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Cost-effectiveness of first-line treatments for patients with KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer

Ewara EM, Zaric GS, Welch S, Sarma S. Curr Oncol. 2014; 21(4):e541-50.

Background — Combinations of chemotherapy regimens and monoclonal antibodies have been demonstrated to improve clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mcrc). Although these combination treatment strategies are safe and effective in first-line treatment for mcrc, little is known about their economic consequences and resource allocation implications. In the present study, we evaluated the cost-effectiveness of bevacizumab plus folfiri, cetuximab plus folfiri, and panitumumab plus folfiri for patients with KRAS wild-type mcrc.

Methods — A Markov model simulated the lifetime patient outcomes and costs of each first-line treatment strategy and subsequent lines of treatment from the perspective of the health care payer in Ontario. The model was parameterized using data from the Ontario Cancer Registry, Ontario health administrative databases, and published randomized control trials. Patient outcomes were measured in quality-adjusted life years (qalys), and costs were measured in monetary terms. Costs and outcomes were both discounted at 5% and expressed in 2012 Canadian dollars.

Results — For mcrc patients with KRAS wild-type disease, the treatment strategy of bevacizumab plus folfiri was found to dominate the other two first-line treatment strategies. Sensitivity analyses revealed that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio values were sensitive to the effectiveness of treatment, the costs of bevacizumab and cetuximab, and health utility values.

Conclusions — Evidence from Ontario showed that bevacizumab plus folfiri is the cost-effective first-line treatment strategy for patients with KRAS wild-type mcrc. The panitumumab plus folfiri and cetuximab plus folfiri options were both dominated, but the cetuximab plus folfiri strategy must be further investigated given that, in the sensitivity analyses, the cost-effectiveness of that strategy was found to be superior to that of bevacizumab plus folfiri under certain ranges of parameter values.

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Keywords: Colorectal cancer Cost-benefit analysis