Observation versus initial treatment for men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

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BACKGROUND

Observation is underutilized among men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the costs and benefits of observation versus initial treatment.

DESIGN

Decision analysis simulating treatment or observation.

DATA SOURCES

Medicare schedules, published literature.

TARGET POPULATION

Men aged 65 and 75 years who had newly diagnosed low-risk prostate cancer (prostate-specific antigen level <10 µg/L, stage ≤T2a, Gleason score ≤3 + 3).

TIME HORIZON

Lifetime.

PERSPECTIVE

Societal.

INTERVENTION

Treatment (brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, or radical prostatectomy) or observation (active surveillance [AS] or watchful waiting [WW]).

OUTCOME MEASURES

Quality-adjusted life expectancy and costs.

RESULTS OF BASE-CASE ANALYSIS

Observation was more effective and less costly than initial treatment. Compared with AS, WW provided 2 additional months of quality-adjusted life expectancy (9.02 vs. 8.85 years) at a savings of $15,374 ($24,520 vs. $39,894) in men aged 65 years and 2 additional months (6.14 vs. 5.98 years) at a savings of $11,746 ($18,302 vs. $30,048) in men aged 75 years. Brachytherapy was the most effective and least expensive initial treatment.

RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS

Treatment became more effective than observation when it led to more dramatic reductions in prostate cancer death (hazard ratio, 0.47 vs. WW and 0.64 vs. AS). Active surveillance became as effective as WW in men aged 65 years when the probability of progressing to treatment on AS decreased below 63% or when the quality of life with AS versus WW was 4% higher in men aged 65 years or 1% higher in men aged 75 years. Watchful waiting remained least expensive in all analyses.

LIMITATION

Results depend on outcomes reported in the published literature, which is limited.

CONCLUSION

Among these men, observation is more effective and costs less than initial treatment, and WW is most effective and least expensive under a wide range of clinical scenarios.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE

National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Defense, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

Investigators
Abbreviation
Ann. Intern. Med.
Publication Date
2013-06-18
Volume
158
Issue
12
Page Numbers
853-60
Pubmed ID
23778902
Medium
Print
Full Title
Observation versus initial treatment for men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis.
Authors
Hayes JH, Ollendorf DA, Pearson SD, Barry MJ, Kantoff PW, Lee PA, McMahon PM