Costs and clinical outcomes among patients with second-line non-small cell lung cancer in the outpatient community setting

Eric Nadler, Michael Forsyth, Sacha Satram-Hoang, Carolina Reyes
Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2012, 7 (1): 212-8

INTRODUCTION: A comparison of clinical and economic outcomes among patients receiving second-line monotherapy with erlotinib, docetaxel, and pemetrexed for non-small cell lung cancer was conducted using a large network of outpatient community clinics.

METHODS: We identified 610 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who received 2L treatment from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008, and were followed up through July 1, 2009, to evaluate progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), costs, and health resource utilization. Cox proportional hazards regression were used to compare PFS and OS across treatment cohorts. Economic outcomes were calculated per patient per month (PPPM) during a 12-month follow-up period.

RESULTS: There were 73 patients who received erlotinib, 87 received docetaxel, and 450 received pemetrexed. The median age was 67 years, and 55% were men. No significant differences in stage, baseline performance status, hemoglobin level, or body mass index were observed by treatment. The median OS was 132 days for docetaxel, 132 days for pemetrexed, and 155 days for erlotinib (p = 0.39). Adjusting for age, gender, stage, performance status, and hemoglobin level, there was no significant association between treatment type and OS (p = 0.36) or PFS (p = 0.26). Relative to pemetrexed, total adjusted costs PPPM was $1579 lower for docetaxel and $1584 lower for erlotinib (p < 0.05). Outpatient visits, laboratory procedures, and acute care visits were also less frequent with erlotinib relative to pemetrexed (-2.6 PPPM, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: We observed no significant differences in OS and PFS between patients receiving erlotinib, docetaxel, and pemetrexed. Nevertheless, erlotinib and docetaxel were associated with a statistically significant lower costs and resource use relative to pemetrexed.

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