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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00814

Cost-effectiveness of [18F] fluoroethyl-L-tyrosine for temozolomide therapy assessment in patients with glioblastoma

  • 1Ghent University, Belgium

Background and purpose: Glioblastomas are the most aggressive of all gliomas. The prognosis of these gliomas, which are classified as grade IV tumors by the World Health Organization (WHO), is poor. Combination therapy, including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy has variable outcomes and is expensive. In light of rising healthcare costs, there are societal demands for the justification of medical expenses. Therefore, we calculated the cost-effectiveness of follow-up [18F] fluoroethyl-L-tyrosine ([18F]FET) positron emission tomography (PET) scans performed on patients with glioblastoma after surgery and before commencing temozolomide maintenance treatment.
Material and Methods: To determine the cost-effectiveness of follow-up [18F]FET PET procedures, we examined published clinical data and calculated the associated costs in the context of Belgian healthcare. We subsequently performed one-way deterministic sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo analysis on the calculated ratios.
Results: The decision tree based on overall survival rates showed that the number of non-responders identified using PET was 57.14% higher than the number of non-responders identified using conventional MRI. Further, the decision tree based on progression-free survival rates revealed a comparable increase of 57.50% non-responders identified. The calculated cost of two required PET scans per patient during the follow-up treatment phase was 780.50 euros. Two cost-effectiveness ratios were determined for overall survival and progression-free survival rates. Both of these calculations yielded very similar results: incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of 1,365.86 and 1,357.38 euros, respectively, for each identified non-responder. The findings of the sensitivity analysis supported the calculated results, confirming that the obtained data were robust.
Conclusion: Our comparative study of conventional MRI and [18F]FET PET revealed that the latter is a valuable tool for predicting the treatment responses of patients with glioblastomas to follow-up temozolomide maintenance treatment while considering its cost-effectiveness. Thus, [18F]FET PET scans enable clinical outcomes to be predicted accurately and at a low cost. Moreover, given the robustness of the data in the sensitivity analyses, the level of certainty of this outcome is acceptable.

Keywords: FET, Cost-eff ectiveness, PET - Positron Emission Tomography, Glioblastoma, temozolomide

Received: 23 May 2019; Accepted: 08 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Baguet, Verhoeven, De Vos and Goethals. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Tristan Baguet, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium,