Cost of temozolomide therapy and global care for recurrent malignant gliomas followed until death

Jean Blaise Wasserfallen*, Sandrine Ostermann, Serge Leyvraz, Roger Stupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Effectiveness and costs of care and treatment of recurrent malignant gliomas are largely unknown. In this study, 49 patients (32 males, 17 females; mean age, 49; age range, 23-79) were treated with temozolomide (TMZ) for recurrent or progressive malignant gliomas after standard radiation therapy. Cost assessment (payer's perspective) singled out treatment for first recurrence and all costs of care until death. We computed personnel costs as wages; drugs, imaging, and laboratory tests as prices; and hospitalizations as day rates. Patients were administered a median of five TMZ cycles at recurrence. Drug acquisition costs amounted to €2206 per cycle (76% of total costs). Seven patients showed no second recurrence (two are still alive), 16 received no further chemotherapy and died after 3.9 months, and 26 received second-line chemotherapy. After the second progression, median survival was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval, 1.8-6.1). Overall monthly costs of care varied between €2450 and €3242 among the different groups, and median cost-effectiveness and cost utility ranged from €28,817 to €38,450 and from €41,167 to €53,369 per life of year and per quality-adjusted life-year gained, respectively. We conclude that despite high TMZ drug acquisition costs, care of recurrent malignant gliomas is comparable to other accepted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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