Health Economics

Robotic Gastrectomy No Better, but More Costly, than Laparoscopic Surgery

Charles Bankhead

March 2013, Vol 4, No 3 - Health Economics

San Francisco, CA—Patient survival after minimally invasive gastrectomy was identical with robotic-assisted and conventional laparoscopic surgery, according to data from a large patient series that was presented at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

Similar Outcomes
Both techniques led to 5-year 94% overall survival and 92% disease-free survival rates. Disease stage did not significantly alter survival results.

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Postorchiectomy Surveillance Less Cost-Effective than Other Management Options

Phoebe Starr

March 2013, Vol 4, No 3 - Health Economics

Orlando, FL—Para-aortic radiotherapy, dog leg radiotherapy, and 1 cycle of carboplatin (Paraplatin) are cost-effective options for the treatment of patients with stage I testicular seminoma, but surveillance is not a cost-effective option, according to a cost analysis that factored in reimbursement costs for salvage bleomycin (Blenoxane), etoposide phosphate (Etopophos), and platinum (BEP) chemotherapy after a potential relapse. This analysis was presented at the 2013 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

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Most Women Not Willing to Pay for Genetic Breast Cancer Testing

Caroline Helwick

February 2013, Vol 4, No 2 - Health Economics

San Antonio, TX—Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is of interest to women who are concerned about breast cancer; however, these women are unwilling to pay the current costs, researchers from the Department of Surgery and Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Medical Center, reported at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio

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Costs of Second-Line Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatments Compared

Caroline Helwick

February 2013, Vol 4, No 2 - Health Economics

San Francisco, CA—For the second- line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), the total costs were 14% lower with bevacizu­mab (Avastin) than with cetuximab (Erbitux), according to an analysis presented at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

The study was presented by Elaine Yu, PharmD, of Genentech. The analysis was conducted using the UnitedHealthcare claims database and Medicare Advantage plan of patients who had 2 claims for CRC at least 30 days apart between 2007 and 2011, and evidence of 2 lines of therapy.

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Genetic Testing with Oncotype DX for Women with DCIS Shown Cost-Effective in Independent Study

January 2013, Vol 4, No 1 - Health Economics

San Antonio, TX—In determining the optimal treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), gene expression profiling using the Oncotype DX DCIS Score is more cost-effective than standard clinical assessment, primarily because it avoids radiotherapy for approximately 66% of these patients.

That is the conclusion from an independent (non–industry-funded) study presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium by Michael D. Alvarado, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

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Azacitidine Reduces Transfusions and Costs for Patients with High-Risk MDS

Caroline Helwick

January 2013, Vol 4, No 1 - Health Economics

Atlanta, GA—The use of azacitidine (Vidaza) in patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is associated with the reduced need for red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and transfusion dependence, a report from the 2012 American Society of Hematology meeting showed.

“At 12 and 18 months after azacitidine treatment, there were 26% and 38% reductions in RBC transfusion costs, respectively, per patient compared with the 6 months before therapy,” said Eric Tseng, MD, Department of Hematology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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