Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology vol:75 issue:2 pages:171-8
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To investigate the financial consequences and the impact on daily implementation of CHART in lung cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis were performed using Markov models, comparing the early and delayed costs and effects of CHART for NSCLC over a 4-year time span from a societal viewpoint. The outcome estimates were based on the CHART literature, the cost estimates on the standard practice of the Leuven University Hospitals, the radiotherapy costs being derived from an activity-based costing (ABC) programme developed in the department. RESULTS: The additional societal cost per life-year gained was 9164 Euro, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year 11,576 Euro. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these results, the incremental cost-utility ratio remaining well under 20,000 Euro/QALY in all tested circumstances. The threshold analyses found the results of the study to be sensitive to the cost of CHART and to the quality of life after treatment. More specifically, standard treatment would become the optimal treatment if CHART would have a higher cost or would result in more long-term side effects. CONCLUSION: CHART should not be denied to patients with NSCLC on the basis of clinical or economic arguments. Other factors such as socio-economical, institutional, practical departmental and physician-bound barriers most probably explain the lack of implementation into daily practice.