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Cost-effectiveness of prophylaxis treatment strategies for febrile neutropenia in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer
Gynecologic Oncology, 3, 133, pages 446 - 453
Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of primary prophylaxis (PP) or secondary prophylaxis (SP) with pegfilgrastim, filgrastim (6-day and 11-day), or no prophylaxis to reduce the risk of febrile neutropenia (FN) in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer receiving docetaxel or topotecan.
A Markov model was used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of PP vs SP from a US payer perspective. Model inputs, including the efficacy of each strategy (relative risk of FN with prophylaxis compared to no prophylaxis) and mortality, costs, and utility values were estimated from public sources and peer-reviewed publications. Incremental cost-effectiveness was evaluated in terms of net cost per FN event avoided, incremental cost per life-year saved (LYS), and incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained over a lifetime horizon. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (DSA and PSA) were conducted.
For patients receiving docetaxel, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for PP vs SP with pegfilgrastim was $7900 per QALY gained, and PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all other comparators. For patients receiving topotecan, PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all comparators. Model results were most sensitive to baseline FN risk. PP vs SP with pegfilgrastim was cost effective in 68% and 83% of simulations for docetaxel and in > 99% of simulations for topotecan at willingness-to-pay thresholds of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY.
PP with pegfilgrastim should be considered cost effective compared to other prophylaxis strategies in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer receiving docetaxel or topotecan with a high risk of FN.
- Primary prophylaxis with pegfilgrastim was cost effective compared to secondary prophylaxis in recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel.
- Primary prophylaxis with pegfilgrastim dominated other strategies in recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel.
- Primary prophylaxis with pegfilgrastim dominated all comparators in recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving topotecan.
Keywords: Febrile neutropenia, Prophylaxis, Pegfilgrastim, Filgrastim, Ovarian cancer, Cost effectiveness.
Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a serious side effect of myelosuppressive chemotherapy that often requires hospitalization and treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics. FN is associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and costs  , as well as reduced chemotherapy relative dose intensity (RDI), which may adversely affect long-term outcomes such as survival , , and .
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs) such as filgrastim (NEUPOGEN®) and pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®) have been shown to reduce FN risk when used as primary prophylaxis (PP) with the first and every chemotherapy cycle  and . Filgrastim is approved for daily administration up to 14 days per chemotherapy cycle, until the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) has reached 10,000/mm3  . Though 10–11 days have been found to be effective in randomized clinical trials  and , filgrastim is often administered for 4–6 days in clinical practice, albeit with reduced effectiveness  . Pegfilgrastim, a pegylated form of filgrastim, is approved for administration once per chemotherapy cycle  .
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend G-CSFs as PP in patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy associated with > 20% FN risk and as secondary prophylaxis (SP) following an FN event  and . An individual patient's FN risk depends on demographics (e.g., age and comorbidities), disease-specific factors (e.g., tumor stage and bone marrow involvement), and treatment-related factors (e.g., chemotherapy type and intensity)  .
Cost-effectiveness analysis is increasingly being used to compare the costs and health outcomes of different interventions to inform policy decisions. A previous cost-effectiveness analysis of pegfilgrastim in epithelial ovarian carcinoma patients receiving taxane/platinum-based chemotherapy reported that PP with pegfilgrastim dominated (i.e., resulted in better outcomes at lower costs) SP and no prophylaxis in terms of incremental cost per FN hospitalization  . Despite these results, the clinical benefit of pegfilgrastim to reduce infection-related mortality and support chemotherapy dose intensity may have been underestimated, as methods used to derive FN risk and efficacy parameters were not transparent and mortality was not modeled. Further, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), a common measure used in healthcare decision-making, was not evaluated.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of PP and SP with pegfilgrastim or filgrastim (6-day and 11-day) and no prophylaxis to reduce the risk of FN in recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel or topotecan from a US payer perspective. This study focuses on docetaxel and topotecan because these regimens are recommended by the NCCN for treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer  and are associated with an FN risk > 20% , , , and .
The target population in the model was a hypothetical cohort of 59-year-old recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel (100 mg/m2) via 1-hour IV infusion every 21 days for 3 cycles  or topotecan (1.25 mg/m2/day) for 5 consecutive days via 30-minute IV infusion every 21 days for 3 cycles  .
A Markov cycle tree was developed in Microsoft Excel 2007 ( Fig. 1 ), which included a decision tree tracking the initial chemotherapy cycle and associated FN events ( Fig. 1 A) and a Markov model with 2 phases for modeling repetitive, predictable events over time ( Fig. 1 B, C). The first phase tracked FN events in chemotherapy cycles 2 and 3 (cycle length = 3 weeks); the second phase tracked long-term cancer-related survival (cycle length = 1 year).
|Model parameters||Base-case value||DSA range||PSA distribution||References/notes|
|FN risk in cycle 1 (docetaxel)||22.7%||13.0%, 34.1%||Beta (SE = 0.0541)|||
|FN risk in cycle 1 (topotecan)||32.7%||18.4%, 48.8%||Beta (SE = 0.0782)|||
|RR of FN for pegfilgrastim vs no G-CSF||0.08||0.034, 0.175||Lognormal (log mean = − 2.5606 SD = 0.4185)|| a|
|RR of FN for 11-day filgrastim vs no G-CSF||0.08||N/A||Lognormal (log mean = − 2.5606 SD = 0.4185)||Assumed equivalent to pegfilgrastim  and |
|RR of FN for 6-day filgrastim vs no G-CSF||0.50||N/A||Beta (SE = 0.050)||Base-case value was linearly interpolated between RR for 11-day filgrastim (RR = 0.08) and RR for no prophylaxis (RR = 1.0, assumes 0 days of prophylaxis). PSA standard error value was assumed to be 10% of base-case value.|
|RR of FN in cycles ≥ 2 vs cycle 1, no FN history||0.21||0.152, 0.289||Lognormal (log mean = − 1.5621 SD = 0.1635)|| and  a|
|RR of FN in cycles ≥ 2, FN history vs no FN history||9.09||6.07, 13.09||Lognormal (log mean = 2.1878 SD = 0.1961)|| and  a|
|Percentage of FN events requiring hospitalization (docetaxel)||83.6%||79.5%, 87.3%||Beta (SE = 0.020)|||
|Percentage of FN events requiring hospitalization (topotecan)||100.0%||84.8%, 100.0%||Beta b (alpha = 15.5, beta = 0.5)|||
|FN inpatient case fatality rate||8.4%||6.4%, 10.3%||Beta (SE = 0.0099)|||
|FN hospitalization length of stay (days)||9.0||8.2, 9.7||N/A|||
a Estimate based on breast cancer data.
b Because the base-case percentage was 100%, Jeffreys prior interval approach was used to generate a suitable confidence interval (Brown LD, Cai TT, and DasGupta A. (2001) Interval estimation for a binomial proportion. Statistical Science 16:101–117).
DSA: deterministic sensitivity analysis; PSA: probability sensitivity analysis; FN: febrile neutropenia; N/A: not applicable; SE: standard error; RR: relative risk; G-CSF: granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; SD: standard deviation; OR: odds ratio; HR: hazard ratio.
|Model parameters||Base-case value||DSA range||PSA distribution||References/notes|
|ASP of 6 mg pegfilgrastim||$2692||$2423, $2961||N/A||Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2012 ASP Drug Pricing File a|
|ASP of 300 μg filgrastim||$252||N/A||N/A||Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2012 ASP Drug Pricing File a|
|ASP of 480 μg filgrastim||$399||N/A||N/A||CMS 2012 ASP Drug Pricing File a|
|Percentage of filgrastim patients receiving 480 μg filgrastim||81%||N/A||N/A||IntrinsiQ Research Market Data (2009–2010)|
|G-CSF administration cost b||$24||$21.60, $26.40||N/A||CMS Physician Fee Schedule – PFS Relative Value File Items – July 2012 Release c|
|CBC cost b||$18||$16.20, $19.80||N/A||CMS 2012 Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule d|
|Chemotherapy cost per cycle (docetaxel) b||$1408||$1267, $1549||N/A||CMS 2012 ASP Drug Pricing File a
CMS Physician Fee Schedule – PFS Relative Value File Items – July 2012 Release c
|Chemotherapy cost per cycle (topotecan) b||$1073||$966, $1180||N/A||CMS 2012 ASP Drug Pricing File a
CMS Physician Fee Schedule – PFS Relative Value File Items – July 2012 Release c
|Hospitalization cost for FN e||$22,221||$19,925, $24,518||N/A|| and |
|Post-hospitalization cost for FN||$4040||$3623, $4458||N/A||Estimated as 20% of FN hospitalization cost |
|Outpatient cost for FN||$10,101||$9057, $11,144||N/A||Estimated as 50% of FN hospitalization cost |
|Utility value for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer on chemotherapy||0.55||0.03, 0.99||Beta (SE = 0.30)|||
|Utility value for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer during FN hospitalization||0.55||0.03, 0.99||Beta (SE = 0.30)|||
|Utility value for patients with ovarian cancer post-chemotherapy||0.83||0.13, 1.00||Beta (SE = 0.25)|||
b G-CSF administration cost was estimated using CPT code 96372 (subcutaneous or intramuscular injection); CBC cost was estimated using CPT codes 36415 (collection of venous blood by venipuncture) and 85025 (CBC, automated and automated differential count); chemotherapy administration cost was estimated using CPT code 96413 (chemotherapy IV infusion, 1 h).
e FN hospitalization cost was inflated by 10% to account for additional physician fees  .
All costs are in 2012 US dollars.
DSA: deterministic sensitivity analysis; PSA: probability sensitivity analysis; ASP: average sales price; N/A: not applicable; CMS: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; G-CSF: granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; RVU: relative value unit; CBC: complete blood count; FN: febrile neutropenia; SE: standard error.
The baseline FN risk for docetaxel was estimated to be 30% over a median of 3 chemotherapy cycles using data from Rose et al.; cycle 1 FN risk was calibrated to be 0.227 (Appendix A)  . The course-level baseline FN risk for topotecan was 41.7%. Using the same approach as for docetaxel, baseline cycle 1 FN risk for topotecan was estimated to be 0.327  .
The relative risk (RR) of FN in chemotherapy cycles 2–3 compared to cycle 1 without FN history (RR = 0.21), and the RR of FN in chemotherapy cycles 2–3 with FN history relative to no FN history (RR = 9.09) were obtained from Whyte et al.  . These RRs were based on breast cancer data reported by von Minckwitz et al., which is the only known study reporting individual cycle-specific FN events  .
Efficacy of pegfilgrastim and filgrastim
Pegfilgrastim efficacy was derived from a phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of breast cancer patients  . The RR of FN for pegfilgrastim vs no G-CSF (RR = 0.08) was calculated by dividing FN incidence on pegfilgrastim (1.3%) by FN incidence on placebo (16.8%). In this study, we assumed that pegfilgrastim was given the next day following chemotherapy, as was done in the pivotal clinical trials , , and .
Efficacy of 11-day PP with filgrastim was assumed to be equal to the efficacy of PP with pegfilgrastim (RR = 0.08)  and . Efficacy of filgrastim dosing schedules between zero and 11 days was linearly interpolated between the RR for 11 days of filgrastim (RR = 0.08) and the RR for zero days of filgrastim (RR = 1.0).
The risk of FN in chemotherapy cycles 2–3 was calculated as the baseline cycle 1 probability of FN, reduced when applicable by the relative efficacy of prophylaxis, and multiplied by the cycle 2 + risk reduction (0.21). For those with FN history, this value was further multiplied by the FN history risk multiplier (9.09).
Median survival from initiation of docetaxel or topotecan treatment among the target population of the model is 6–13 months , , and . During the on-chemotherapy phase of the model, risk of death was assumed to be from FN only (and not from cancer or other causes); the case-fatality rate per FN hospitalization was estimated to be 8.4%  . Upon chemotherapy completion, patients receiving docetaxel or topotecan were subject to ovarian cancer-specific annual probabilities of death estimated from Kaplan–Meier survival curves provided by Verschraegen et al.  and Swisher et al.  . These data were fit to an exponential curve, and the estimated constant annual mortality probabilities (52.5% for docetaxel, 57.0% for topotecan) were used in the model. Long-term (i.e., post-160 weeks for docetaxel, post-108 weeks for topotecan) survival was calculated by applying the constant annual mortality up to 20 years. See Appendix A for details. The small fraction of patients surviving 20 years after diagnosis were considered “cured” and were subject to the same all-cause mortality rates as the general population  .
Pegfilgrastim and filgrastim drug acquisition costs reflect average sales prices (ASP) obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The daily filgrastim cost was calculated as a weighted average of ASP by dosage, with 19% and 81% of patients expected to receive 300 and 480 μg, respectively (IntrinsiQ Research Market Data).
We assumed that pegfilgrastim was administered once per chemotherapy cycle and that patients received one complete blood count (CBC) the day before each chemotherapy cycle began. Filgrastim prescribing information recommends one CBC prior to chemotherapy and twice per week during filgrastim therapy; accordingly, 6-day and 11-day filgrastim were associated with 3 and 5 CBCs, respectively  . The administration cost of G-CSFs and the CBC cost were estimated using CMS data.
The base-case FN hospitalization cost reflected the cost of FN-related hospitalization episodes for ovarian cancer patients identified in a hospital database  . Consistent with Lyman et al., the FN hospitalization cost was increased by 10% to account for additional physician fees  . The post-hospitalization cost, reflecting ambulatory services, was calculated as 20% of the initial hospitalization cost  . FN events not requiring hospitalization were assumed to be 50% of the initial FN hospitalization cost  . All cost estimates were adjusted to 2012 US dollars using the medical care component of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
Chemotherapy cost estimates included drug acquisition and infusion costs. Costs of long-term treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer were excluded from the model.
To calculate QALYs, life-years were adjusted by utility values obtained from Havrilesky et al. that reflect health-related quality of life during and following chemotherapy, FN, and FN-related hospitalization  . The utility values for chemotherapy were obtained from interviews with members of the general public with no personal history of ovarian cancer; interviews were conducted by trained research nurses using the time trade off (TTO) method. The base-case utility value for chemotherapy was calculated by pooling the mean values for two recurrent ovarian cancer health states: responding to chemotherapy/grade 3–4 toxicity (0.61) and responding to chemotherapy/grade 1–2 toxicity (0.50).
The utility value for FN hospitalization was elicited from general public volunteers and ovarian cancer patients  . The base-case value was calculated by pooling the mean values for volunteers (0.56) and patients (0.54) and applied for the duration of FN hospitalization (9.0 days  ) in the model.
Post-chemotherapy utilities, reflecting ovarian cancer clinical remission, were obtained through TTO interviews of study volunteers  and were applied following chemotherapy completion.
Model outputs included total costs, number of FN events, life-years, and QALYs for each strategy (no prophylaxis, PP and SP with pegfilgrastim, PP and SP with 6-day and 11-day filgrastim).
Cost-effectiveness was assessed in terms of incremental cost per FN event avoided, incremental cost per life-year saved (LYS), and incremental cost per QALY gained. If a more costly strategy provided no additional benefit compared to an alternative strategy, then it was “dominated” by the alternative strategy. If a more costly strategy provided additional benefit, then the two strategies were compared by dividing the incremental cost by the additional benefit. QALYs and life-years were discounted at 3% annually  . Since all treatments and FN-related events occurred during the first year of the model, the number of FN events and all treatment and FN-related costs were not discounted.
Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (DSA and PSA, Table 1 and Table 2) were performed to assess how changes in key model parameters and parameter uncertainty impacted cost-effectiveness results. In the DSA, parameters were varied using 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and standard errors derived from published literature, with the exception of G-CSF acquisition and administration, CBC, and chemotherapy costs, which were based on 90%–110% of base-case values.
In the PSA, uncertainty in cost-effectiveness results was assessed using a second-order Monte Carlo simulation. Uncertainty in key model parameters (e.g., efficacy, risk of FN, and utilities) was characterized by probability distributions around each base-case value, as derived from published literature. PSA results are presented as cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEAC), which show the fraction of the 1000 simulations in which examined strategies were incrementally cost effective compared to reference strategies over a range of incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) thresholds.
In addition to the DSA and PSA, three additional analyses were conducted assuming that (1) 50% of FN episodes could be treated in the outpatient setting, (2) RDI had an impact on mortality, and (3) additional disutility was associated with FN-related hospitalization  and .
Relative dose intensity
In this sensitivity analysis, an RDI threshold of 85% was selected because this is considered a clinically meaningful reduction in delivered chemotherapy dose intensity  and . Probabilities of RDI < 85% and ≥ 85% were calculated for subgroups defined by age and FN history  and . Data from Crawford et al.  were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of having RDI < 85% among patients ≥ 65 years vs 18–64 years with no FN history (OR = 1.41). Probabilities of RDI < 85% for patients with FN history were calculated by applying an OR of 1.58  . The mortality hazard ratio (HR) for RDI ≤ 85% (HR = 1.71) was obtained from Hanna et al.  . Separate annual probabilities of death were calculated for those with RDI > 85% and RDI ≤ 85%, such that the weighted averages were equal to the overall mortality probabilities  and .
The cost-effectiveness of PP and SP with pegfilgrastim, PP and SP with 6-day and 11-day filgrastim, and no prophylaxis was evaluated for docetaxel and topotecan. For patients receiving docetaxel, the ICERs for PP with pegfilgrastim vs SP with pegfilgrastim were $600 per FN event avoided, $5200 per LYS, and $7900 per QALY gained ( Table 3 ). All other comparators were dominated by PP with pegfilgrastim. For patients receiving topotecan, PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all comparators on FN events avoided, LYs saved, and QALYs gained. For both docetaxel and topotecan, less than 1% of the cohort is still alive after 20 years.
|Prophylaxis strategy||Total costs||Total FN events||Total LYs||Total QALYs||ICER
(Δ Cost/Δ FN)
(Δ Cost/Δ LYS)
(Δ Cost/Δ QALYs)
|SP with pegfilgrastim||$12,877||0.316||1.381||0.894||Reference||Reference||Reference|
|PP with pegfilgrastim||$13,048||0.027||1.414||0.916||$600||$5200||$7900|
|SP with 11-day filgrastim||$13,824||0.316||1.381||0.894||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|SP with 6-day filgrastim||$14,746||0.398||1.372||0.888||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|No prophylaxis||$15,801||0.495||1.361||0.881||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|PP with 6-day filgrastim||$16,234||0.205||1.394||0.902||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|PP with 11-day filgrastim||$18,158||0.027||1.414||0.916||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|PP with pegfilgrastim||$12,440||0.040||1.275||0.822||Reference||Reference||Reference|
|SP with pegfilgrastim||$16,726||0.449||1.232||0.794||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|PP with 11-day filgrastim||$17,547||0.040||1.275||0.822||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|SP with 11-day filgrastim||$17,983||0.449||1.232||0.794||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|PP with 6-day filgrastim||$18,788||0.321||1.246||0.803||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|SP with 6-day filgrastim||$20,969||0.616||1.216||0.783||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
|No prophylaxis||$24,435||0.812||1.197||0.770||Dominated a||Dominated a||Dominated a|
a Compared to PP with pegfilgrastim.
FN: febrile neutropenia; LYs: life-years; QALYs: quality-adjusted life-years; ICER: incremental cost-effectiveness ratio; Δ: incremental; LYS: life-year saved; SP: secondary prophylaxis; PP: primary prophylaxis.
DSA results are described only for PP vs SP with pegfilgrastim because PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all other strategies in the base case for both docetaxel and topotecan. Results of the DSA for docetaxel indicated that model results were most sensitive to baseline FN risk in cycle 1, pegfilgrastim cost, and RR of FN in cycles 2–3 compared to that in cycle 1 for patients with no FN history ( Fig. 2 ). Varying baseline FN risk in cycle 1 to the lower and upper bounds of the 95% CI yielded ICERs of $278,000 per QALY and “dominant,” respectively. The cycle 1 FN risks corresponding to ICERs of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY were 20.3% and 18.1%, respectively.
Results of the DSA for topotecan indicated that model results were most sensitive to the baseline risk of FN in cycle 1; varying baseline FN risk in cycle 1 to the lower and upper bounds of the 95% CIs yielded ICERs of $64,100 per QALY and “dominant,” respectively. The cycle 1 FN risks corresponding to ICERs of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY were 18.9% and 17.2%, respectively. For all the remaining parameters, results at one extreme of the plausible ranges included “dominant” in each case.
PP with pegfilgrastim was cost effective compared to SP with pegfilgrastim in 68% and 83% of PSA simulations for docetaxel at thresholds of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY, respectively ( Fig. 3 A) and in > 99% of the PSA simulations for topotecan at the same thresholds ( Fig. 3 B). All other comparators had low probabilities of being cost effective and are not displayed.
When 50% of FN episodes were assumed to be managed in the outpatient setting, the ICERs for PP with pegfilgrastim vs SP with pegfilgrastim increased to $6000 per FN event avoided, $52,500 per LYS, and $80,200 per QALY gained for docetaxel ( Fig. 2 ); PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all other comparators. For topotecan, PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all comparators in all outcome measures.
Only modest effects were seen when we assumed that RDI < 85% had an effect on mortality; the ICER for PP with pegfilgrastim vs SP with pegfilgrastim was $5600 per QALY ( Fig. 2 ). Similarly, little effect was seen when we reduced the utility value of FN-related hospitalization ( Fig. 2 ). In both scenarios, cost per QALY for PP vs SP with pegfilgrastim remained under $10,000 per QALY for docetaxel, and PP with pegfilgrastim remained dominant for topotecan.
Based on assumptions described in the Methods , our results suggest that PP with pegfilgrastim is associated with ICERs of approximately $600 per FN event avoided, $5200 per LYS, and $7900 per QALY gained relative to SP with pegfilgrastim for recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel. PP with pegfilgrastim dominated (i.e., produced better outcomes at lower costs) all filgrastim strategies and no prophylaxis. For topotecan, PP with pegfilgrastim dominated all comparators in all conducted analyses. Based on commonly used US willingness-to-pay thresholds of $50,000  and $100,000 per QALY  , base-case and PSA results indicated that PP with pegfilgrastim should be considered cost effective relative to other prophylaxis strategies.
Model results were most sensitive to baseline FN risk. However, these results were generated from one-way DSAs based on specific assumptions made within the base-case scenario for the chemotherapy regimens examined here. Other chemotherapy regimens for recurrent ovarian cancer patients may have different cycle-level FN risks, different numbers of cycles, and different chemotherapy costs; thus, these data cannot be easily applied to other regimens. Interestingly, the results were not sensitive to FN mortality. When the mortality rate was varied from 6.4% to 10.3%, the ICER for docetaxel remained below $8200 per QALY and the ICER for topotecan remained dominant. Reducing the FN mortality rate resulted in a decrease in both incremental costs and QALYs; accordingly, little change in the ICERs was observed.
Several additional sensitivity analyses were conducted. First, carefully selected patients with FN may be safely managed in the outpatient setting  . An alternative analysis assuming 50% of FN episodes were managed in the outpatient setting yielded ICERs for PP vs SP with pegfilgrastim of $52,500 per LYS and $80,200 per QALY gained for docetaxel. Depending on the willingness-to-pay threshold, the percentage of FN events assumed to be managed in an outpatient setting may impact whether PP with pegfilgrastim is considered cost effective compared to SP for docetaxel. Second, maintaining high RDI is associated with improved overall survival in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and early-stage breast cancer  , but conflicting results have been reported for ovarian cancer , , and . To account for this uncertainty, we performed an alternative analysis assuming that RDI < 85% was associated with lower survival rates; results were similar to the base-case analysis. Finally, an alternative analysis was performed that allowed for additional disutility associated with FN-related hospitalization (0.42)  ; this adjustment had only a modest impact on the results.
Results of this study are similar to those of other US cost-effectiveness models for ovarian cancer in terms of incremental cost per FN hospitalization  and for NHL, early-stage breast cancer, and other solid tumors , , , , and . Though differences in model structures and inputs exist, PP with pegfilgrastim was found to be cost effective compared to other prophylaxis strategies for high-risk patients in these studies. This study contributes to previously published literature  by evaluating cost-effectiveness within specific regimens and across a comprehensive set of prophylaxis strategies. Furthermore, mortality, RDI, and health-related quality of life measures were incorporated, and results were reported in terms of cost per QALY, the most commonly used measure in cost-effectiveness analyses and decision-making based on those analyses.
Though our study and previous studies found that PP with pegfilgrastim was cost effective compared to other prophylaxis strategies, SP with pegfilgrastim may be appropriate in some situations not reflected in the population-wide averages used in our analysis. Ultimately, the decision regarding which prophylaxis strategy to use resides with the physician and should be tailored to the individual patient and their risk factors.
Results of this study should be interpreted in light of several limitations. The target population was limited to recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving docetaxel or topotecan. Docetaxel and topotecan were included in this analysis because both regimens have a high risk of FN and are recommended by NCCN for the treatment of platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer; however, topotecan and docetaxel are not as commonly used as platinum-based regimens for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer, which may limit the applicability of this study. The percentage of topotecan patients experiencing FN may be underestimated, as Swisher et al. only reported FN events treated in the inpatient setting  . Several parameters were obtained from breast cancer data (e.g., pegfilgrastim efficacy, RRs of FN in subsequent cycles, percentage of FN events requiring hospitalization) or data from other tumor types (e.g., costs of post-hospitalization FN events and FN events not requiring hospitalization). New studies of patients with ovarian cancer are needed to determine whether these factors differ among tumor types. Survival statistics were extrapolated from 160 weeks  and 108 weeks  to 20 years to capture long-term ovarian cancer survival. Finally, indirect costs associated with FN and G-CSF administrations (e.g., lost productivity, care giver costs, travel costs, and healthcare providers' human resource costs) , , and  were not considered, as the analysis was performed from a US payer perspective.
The clinical benefit of PP with pegfilgrastim, in comparison to daily G-CSF and no G-CSF, can translate into cost savings for ovarian cancer patients on high-risk regimens such as docetaxel and topotecan. Assuming commonly accepted willingness-to-pay thresholds of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY, PP with pegfilgrastim was found to be cost effective compared to SP with pegfilgrastim.
Conflict of interest statement
XL, RB, and DBC are employees of and stockholders in Amgen Inc. KF, MM, AP, MW-A, and MCW were paid consultants to Amgen at the time the study was conducted. GHL is a principle investigator on a research grant from Amgen Inc. to Duke University.
The authors thank April Teitelbaum (medical oncologist and consultant with OptumInsight at the time the study was conducted) and Holly Watson (Amgen Inc.) for thoughtful insight. Medical writing support was provided by Kerri Hebard–Massey (Amgen Inc.). This study was funded by Amgen Inc.
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a OptumInsight, Cambridge, MA, USA
b Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
c OptumInsight, Burlington, ON, Canada
d Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
e Duke University, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC, USA
1 Present address: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
2 Present address: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
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