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VBCC - February 2015, Vol 6, No 1 - Economics of Cancer Care
Chase Doyle

San Francisco, CA—The use of brentuximab vedotin to prevent progression after autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma is expected to increase survival and quality-adjusted survival and be cost-effective, according to a cost-effectiveness analysis presented at ASH 2014.

Relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma after ASCT carries an unfavorable prognosis, with a median overall survival of less than 2 years. It is also very costly to treat. Novel agents that reduce the risk for disease progression and the need for further treatment, including ASCT, offer the potential to be not only clinically effective but also cost-effective, noted Joshua A. Roth, PhD, MHA, of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, Seattle, WA.

Brentuximab vedotin, a CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate, significantly improved progression-free survival when given after ASCT in the AETHERA trial.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

The objective of the current analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of brentuximab treatment strategy after ASCT to prevent or delay disease progression in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma compared with best supportive care.

The investigators constructed a decision model evaluating the potential cost-effectiveness of brentuximab vedotin versus best supportive care. Adults with relapsed or refractory Hodg­kin lymphoma “enter” the model immediately after receiving ASCT, and then receive brentuximab vedotin plus best supportive care or best supportive care alone.

After treatment, patients are tracked in monthly cycles through the 5 health states of remission, relapse/salvage therapy, relapse/palliative care, second remission, and death, with transition probabilities derived from peer-reviewed literature, bone marrow transplant registry data, and US life tables.

In the base case, a brentuximab vedotin strategy yields 2.01 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) at a total cost of $147,790. With an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $74,000 per QALY, treatment with brentuximab vedotin is cost-effective by contemporary standards of willingness to pay in the United States ($100,000-$150,000 per QALY). Probabilistic sensitivity analysis results demonstrated that brentuximab vedotin is expected to be cost-effective in 24%, 81%, and 95% of simulations at willingness-to-pay levels of $50,000, $100,000, and $150,000 per QALY, respectively.

The investigators concluded that when used after ASCT to prevent progression, brentuximab has the potential to be cost-effective compared with best supportive care only in adults with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

Dr Roth also noted that the results of the forthcoming phase 3 AETHERA trial would provide definitive evidence of the efficacy of brentuximab in this setting and, consequently, more precise evidence of the cost-effectiveness of this strategy.

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Last modified: February 19, 2015
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