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Cost–utility analysis of high-dose melphalan with autologous blood stem cell support vs. melphalan plus prednisone in patients younger than 60 years with multiple myeloma

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Abstract: We evaluated the costs and the cost utility of high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell support followed by interferon maintenance relative to conventional treatment with melphalan and prednisone, in patients less than 60 yr of age with multiple myeloma. From March 1994 to July 1997, 274 patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic multiple myeloma were enrolled in a prospective, non-randomized, population-based, multicenter study to evaluate the treatment with high-dose melphalan and autologous blood stem cell support. Health-related quality-of-life was measured prior to treatment and during follow-up, using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Resource consumption was also recorded prospectively. The intensive treatment yielded a significant increase in median survival time from 44 to 62 months compared to conventionally treated patients. The corresponding gain in quality-adjusted life years (QALY) was found to be 1.2. Cost per QALY gained by the treatment with high-dose melphalan and autologous blood stem cell support was estimated at NOK 249,000 (USD 27,000).
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Keywords: adult; antineoplastic agents; cost–benefit analysis; hematopoetic stem cell transplantation; melphalan; multiple myeloma; prospective studies; quality-adjusted life years

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Haematology, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, 2: National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway, 3: Department of Haematology, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden and 4: Department of Medicine, Lidköping Hospital, Lidköping, Sweden

Publication date: 01 May 2001

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