Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer by Age and Hormone Receptor Status: A Cost-Utility Analysis
AuthorLeung, W; Kvizhinadze, G; Nair, N; Blakely, T
Source TitlePLoS Medicine
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sBlakely, Antony
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLeung, W., Kvizhinadze, G., Nair, N. & Blakely, T. (2016). Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer by Age and Hormone Receptor Status: A Cost-Utility Analysis. PLOS MEDICINE, 13 (8), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002067.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: The anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) monoclonal antibody trastuzumab improves outcomes in patients with node-positive HER2+ early breast cancer. Given trastuzumab's high cost, we aimed to estimate its cost-effectiveness by heterogeneity in age and estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status, which has previously been unexplored, to assist prioritisation. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A cost-utility analysis was performed using a Markov macro-simulation model, with a lifetime horizon, comparing a 12-mo regimen of trastuzumab with chemotherapy alone using the latest (2014) effectiveness measures from landmark randomised trials. A New Zealand (NZ) health system perspective was adopted, employing high-quality national administrative data. Incremental quality-adjusted life-years for trastuzumab versus chemotherapy alone are two times higher (2.33 times for the age group 50-54 y; 95% CI 2.29-2.37) for the worst prognosis (ER-/PR-) subtype compared to the best prognosis (ER+/PR+) subtype, causing incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for the former to be less than half those of the latter for the age groups from 25-29 to 90-94 y (0.44 times for the age group 50-54 y; 95% CI 0.43-0.45). If we were to strictly apply an arbitrary cost-effectiveness threshold equal to the NZ gross domestic product per capita (2011 purchasing power parity [PPP]-adjusted: US$30,300; €23,700; £21,200), our study suggests that trastuzumab (2011 PPP-adjusted US$45,400/€35,900/£21,900 for 1 y at formulary prices) may not be cost-effective for ER+ (which are 61% of all) node-positive HER2+ early breast cancer patients but cost-effective for ER-/PR- subtypes (37% of all cases) to age 69 y. Market entry of trastuzumab biosimilars will likely reduce the ICER to below this threshold for premenopausal ER+/PR- cancer but not for ER+/PR+ cancer. Sensitivity analysis using the best-case effectiveness measure for ER+ cancer had the same result. A key limitation was a lack of treatment-effect data by hormone receptor subtype. Heterogeneity was restricted to age and hormone receptor status; tumour size/grade heterogeneity could be explored in future work. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights how cost-effectiveness can vary greatly by heterogeneity in age and hormone receptor subtype. Resource allocation and licensing of subsidised therapies such as trastuzumab should consider demographic and clinical heterogeneity; there is currently a profound disconnect between how funding decisions are made (largely agnostic to heterogeneity) and the principles of personalised medicine.
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