Cost-Effectiveness of Androgen Suppression Therapies in Advanced Prostate Cancer
Ahmed M. Bayoumi, Adalsteinn D. Brown, Alan M. Garber
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Reviewers: Li Liu, MD
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 92(21): 1731-1739, (November) 2000.
Androgen ablation therapy provides effective palliation for patients with advanced prostate carcinoma. Androgen ablation may be achieved surgically (with bilateral orchiectomy) or pharmacologically, usually with the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists. Some studies have demonstrated that survival does not differ between patients treated with LHRH agonists and those treated with orchiectomy or diethylstilbestrol (DES) (Ann Intern Med 2000 Apr 4; 132(7): 566-77
). However, the side effects and costs of each therapy differ substantially. In this study, the researchers evaluated the cost-effectiveness of androgen suppression in the form of orchiectomy, medication monotherapy, and combined androgen blockade.
The researchers used a hypothetical man 65 years of age with clinically evident, locally recurrent prostate cancer as their base case. Over a 20-year time horizon they looked at survival, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lifetime costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
- Orchiectomy, with a cost of $7000, had 5.1 QALYs, which resulted in lower costs and higher QALYs than other modalities.
- Androgen suppression therapies were the most cost-effective when patients started treatment early after they became symptomatic from metastatic prostate cancer.
In this study, for men with advanced prostate cancer, orchiectomy appeared to be the most cost-effective method of suppressing androgen compared with other androgen modalities, which had fewer health benefits and higher costs. From a patient's perspective, there are usually minimal differences in terms of cost between the available choices and the choice between orchiectomy and LHRH agonists is driven by the value of organ preservation and perhaps side effects.
Androgen Suppression Length Important in Prostate Cancer
Jan 28, 2015 - In combination with radiation treatment, androgen suppression is effective in increasing survival in men with prostate cancer, but only when given for several years, according to a study in the June 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Frequently Asked Questions
National Cancer Institute
I Wish You Knew
How cancer patients have changed my life
Blogs and Web Chats
OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.
Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!