Obstetrics & Gynaecology Publications

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Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research





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Background: In 2020, approximately 3100 Canadian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer (OC), with 1950 women dying of this disease. Prognosis for OC remains poor, with 70% to 75% of cases diagnosed at an advanced stage and an overall 5-year survival of 46%. Current standard of care in Canada involves a combination of cytoreductive surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy. Objective: There are few studies reporting current OC costs. This study sought to determine patient characteristics and costs to the health system for OC in Ontario, Canada. Methods: Women diagnosed with OC in Ontario between 2010 and 2017 were identified. The cohort was linked to provincial administrative databases to capture treatment patterns, survival, and costs. Overall total and mean cost per patient (unadjusted) were reported in 2017 Canadian dollars, using a macro-based costing methodology called GETCOST. It is programmed to determine the costs of short-term and long-term episodes of health-care resources utilized. Results: Of the 2539 OC patients included in the study, the mean age at diagnosis was 60.4±11.35 years. The majority were diagnosed with stage III disease (n=1247). The only treatment required for 74% of stage I patients and 54% of stage II patients was first-line (1L) platinum chemotherapy; in advanced stages (III/IV) 24% and 20%, respectively, did not receive further treatment after 1L therapy. The median overall survival (mOS) for the whole cohort was 5.13 years. Survival was highest in earlier stage disease (mOS not reached in stage I/II), and dropped significantly in advanced stage patients (stage III: mOS=4.09 years; stage IV: mOS=3.47 years). Overall mean costs in patients stage I were CAD $58 099 compared to CAD $124 202 in stage IV. Discussion: The majority of OC patients continue to be diagnosed with advanced disease, which is associated with poor survival and increased treatment costs. Increased awareness and screening could facilitate diagnosis of earlier stage disease and reduce high downstream costs for advanced disease. Conclusion: Advanced OC is associated with poor survival and increased costs, mainly driven by hospitalizations or cancer clinic visits. The introduction of new targeted therapies such as olaparib could impact health system costs, by offsetting higher downstream costs while also improving survival.