Cost-effectiveness of pembrolizumab with axitinib as first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Objective: Pembrolizumab/axitinib significantly prolonged overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) and increased objective response rate versus sunitinib in the phase III trial KEYNOTE-426 among previously untreated patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of pembrolizumab/axitinib versus other first-line treatments of advanced RCC from a US public healthcare payer perspective. Methods: A partitioned survival model with three states (progression-free, progressed, death) evaluated lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for pembrolizumab/axitinib and other first-line regimens: sunitinib, pazopanib, and avelumab/axitinib in the overall population; and sunitinib, cabozantinib, and nivolumab/ipilimumab in the subgroup with intermediate/poor prognostic risk. Costs of treatments, adverse events, and medical resources were estimated. OS, PFS, and treatment duration were extrapolated using parametric models fitted to KEYNOTE-426 data and hazard ratios from network meta-analyses. Utilities were derived through mixed-effects regressions of KEYNOTE-426 EuroQol-5 Dimensions-3 Levels data. Results: In the overall population, pembrolizumab/axitinib was associated with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of $95,725/QALY versus sunitinib and $128,210/QALY versus pazopanib, and was dominant (lower cost, higher effectiveness) versus avelumab/axitinib, with incremental QALY gains of 2.73, 2.40, and 1.80 versus these therapies, respectively. In the intermediate/poor-risk subgroup, base-case ICERs for pembrolizumab/axitinib were $101,030/QALY versus sunitinib, $6,989/QALY versus cabozantinib, and $130,934/QALY versus nivolumab/ipilimumab, with incremental QALY gains of 2.62, 1.78, and 1.06 versus these therapies. Conclusions: In this economic evaluation, pembrolizumab/axitinib was associated with higher life expectancy and QALYs and, based on typical willingness-to-pay thresholds of $150,000-$180,000/QALY, was found cost-effective versus other first-line treatments for advanced RCC in the US.

Current medical research and opinion. 2020 Jul 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Arielle G Bensimon, Yichen Zhong, Umang Swami, Allison Briggs, Joshua Young, Yuan Feng, Yan Song, James Signorovitch, Oluwakayode Adejoro, Abhiroop Chakravarty, Mei Chen, Rodolfo F Perini, Daniel M Geynisman

Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, USA., Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA., Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA., Complete HEOR Solutions, North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA., Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.