Study: Surgery Generally More Cost-Effective Than Radiation for Prostate Cancer

Surgical treatment for localized prostate cancer is generally more cost-effective than radiation therapy, according to a study in the British Journal of Urology International.

The researchers aimed to determine the differences in outcomes and costs for various prostate cancer treatments, including radical prostatectomy (open, laparoscopic or robot-assisted) and radiation therapy (dose-escalated three-dimensional conformal RT, intensity-modulated RT, brachytherapy or combination).

The researchers used a model to determine the probable outcomes of primary treatment for hypothetical men with low-, intermediate- and high-risk localized prostate cancer. The authors based probabilities on a literature search of 232 publications and they determined costs from the USA payor perspective.

Results showed only slight differences in quality-adjusted life years across all treatment types. Surgical methods were generally more effective than RT methods, except for combined external beam and brachytherapy for high-risk disease.

However, there was a wide range of costs, spanning from $19,901 for robot-assisted prostatectomy for low-risk disease to $50,276 for combined RT for high-risk disease.

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