Comparison of demographics, treatment patterns, health care utilization, and costs among elderly patients with extensive-stage small cell and metastatic non-small cell lung cancers
Background<br>Limited data exist regarding real-world treatment patterns, resource utilization, and costs of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (esSCLC) among elderly patients in the United States. While abundant data are available on treatment patterns in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC), to our knowledge no data exist comparing costs and resource use between patients with esSCLC or mNSCLC.<br><br>Methods<br>We retrospectively analyzed administrative claims data (2000¿2008) of patients aged ?65 years from the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. Patients were selected on the basis of having newly diagnosed esSCLC (n=5,855) or mNSCLC (n=24,090) during 1/1/2000-12/31/2005, and were required to have received cancer-directed therapy. Survival and other measures were compared between esSCLC and mNSCLC patients using Kaplan-Meier log-rank and univariate chi-square and t-tests. Study measures were followed from first diagnosis date of either esSCLC or mNSCLC until the earlier of death or end of the database.<br><br>Results<br>Survival between the cohorts did not differ significantly: mean of 10.4 months for esSCLC patients versus 11.1 months for mNSCLC; median survival was 7.4 months versus 5.9 months. A higher percentage of mNSCLC patients (vs. esSCLC) received radiation therapy (75.6% vs. 65.4%; P < 0.001) and surgery (13.6% vs. 7.8%; P < 0.001) during the metastatic disease period. Conversely, a higher percentage of esSCLC patients than mNSCLC patients received chemotherapy (85.5% vs. 60.3%; P < 0.001), red blood-cell transfusion (20.7% vs. 10.9%; P < 0.001), platelet transfusion (5.6% vs. 1.8%; P < 0.001), and growth-factor support (59.0% vs. 39.5%; P < 0.001). esSCLC patients incurred higher lifetime disease-related costs ($44,167 vs. $37,932; P < 0.001) and all-cause costs ($70,549 vs. $67,176; P < 0.001) than mNSCLC patients.<br><br>Conclusions<br>Lifetime total and disease-related costs per patient were high. Increased use of chemotherapy, supportive care therapies (including growth factors), and disease-related hospitalizations were observed in esSCLC patients as compared with mNSCLC patients. Disease-related and all-cause costs for esSCLC also exceeded those of mNSCLC, except for hospice and skilled nursing services. Survival and per-patient costs for both groups underscore the unmet medical need for more effective therapies in patients with esSCLC or mNSCLC.