Aim: Time to treatment and pretreatment costs may be affected by unknown primary tumor site.
Methods: This retrospective study used electronic medical record data from patients in ten US community oncology practices. Eligible patients were ≥18 years, diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) or known metastatic solid tumor, and presented between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2014.
Results: Patients with CUP (n = 294) had a longer interval than non-CUP patients (n = 92) from presentation to treatment initiation (1.18 vs 0.49 months, p < 0.0001), and had higher pretreatment costs (US$27,882 vs US$20,449, p = 0.0075). When analyzed as monthly cost, the difference between groups in log-cost per month was nonsignificant.
Conclusion: Higher pretreatment costs in CUP patients appeared attributable to significantly longer time to initiation of therapy.
Keywords: cancer unknown primary; cost; treatment.