To perform a cost minimization analysis of total laryngectomy with postoperative radiotherapy vs induction chemotherapy with subsequent radiotherapy in patients with advanced (stage III or IV) squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.
Decision-analysis model using data from peer-reviewed trials, case series, meta-analyses, and Medicare diagnosis related group reimbursement rates.
Setting and Patients
A hypothetical cohort of patients with stage III or IV laryngeal cancer. The perspective is that of a health care payer.
The hypothetical patient cohort could receive (1) surgery (total laryngectomy) with postoperative radiotherapy or (2) induction chemotherapy (fluorouracil and cisplatin) with radiotherapy followed by salvage surgery for patients failing to respond to chemotherapy.
Main Outcome Measure
Overall difference in direct medical costs in 2003 US dollars between the 2 treatment arms from initiation to completion of treatment.
In the baseline analysis, the direct medical costs for the surgical arm were $30 138 per patient. For the organ preservation arm, the direct medical costs were $33 052 per patient. The finding that the surgical arm costs were lower was robust to all sensitivity analyses except for the extreme low estimate for the cost of chemotherapy.
Our results suggest that total laryngectomy with postoperative radiotherapy costs nearly $3000 less than organ preservation treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer. Given that survival appears equivalent between the 2 modalities, cost consideration and patient preference may be important factors in decision making for the treatment of advanced laryngeal cancer.