The Pharmacological Costs of Second-Line Treatments for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

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In ovarian cancer, it is uncertain which chemotherapy regimen is more clinically effective and cost-effective for the treatment of recurrence; therefore, it might be interesting to make a balance between the cost of the drugs administered and the difference in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).


The present evaluation was restricted to pivotal phase 3 randomized controlled trials. We calculated the pharmacological costs necessary to get the benefit in PFS and OS. The costs of drugs are at the pharmacy of our hospital and are expressed in Euros (€). We have subsequently applied the European Society for Medical Oncology Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale.


Our study evaluated 3 phase 3 randomized controlled trials, including 2004 patients. The most relevant increase of costs was associated with the combination chemotherapy including trabectedin, with the highest costs for month of PFS gained (15,836 €) and for month of OS gained (7198 €), but it substantially differs considering the data of partially platinum-sensitive populations (platinum-free interval of 6–12 months), with 3959 € for month of OS gained.


The addition of trabectedin to pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer can lead to an increase of pharmacological costs. Differently, considering OS in patients with platinum-free interval of 6 to 12 months, there is a halving of pharmacological costs with the addition of trabectedin to pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. These costs are in line with the spending suggested as sustainable (thresholds of <$61,500 per life-year gained).

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