Patients' priorities in selecting chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatments
Currently, in the United States, 130 000 people live with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and almost 20 000 new cases of CLL are diagnosed each year. Little is known about the value patients place upon the attributes of available CLL treatments, which vary in efficacy, side effects, and mode of administration. We used a discrete-choice experiment (DCE) to investigate patients' preferences for treatment attributes and the impact of out-of-pocket cost on patients' choices. DCE surveys pose a series of choices between hypothetical treatment options, each defined by a set of attributes, and the responses provide quantitative estimates of the average relative preferences for treatment attribute. Each hypothetical treatment in this survey was defined by 5 attributes with predefined levels for efficacy, adverse events, and mode administration. A patient advocacy organization recruited 384 patients with a self-reported physician diagnosis of CLL to complete the online survey. Respondents placed the highest relative importance on longer progression-free survival (PFS). However, the risk of adverse events also was important, as significant additional PFS was needed to offset patients' acceptance of worsening adverse events. A supplemental question with 2 treatments and varying costs was included to assess the impact of cost on choice. When costs were included, a large proportion of patients changed their choices between the 2 treatments. Given the available treatments and the high cost of some treatments, physicians may want to explore their patients' preferences for different treatment features, including benefit-risk tradeoffs and out-of-pocket cost, when selecting the best treatment strategies for patients.