Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

MRI- vs CT-based Cervical Brachytherapy Costs

Brachytherapy; ePub 2018 Jan 10; Bajaj, et al

MRI-based cervical brachytherapy was less costly than CT-based brachytherapy, according to a study involving 40 individuals. Participants with Medicare underwent either MRI-based (4 fractions delivered in 2 implants; n=20) or CT-based (5 fractions delivered in 5 implants: n=20) high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Investigators looked at physician, hospital, and overall costs. Among the results:

  • MRI-based brachytherapy cost a median of ~$14,250.
  • CT-based brachytherapy with conscious sedation cost ~$18,300.
  • CT-based with deep sedation by an anesthesiologist cost ~$27,700.

The authors noted that their results show that cost does not need to be a barrier for MRI-based cervical brachytherapy, especially when delivering multiple fractions with the same application.


Bajaj A, Harmon G, Weaver J, et al. A Medicare cost analysis of MRI- versus CT-based high-dose-rate brachytherapy of the cervix: Can MRI-based planning be less costly? [Published online ahead of print January 10, 2018]. Brachytherapy. doi:10.1016/j.brachy.2017.11.020.

This Week's Must Reads

PFS superior with avelumab and axitinib in advanced RCC, Motzer RJ et al. ESMO 2018. Abstract LBA6_PR

Adjuvant axitinib may benefit highest risk RCC patients, Quinn DI et al. Ann Oncol. 2018 Oct 20. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy454

High KPNA2 signals poor outcomes for RCC, Kristiansen G et al. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2018.10.008

RCC patient and disease characteristics differ by race/ethnicity, Batai K et al. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2018 Oct 26. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2018.10.012

Change in tumor burden signals treatment needs in mRCC, Bimbatti D et al. Urol Oncol. 2018 Oct 6. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.08.018

Must Reads in Practice Management

Broad opioid legislation advances in Congress, Senate floor debate, Sept. 17, 2018

Early supportive care cuts costs related to curative treatment, Koprowski CD et al. 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, Abstract 142

Employee deductibles outstrip wages, Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018 Employer Health Benefits

The financial burden of metastatic breast cancer, Wheeler SB et al. Quality Care Symposium, Abstract 32