A systematic review on the cost-effectiveness assessment of tisagenlecleucel for refractory or relapsing B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (R/R B-ALL) treatment in children and young adults

Cytotherapy. 2023 Sep;25(9):930-938. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2023.05.011. Epub 2023 Jun 20.


Background aims: The advanced therapy product tisagenlecleucel is a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T-cell immunotherapy that has brought hope for children and young adults with relapsed/refractory (R/R) B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). We sought to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of tisagenlecleucel compared with conventional salvage therapies in pediatric and young adult patients with R/R B-ALL.

Methods: This systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses parameters as registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42021266998). Literature was searched using the MEDLINE databases via PubMed, EMBASE, Lilacs, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Web of Science in January 2022. Titles were screened independently by two reviewers. Articles deemed to meet the inclusion criteria were screened independently on abstract, and full texts were reviewed.

Results: In total, 5627 publications were identified, from which six eligible studies were selected. The conventional therapies identified were blinatumomab (Blina), clofarabine monotherapy (Clo-M), clofarabine combined with cyclophosphamide and etoposide (Clo-C) and the combination of fludarabine, cytarabine and idarubicin (FLA-IDA). The discounted incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained for tisagenlecleucel compared with Clo-C and Blina averages was $38 837 and $25 569, respectively. In relation to the cost of the drug, the average of tisagenlecleucel was approximately 4.3 times, 10.8 times or 4.7 times greater than the Clo-M, Clo-C and Blina, respectively.

Conclusions: This systematic review highlighted that tisagenlecleucel is a much more expensive therapy than conventional alternatives. However, tisagenlecleucel performed well on the ICER, not exceeding $100 000/QALY. It was also found that the advanced therapy product was more effective than the conventional small molecule and biological drugs, in terms of life years and QALY gained.

Keywords: CAR-T; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; cost-effectiveness analysis; tisagenlecleucel.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clofarabine
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma* / therapy
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell* / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Young Adult


  • tisagenlecleucel
  • Clofarabine
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell