breast cancer and its treatment; nonspecific breast cancer; metastatic breast cancer states; and early breast cancer states. The large number of values identified for metastatic breast cancer and early breast cancer states enabled data to be synthesized by meta-regression. Utilities were found to vary significantly between valuation methods and depending on who conducted the valuation. For metastatic breast cancer, values significantly varied by severity of condition, treatment and side-effects. Despite the numerous studies it is not feasible to generate a definitive list of health-state utility values that can be used in future economic evaluations owing to the complexity of the health states involved and the variety of methods used to obtain values. Future research into quality of life in breast cancer should make greater use of validated generic preference-based measures for which public preferences exist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / economics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index