Individualized Strategy for Dosing Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone Agonists for Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer

Identification of Outcomes and Costs

Published in: Journal of Oncology Practice, v. 2, no. 2, Mar. 2006, p. 57-66

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Jennifer A. Wagmiller, Jennifer J. Griggs, Andrew W. Dick, Deepak M. Sahasrabudhe

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PURPOSE: Continuing androgen suppression is the current standard in men with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC). An individualized strategy, wherein luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists (LH-RHas) are redosed when serum testosterone approaches a non-castrate level, may decrease costs without worsening outcomes. To understand possible outcomes, we performed a cost-utility analysis comparing individualized and fixed LH-RHa dosing strategies in men with AIPC. METHODS: The model used a societal perspective, a 5-year time horizon, and 3% annual cost discounting. The model accounted for direct costs of androgen suppression. Utilities were varied in accordance with published preference data. RESULTS: Under base-case assumptions, individualized LHRHa dosing yielded 1.089 expected quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), compared with 1.094 expected QALYs for fixed LHRHa dosing. In cost analysis, lifetime per-patient costs for androgen suppression were estimated to be $5,694 for individualized LH-RHa dosing and $9,157 for fixed LH-RHa dosing. Applied to the total population, a strategy of individualized LH-RHa dosing would cost $170 million for androgen suppression, compared with $274 million for fixed LH-RHa dosing. Under these assumptions, adopting the individualized strategy resulted in $692,600 gained from a societal perspective for each QALY lost (the decremental cost utility). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that an individualized LHRHa dosing strategy would be associated with moderate savings on an individual basis but substantial savings on a population basis, and would not adversely affect quality of life or life expectancy. Further research is needed to establish the effects of this strategy on symptoms and survival, as well as patient satisfaction and true costs.

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