Purpose: Moderately hypofractionated intensity modulated radiation therapy (HIMRT) for prostate cancer shortens the treatment course while providing outcomes comparable with those of conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (CIMRT). To determine the long-term economic value of HIMRT, including the costs of managing long-term radiation toxicities, a cost minimization analysis compared CIMRT with dose-escalated HIMRT using patient-level data from a randomized trial. Methods and materials: Men with localized prostate cancer were randomized to CIMRT (75.6 Gy in 42 fractions over 8.4 weeks) or HIMRT (72 Gy in 30 fractions over 6 weeks). A decision tree modeled trial probabilities of maximum late bowel and urinary toxicities using patient-level data with a median follow-up of 6 years. Costs were estimated from the healthcare perspective using the 2014 national reimbursement rates for services received. Patient-level institutional costs, adjusted to 2014 dollars, verified reimbursements. A sensitivity analysis assessed model uncertainty. Results: The cost for HIMRT and toxicity management was $22,957, saving $7,000 compared with CIMRT ($30,241). CIMRT was the common factor among the 5 most influential scenarios that contributed to total costs. Toxicity represented a small part (<10%) of the average total cost for patients with either grade 2-3 bowel toxicity or grade 2-3 urinary toxicity. However, toxicity management reached up to 26% of the total cost for patients with both high-grade bowel and urinary toxicities. There was no threshold at which CIMRT became the less costly regimen. Institutional costs confirmed the economic value of HIMRT ($6,000 in savings). Conclusions: HIMRT is more cost-efficient than CIMRT for treating prostate cancer, even when taking into account the costs related to late radiation toxicities. HIMRT enhances the value of prostate radiation when compared with CIMRT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging