Evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of dexrazoxane for the prevention of anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity in children with sarcoma and haematologic malignancies: a European perspective

Publication cover, illustrating the chemical structure of Dexrazoxane with red blood cells underneath

Authors: Dewilde S, Carroll K, Nivelle E, Sawyer J.
Published in: Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 2020 Feb 10;18:7


Background: Anthracycline-treated childhood cancer survivors are at higher risk of cardiotoxicity, especially with cumulative doses received above 250 mg/m2. Dexrazoxane is the only option recommended for cardiotoxicity prevention in high-risk patients supported by randomised trials but its cost-effectiveness in paediatric cancer patients has not been established.

Methods: A cost-effectiveness model applicable to different national healthcare system perspectives, which simulates 10,000 patients with either sarcoma or haematologic malignancies, based upon baseline characteristics including gender, age at diagnosis, cumulative anthracycline dose and exposure to chest irradiation. Risk equations for developing congestive heart failure and death from recurrence of the original cancer, secondary malignant neoplasms, cardiac death, pulmonary death, and death from other causes were derived from published literature. These are applied to the individual simulated patients and time until development of these events was determined. The treatment effect of dexrazoxane on the risk of CHF or death was based upon a meta-analysis of randomised and non-randomised dexrazoxane studies in each tumour type. The model includes country specific data for drug and administration costs, all aspects of heart failure diagnosis and management, and death due to different causes for each of the five countries considered; France, Germany, the UK, Italy, and Spain.

Results: Dexrazoxane treatment resulted in a mean QALY benefit across the five countries ranging from 0.530 to 0.683 per dexrazoxane-treated patient. Dexrazoxane was cost-effective for paediatric patients receiving anthracycline treatment for sarcoma and for haematologic malignancies, irrespective of the cumulative anthracycline dose received. The Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) was favourable in all countries irrespective of anthracycline dose for both sarcoma and haematological malignancies (range: dominant to €2196). Individual ICER varied considerably according to country with dominance demonstrated for dexrazoxane in Spain and Italy and ratios approximately double the European average in the UK and Germany.

Conclusions: Dexrazoxane is a highly cost-effective therapy for the prevention of anthracycline cardiotoxicity in paediatric patients with sarcoma or haematological malignancies in Europe, irrespective of the healthcare system in which they receive treatment. These benefits persist when patients who receive doses of anthracycline > 250 mg/m2 are included in the model.

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