Background: Bevacizumab plus interferon-α2a (IFN) prolongs progression-free survival to>10 months, which is comparable with sunitinib as first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The two regimens have different tolerability profiles; therefore, costs for managing adverse events may be an important factor in selecting therapy.Methods: Costs of managing adverse events affecting patients with metastatic RCC eligible for treatment with bevacizumab plus IFN or sunitinib were evaluated using a linear decision analytical model. Management costs were calculated from the published incidence of adverse events and health-care costs for treating adverse events in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.Results: Adverse event management costs were higher for sunitinib than for bevacizumab plus IFN. The average cost per patient for the management of grade 3-4 adverse events was markedly lower with bevacizumab plus IFN compared with sunitinib in the United Kingdom (\[euro]1475 vs \[euro]804), Germany (\[euro]1785 vs \[euro]1367), France (\[euro]2590 vs \[euro]1618) and Italy (\[euro]891 vs \[euro]402). The main cost drivers were lymphopaenia, neutropaenia, thrombocytopaenia, leucopaenia and fatigue/asthaenia for sunitinib; and proteinuria, fatigue/asthaenia, bleeding, anaemia and gastrointestinal perforation for bevacizumab plus IFN.Conclusion: The costs of managing adverse events are lower for bevacizumab plus IFN than for sunitinib. The potential for cost savings should be considered when selecting treatments for RCC.

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British Journal of Cancer
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Mickisch, G. H. J., Gore, M., Escudier, B., Procopio, G., Walzer, S., & Nuijten, M. (2010). Costs of managing adverse events in the treatment of first-line metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Bevacizumab in combination with interferon-α2a compared with sunitinib. British Journal of Cancer, 102(1), 80–86. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605417