The Real-World Lifetime Economic Burden of Urothelial Carcinoma by Stage at Diagnosis.

Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is generally diagnosed early and may incur significant lifetime costs. This study estimated, from the payer's perspective, the lifetime costs among patients diagnosed with UC according to stage at diagnosis.

This retrospective analysis of the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database identified patients ≥66 years with newly diagnosed UC from 2004-2013. Patients were followed from UC diagnosis to death or last follow-up to estimate lifetime costs. Costs were allocated to 3 phases: diagnosis (≤3 months after diagnosis), terminal (≤3 months before death), and continuation (months between diagnosis and terminal phases). Survival-adjusted lifetime costs (total and major UC-related) were estimated for patients with UC based on stage at diagnosis (stages 0 through IV) and in a subgroup of patients receiving ≥1 systemic line of chemotherapy (LOC).

The sample included 15,588 patients: 3,446 stage 0 (8% ≥1 LOC; median [IQR] follow-up in months: 44 [23-71]); 3,902 stage I (12% ≥1 LOC; 33 [15-62]); 4,301 stage II (26% ≥1 LOC; 17 [7-39]); 1,612 stage III (25% ≥1 LOC; 17 [7-42]); and 2,327 stage IV (33% ≥1 LOC; 8 [3-18]). Median age was 78 years and 72% were male. Mean lifetime costs were lowest for stage IV patients (stage 0, $151,626; stage 1, $150,123; stage II, $149,728; stage III, $190,996; stage IV, $117,503). Hospitalizations not involving a cystectomy contributed about half of lifetime costs across all stages. Cystectomy contributed 2-13% of the total lifetime UC costs ($3,356 stage 0; $7,011 stage I; $11,855 stage II; $25,509 stage III; $11,693 stage IV). UC-related office visits contributed 8-15% of lifetime costs ($11,717 stage 0; $14,611 stage I; $19,882 stage II; $21,480 stage III; $17,820 stage IV).

UC continues to be a costly cancer with stage III patients having highest lifetime costs. Hospitalizations drive most of the lifetime costs across all stages; most of these hospitalizations did not involve costs related to cystectomy. Treatment plans requiring shorter and fewer hospitalizations may lessen the economic burden of UC.

Journal of clinical pathways : the foundation of value-based care. 2020 May [Epub]

Abdalla Aly, Courtney Johnson, Yunes Doleh, Viktor Chirikov, Marc Botteman, Rahul Shenolikar, Arif Hussain

AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD., Pharmerit International, Bethesda, MD., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.