Clinical Edge

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Costs of Approaches to Anal SCC Compared

J Oncol Pract; 2017 Dec; Chin, Pollom, Qian, et al

Among patients with anal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), total care cost was higher for those who received intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) vs 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), according to a retrospective cohort study involving >1,000 individuals. However, their unplanned health care utilization costs were lower 9 months and 1 year after treatment started.

Participants had anal SCC diagnosed between 2001 and 2011 and were treated with chemoradiotherapy. Investigators looked at the differences in total, cancer-attributable, and procedure-specific costs between patients treated with IMRT and those treated with 3D-CRT. Among the results:

  • 1 year after radiotherapy, radiation-related, patient out-of-pocket, and total costs were higher in patients who received IMRT (median of ~$36,00 vs ~$27,000).
  • Those in the IMRT group had lower urgent hospitalization and emergency department visit costs both 9 months and 1 year after the start of treatment (median of ~$700 vs ~$5,000 at 1 year).


Chin A, Pollom E, Qian Y, Koong A, Chang D. Impact of intensity-modulated radiotherapy on health care costs of patients with anal squamous cell carcinoma. J Oncol Pract. 2017; 3(12): e992-e1001. doi:10.1200/JOP.2017.024810.