Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Non–risk-adapted Active Surveillance for Postorchiectomy Management of Clinical Stage I Seminoma

Mitchell M. Huang*, Zhuo T. Su, Joseph G. Cheaib, Michael J. Biles, Mohamad E. Allaf, Hiten D. Patel, Phillip M. Pierorazio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer-specific survival for men with clinical stage I (CSI) seminoma approaches 100%, regardless of the management approach chosen after orchiectomy. Given the young age and high survival rate of these patients, there has been a shift toward minimizing treatment-related morbidity and cost. In this context, non–risk-adapted active surveillance (NRAS) has emerged as a desirable management strategy. Objective: To evaluate the clinical, quality of life, and economic values of postorchiectomy NRAS for CSI seminoma. Design, setting, and participants: We developed a decision analytic Markov model to estimate the costs and health outcomes of competing postorchiectomy management strategies for otherwise healthy 30-yr-old men with CSI seminoma. Intervention: Real-world current practice, comprising active surveillance and adjuvant therapies (reference arm), was compared with empiric adjuvant radiotherapy (option 1), empiric adjuvant chemotherapy (option 2), risk-adapted active surveillance (RAAS; option 3), and NRAS (option 4). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), medical costs, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, mortality, and unnecessary treatment avoidance were estimated over a 10-yr period. Uncertainties in model input values were accounted for using univariate, scenario, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Results and limitations: NRAS dominated all other management options, offering the lowest per-patient health care cost ($3839) and the highest QALYs gained (7.74) over 10 yr. On probabilistic sensitivity analysis, NRAS had the highest chance of being most cost effective. Although NRAS resulted in the highest rate of salvage chemotherapy (20% vs 6% radiotherapy, 6% chemotherapy, 15% current practice, and 16% RAAS), it had the same mortality rate compared to current practice (2.5%). NRAS also allowed 80% of patients to avoid unnecessary treatment compared with 46% for current practice and 52% for RAAS. Study limitations included model simplifications, model parameter assumptions, as well as the absence of patient preference as a decision factor. Conclusions: NRAS maintains high cure rates for CSI seminoma, minimizes unnecessary treatment, and is cost effective compared with other management strategies. Patient summary: Clinical stage I (CSI) seminoma is one of the most common forms of testicular cancer. Surgery is the first step in the treatment of men with this disease, and some men may receive additional treatment with radiation or chemotherapy afterward. As most men are cured with surgery alone, non–risk-adapted active surveillance (NRAS), which involves routine monitoring with imaging and blood tests for disease recurrence after surgery, has become a desirable treatment option. Our study shows that in addition to maintaining high survival rates and avoiding unnecessary radiation and chemotherapy, NRAS is cost effective for the health care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1417
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Active surveillance
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Decision analytic modeling
  • Seminoma
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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