Background. Treatment options in oncology are rapidly advancing, and public payer systems are increasingly under pressure to adopt new but expensive cancer treatments. Cost-utility analyses (CUAs) are used to estimate the relative costs and effects of competing interventions, where health outcomes are measured using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Health state utility values (HSUVs) are used to reflect health-related quality of life or health status in the calculation of QALYs. To support reimbursement agencies in the appraisal of oncology drug submissions, which typically include a CUA component, we have proposed a systematic literature review of published HSUV estimates in the field of oncology. Methods. The following databases will be searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, EconLit, and CINAHL. A team of reviewers, working independently and in duplicate, will evaluate abstracts and full-text publications for eligibility against broad inclusion criteria. Studies using a direct, indirect, or combination approach to eliciting preferences related to cancer or cancer treatments are eligible. Data extraction will capture details of study methodology, participants, health states, and corresponding HSUVs. We will summarize our findings with descriptive analyses at this stage. A pilot review in thyroid cancer is presented to illustrate the proposed methods. Discussion. This systematic review will generate a comprehensive summary of the oncology HSUV literature. As a component of the Health Utility Book (HUB) project, we anticipate that this work will assist both health economic modelers as well as critical reviewers in the development and appraisal of CUAs in oncology.
Keywords: health state utility values; medical oncology; systematic review.