Optimizing the risk threshold of lymph node involvement for performing extended pelvic lymph node dissection in prostate cancer patients: a cost-effectiveness analysis

Tom (T A.). Hueting*, Erik (E B.). Cornel, Ruben (R A.). Korthorst, Rick (R.G.) Pleijhuis, Diederik (D M.). Somford, Jean Paul (J P.A.). van Basten, Job (J.A.M.) van der Palen, Hendrik Koffijberg

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Extended pelvic lymph node dissection (ePLND) may be omitted in prostate cancer (CaP) patients with a low predicted risk of lymph node involvement (LNI). The aim of the current study was to quantify the cost-effectiveness of using different risk thresholds for predicted LNI in CaP patients to inform decision making on omitting ePLND.

Methods: Five different thresholds (2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 100%) used in practice for performing ePLND were compared using a decision analytic cohort model with the 100% threshold (i.e., no ePLND) as reference. Compared outcomes consisted of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs. Baseline characteristics for the hypothetical cohort were based on an actual Dutch patient cohort containing 925 patients who underwent ePLND with risks of LNI predicted by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center web-calculator. The best strategy was selected based on the incremental cost effectiveness ratio when applying a willingness to pay (WTP) threshold of €20,000 per QALY gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed with Monte Carlo simulation to assess the robustness of the results.

Results: Costs and health outcomes were lowest (€4,858 and 6.04 QALYs) for the 100% threshold, and highest (€10,939 and 6.21 QALYs) for the 2% threshold, respectively. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio for the 2%, 5%, 10%, and 20% threshold compared with the first threshold above (i.e., 5%, 10%, 20%, and 100%) were €189,222/QALY, €130,689/QALY, €51,920/QALY, and €23,187/QALY respectively. Applying a WTP threshold of €20.000 the probabilities for the 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 100% threshold strategies being cost-effective were 0.0%, 0.3%, 4.9%, 30.3%, and 64.5% respectively.

Conclusion: Applying a WTP threshold of €20.000, completely omitting ePLND in CaP patients is cost-effective compared to other risk-based strategies. However, applying a 20% threshold for probable LNI to the Briganti 2012 nomogram or the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center web-calculator, may be a feasible alternative, in particular when higher WTP values are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72.e7-72.e14
Number of pages8
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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