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Mathematics - Oncology - Science Policy - Surgery

Subgroup Economic Analysis for Glioblastoma in a Health Resource-Limited Setting
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Author: Bin Wu et al.

by Bin Wu, Yifeng Miao, Yongrui Bai, Min Ye, Yuejuan Xu, Huafeng Chen, Jinfang Shen, Yongming Qiu


The aim of this research was to evaluate the economic outcomes of radiotherapy (RT), temozolomide (TMZ) and nitrosourea (NT) strategies for glioblastoma patients with different prognostic factors.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A Markov model was developed to track monthly patient transitions. Transition probabilities and utilities were derived primarily from published reports. Costs were estimated from the perspective of the Chinese healthcare system. The survival data with different prognostic factors were simulated using Weibull survival models. Costs over a 5-year period and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated. Probabilistic sensitivity and one-way analyses were performed. The baseline analysis in the overall cohort showed that the TMZ strategy increased the cost and QALY relative to the RT strategy by $25,328.4 and 0.29, respectively; and the TMZ strategy increased the cost and QALY relative to the NT strategy by $23,906.5 and 0.25, respectively. Therefore, the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) per additional QALY of the TMZ strategy, relative to the RT strategy and the NT strategy, amounts to $87,940.6 and $94,968.3, respectively. Subgroups with more favorable prognostic factors achieved more health benefits with improved ICERs. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses confirmed that the TMZ strategy was not cost-effective. In general, the results were most sensitive to the cost of TMZ, which indicates that better outcomes could be achieved by decreasing the cost of TMZ.


In health resource-limited settings, TMZ is not a cost-effective option for glioblastoma patients. Selecting patients with more favorable prognostic factors increases the likelihood of cost-effectiveness.