Cost-effectiveness analysis of maximum androgen blockade for Japanese men with advanced prostate cancer

Kyoto University, Graduate School of Economics.
Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy 05/2007; 34(4):589-95.
Source: PubMed


Like other countries, Japan is facing the problem of rising medical costs associated with aging of the population, and therefore the cost-effectiveness of medicines has become increasingly important. Maximum androgen blockade (MAB) therapy, which is being widely used for advanced prostate cancer, has proved useful in clinical studies but it requires the additional use of an anti-androgen in contrast with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist (LHRHa) monotherapy, raising a concern about the increase medical costs. Thus, based on the results of a Japanese Phase III study of bicalutamide we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis. We constructed a Markov model to express the changes in prognosis following MAB therapy and LHRHa monotherapy for advanced prostate cancer and the cost and effectiveness (survival) were simulated. As a result, the expected costs of MAB therapy and LHRHa monotherapy were 5,240,000 yen and 3,660,000 yen, respectively, with expected survival durations of 7.45 and 6.44 years. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for MAB therapy was 1,560,000 yen/life-year saved, lower than the established threshold (6,000,000 yen/life-year saved), and a sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of this result. Therefore, the incremental cost of bicalutamide was considered worth it in view of the therapeutic effect, suggesting that MAB therapy is a highly cost-effective therapy.

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    • "Assessment of the cost-effectiveness of MAB has recently been studied in Japanese men with advanced prostate cancer. Much value in administering bicalutamide in these patients was found suggesting that it is a highly cost-effective therapy.[23] "
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    ABSTRACT: Androgen ablation is the mainstay treatment for advanced prostate cancer (PC). Researchers proposed that maximum androgen blockade (MAB) therapy with antiandrogen agent in combination with castration might result in a better outcome among patients with advanced PC. In the last two decades, numerous trials and pooled data analyses were conducted to optimize the role of MAB in the treatment of metastatic PC. Non-steroidal antiandrogens administered as part of MAB proved to have a small (3%) survival benefit, however, the magnitude of this difference is of questionable clinical significance. Available evidence suggests that MAB should not be routinely offered to patients with metastatic PC, however, it should remain a reasonable option when discussing management. The standard first line treatment should be a monotherapy, consisting of orchiectomy or LHRH agonist. MAB still has a role as a short-term therapy (2-4 weeks). The ongoing large sample population based prospective studies may add new dimensions in the use of MAB in treatment of the prostate cancer in future.
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    ABSTRACT: A previously reported, double-blind, randomized, multicenter phase 3 trial in 205 patients with stage C/D prostate cancer compared combined androgen blockade (CAB) with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LHRH-A) plus bicalutamide 80 mg versus LHRH-A plus bicalutamide-matching placebo (LHRH-A monotherapy). The analysis at a median follow-up of 2.4 years indicated that CAB significantly (P<.001) prolonged the time to progression and the time to treatment failure. In the current report, survival data from a long-term follow-up (median, 5.2 years) were analyzed. All deaths irrespective of cause and all prostate cancer-specific deaths were recorded. The data were analyzed using Cox regression analysis and the log-rank test. At a median follow-up of 5.2 years, a significant overall survival advantage was observed in favor of CAB over LHRH-A monotherapy (Cox regression analysis: hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.99; P=.0498; log-rank test: P=.0425). The difference in cause-specific survival between the 2 groups was not significant. The achievement of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir concentration<or=1 ng/mL was a prognostic factor for improved survival. More patients attained PSA nadir concentrations<or=1 ng/mL with CAB compared with patients who received LHRH-A monotherapy (81.4% vs 33.7%; P<.001). CAB with bicalutamide 80 mg offered a significant overall survival benefit compared with LHRH-A monotherapy without reducing tolerability in patients with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.
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