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Cost analysis of adjuvant management strategies in early stage (stage I) testicular seminoma

Authors Cox J, Gajjar S, Lanni Jr T, Swanson T

Received 11 September 2014

Accepted for publication 17 October 2014

Published 8 January 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 1—7


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli

John A Cox,1,2 Shefali R Gajjar,3 Thomas B Lanni Jr,4 Todd A Swanson1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 3University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, Galveston, TX, 4Department of Radiation Oncology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI, USA

Background: Acceptable post-orchiectomy adjuvant therapy strategies for stage I seminoma patients include surveillance, para-aortic radiation therapy (RT), dog-leg RT, and a single cycle of carboplatin. The required follow-up recommendations were amended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in 2012. Given a cause-specific survival of nearly 100%, a closer analysis of the reimbursement for each treatment strategy is warranted.
Methods: NCCN guidelines were used to design treatment plans for each acceptable adjuvant treatment strategy. Follow-up charges were generated for 10 years based on 2012 (version 1.2012; unchanged in current version 1.2013) and 2011 NCCN (version 2.2011) surveillance recommendations. The 2012 Medicare reimbursement rates were used to calculate each treatment strategy and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios to compare the treatment options.
Results: Under the current NCCN follow-up recommendations, the total reimbursements generated over 10 years of surveillance, para-aortic RT, dog-leg RT, and carboplatin were $10,643, $11,678, $9,662, and $10,405, respectively. This is compared with the reimbursements as per the 2011 NCCN recommendations: $20,986, $11,517, $9,394, and $20,365 respectively. Factoring the rates of relapse into a salvage model, observation was found to be more costly and less effective ($–1,831, $-7,318, $–7,010) in the adjuvant management of stage I seminoma patients.
Conclusion: Based on incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, para-aortic RT, dog-leg RT, and carboplatin are cost-effective options for the treatment of stage I seminoma when compared with observation; however, surveillance could potentially spare as many as 80%–85% of men diagnosed with stage I seminoma from additional therapy after radical inguinal orchiectomy. Such cost and reimbursement analyses are becoming increasingly relevant, but are not meant to usurp sound clinical judgment. Further studies are required to validate these findings.

Keywords: low-stage testicular seminoma, adjuvant management, cost analysis

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