Purpose: Based on earlier studies we were interested in finding out if longitudinal assessment of quality of life (QoL) and costs in long-term survivors of oropharyngeal cancers treated with external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy (BT) or surgery and postoperative radiotherapy showed a change in QoL over the years. Besides, we were curious to know how much the costs per life year and the QALY would be for this patient group. Methods and materials: Performance status scales: eating in public, understandability of speech, normalcy of diet, xerostomia and ability to swallow were determined in 2003 and 2005. In 2005, the responses to EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC H&N35, and the Euroqol questionnaire were also measured. Costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated. Results: Eating in public, understandability of speech, and normalcy of diet significantly differed in favor of BT. Surgical patients experienced more speech, teeth, and mouth-opening problems. Mean costs and QALYs for BT were €16,112 and €56,060 and for surgery €26,590 and €93,275, respectively. Conclusions: QoL scores don't change over time. Due to the number of admission days, surgery is more costly. Difference in costs for QALYs in favor of BT was observed.

Brachytherapy, Costs, Oropharyngeal cancer, Quality of life, Surgery
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2008.05.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/33117
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nijdam, W.M, Levendag, P.C, Noever, I, Schmitz, P.I.M, & Uyl-de Groot, C.A. (2008). Longitudinal changes in quality of life and costs in long-term survivors of tumors of the oropharynx treated with brachytherapy or surgery. Brachytherapy, 7(4), 343–350. doi:10.1016/j.brachy.2008.05.001