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Economic comparison of capecitabine + oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil + oxaliplatin in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer

Authors Aitini E, Rossi A, Morselli P, Vivorio B, Bruschi A, Bottura C, Colombo GL 

Received 16 December 2011

Accepted for publication 8 February 2012

Published 27 March 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 99—103


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Enrico Aitini1, Anna Rossi1, Patrizia Morselli1, Beatrice Vivorio1, Alessandra Bruschi2, Chiara Bottura2, Giorgio L Colombo3
1Medical Oncology and Hematology Department, 2Administration Department, Carlo Poma Hospital, Mantova, 3School of Pharmacy, University of Pavia, Milan, Italy

Background: Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent and lethal cancers. The aim of this study was to analyze the costs relating to treatment of colorectal cancer between Xelox and Folfox-4 at a regional level according to the clinical experience at an Italian hospital in Lombardy.
Methods: A cost analysis was carried out regarding resource consumption by patients suffering from colorectal cancer based on data collected over a 12-month period between 2010 and 2011. The analysis involved 40 patients who attended the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Carlo Poma Hospital to undergo adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer. A chart was created for each patient containing their medical history, their pharmacological therapy indicating the number and duration of chemotherapy cycles, dose in mg administered for each cycle, number of day hospital visits for each cycle, number of days spent in hospital to position the central vein catheter, type of infusion pump used, any subsequent supportive therapy, and any side effects and outpatient visits connected with side effects.
Results: The cost analysis shows the savings involved in using Xelox for a single cycle of treatment, ie, approximately €1414.00 per patient (53% compared with Folfox-4). For each single cycle of treatment, the savings generated by using capecitabine compared with 5-FU can be attributed mostly to the fact that oral administration of chemotherapy requires fewer resources and does not require use of a central vein catheter (approximately 70% of overall cost) which amply compensates for the higher cost of capecitabine compared with 5-FU-LV. Sensibility analysis confirms the results of the base-case scenario.
Conclusion: The results of our study indicate that infusion via a central vein catheter represents a significant cost, and that substitution with an oral therapy, even when associated with drugs administered intravenously, represents a consistent saving of hospital resources.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, capecitabine, oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, Folfox-4, cost analysis, economic evaluation

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