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Epidemiology, survival, and costs of localized gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Authors Rubin JL, Sanon M, Taylor DC, Coombs J, Bollu V, Sirulnik L

Published 14 February 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 121—130


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jaime L Rubin1, Myrlene Sanon1, Douglas CA Taylor1, John Coombs2, Vamsi Bollu2, Leonardo Sirulnik2
1i3 Innovus, Medford, MA, USA; 2Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ, USA

Purpose: The aim of this study is to examine the epidemiologic and economic burden in surgically resected localized gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients versus age- and gender-matched controls.
Method: Two data sources were used to conduct a series of complementary analyses. First, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry was used to identify diagnosed GIST patients from 1993 to 2002 and determine incidence, prevalence, and 3-year survival. Second, using the SEER–Medicare linked database, a matched case-control analysis was conducted to determine resource utilization, GIST recurrence, and costs. Because GIST recurrence is not explicitly defined in the database, patterns in resource use were used to identify probable recurrence. Kaplan–Meier Sample Average (KMSA) Estimator technique was used to estimate costs of GIST and recurrence.
Results: SEER registry results show over the 10-year time horizon average annual GIST incidence was 0.32 per 100,000 persons in the United States, 15-year limited-duration prevalence was 1.62 per 100,000 persons, and 3-year survival was 73%. A total of 292 GIST patients were included in the SEER–Medicare analyses; 35 were identified with probable recurrence. GIST patients had increased risk of mortality (hazard ratio: 1.23; 95% confidence intervals: 0.94–1.61) compared to controls. Median recurrence-free and postrecurrence survival was 45 and 46 months, respectively. GIST patients incurred significantly higher medical care costs in the first year after initial resection, with $23,221 attributable to GIST. GIST recurrence costs totaled $101,700 over 5 years after initial resection.
Conclusions: GIST is associated with substantial medical care costs, estimated recurrence costs more than $100,000; treatments that delay or reduce recurrence could substantially reduce the burden of GIST.

Keywords: GIST, burden of illness, cancer

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