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Prevalence of bone metastases and bone-targeting agent use among solid tumor patients in the United States

Authors Hernandez RK, Adhia A, Wade SW, O'Connor E, Arellano J, Francis K, Alvrtsyan H, Million R, Liede A

Received 26 March 2015

Accepted for publication 6 May 2015

Published 17 July 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 335—345

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S85496

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen


Rohini K Hernandez,1 Avanti Adhia,2 Sally W Wade,3 Emily O’Connor,1 Jorge Arellano,1 Kevin Francis,2 Hasmik Alvrtsyan,4 Ryan P Million,4 Alexander Liede5

1Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, 2Trinity Partners, Waltham, MA, 3Wade Outcomes Research and Consulting, Salt Lake City, UT, 4Trinity Partners, New York, NY, 5Amgen Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA


Purpose: Patients with bone metastases are at an increased risk of experiencing morbidity due to bone complications, and bone-targeting agents (BTA) are indicated for the prevention of these complications. Population-based estimates of the prevalence of bone metastases associated with solid tumors, and current treatment patterns for these patients, are limited. This study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of bone metastases from solid tumors and to describe recent trends in the use of BTA in the US.
Methods: We estimated the prevalence of bone metastases in the US in 2012 using data from Medicare fee-for-service and PharMetrics Plus, a large commercial claims database. We evaluated the proportion of patients with bone metastases who were treated with BTA in 2012, timing of initiation of BTA relative to bone metastasis diagnosis, and persistence on BTA, overall and by primary tumor type and treatment.
Results: There were ~330,000 (168,063 Medicare fee-for-service; 162,239 other) patients aged ≥18 years living with solid tumors and bone metastases in 2012. BTA were used by 43% (Commercial) to 47% (Medicare) of patients in 2012, with the greatest use among breast cancer patients. Over half (Medicare: 57%; Commercial: 53%) of BTA-treated patients initiated BTA after experiencing a bone complication.
Conclusion: Of the estimated 330,000 solid tumor patients living with bone metastases in the US in 2012, many may have received less than optimal care to prevent bone complications during the calendar year.

Keywords: bone metastasis, prevalence, solid tumor

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