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Liver Resection for Breast Cancer Liver Metastases: A Cost-utility Analysis

Spolverato, Gaya MD; Vitale, Alessandro MD, PhD; Bagante, Fabio MD; Connolly, Roisin MB, BCh; Pawlik, Timothy M. MD, MPH, PhD, FACS

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001715
Original Articles

Objective: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of liver resection followed by adjuvant systemic therapy relative to systemic therapy alone for patients with breast cancer liver metastasis.

Background: Data on cost-effectiveness of liver resection for advanced breast cancer with liver metastasis are lacking.

Methods: A decision-analytic Markov model was constructed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of liver resection followed by postoperative conventional systemic therapy (strategy A) versus conventional therapy alone (strategy B) versus newer targeted therapy alone (strategy C). The implications of using different chemotherapeutic regimens based on estrogen receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status was also assessed. Outcomes included quality-adjusted life months (QALMs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, and net health benefit (NHB).

Results: NHB of strategy A was 10.9 QALMs compared with strategy B when letrozole was used as systemic therapy, whereas it was only 0.3 QALMs when docetaxel + trastuzumab was used as a systemic therapy. The addition of newer biological agents (strategy C) significantly decreased the cost-effectiveness of strategy B (conventional systemic therapy alone). The NHB of strategy A was 31.6 QALMs versus strategy C when palbociclib was included in strategy C; similarly, strategy A had a NHB of 13.8 QALMs versus strategy C when pertuzumab was included in strategy C. Monte-Carlo simulation demonstrated that the main factor influencing NHB of strategy A over strategy C was the cost of systemic therapy.

Conclusions: Liver resection in patients with breast cancer liver metastasis proved to be cost-effective when compared with systemic therapy alone, particularly in estrogen receptor-positive tumors or when newer agents were used.

*Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Unità di Chirurgia Epatobiliare e Trapianto Epatico, Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova, Padova, Italy

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Reprints: Timothy M. Pawlik, MD, MPH, PhD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Oncology, Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology, John L. Cameron Professor of Alimentary Surgery, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N Wolfe Street, Blalock 688, Baltimore, MD 21287. E-mail:

GS and AV equally contributed to the manuscript.

Funding/support and conflicts of interest: none.

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