Direct Medical Costs of Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment: A Real-World Study in the Southeast of The Netherlands

Paul Peter Schneider*, Bram L Ramaekers, Xavier Pouwels, Sandra Geurts, Khava Ibragimova, Maaike de Boer, Birgit Vriens, Yes van de Wouw, Marien den Boer, Manon Pepels, Vivianne Tjan-Heijnen, Manuela Joore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Policy makers increasingly seek to complement data from clinical trials with information from routine care. This study aims to provide a detailed account of the hospital resource use and associated costs of patients with advanced breast cancer in The Netherlands.

METHODS: Data from 597 patients with advanced breast cancer, diagnosed between 2010 and 2014, were retrieved from the Southeast Netherlands Advanced Breast Cancer Registry. Database lock for this study was in October 2017. We report the observed hospital costs for different resource categories and the lifetime costs per patient, adjusted for censoring using Lin's method. The relationship between patients' characteristics and costs was studied using multivariable regression.

RESULTS: The average (SE) lifetime hospital costs of patients with advanced breast cancer were €52 709 (405). Costs differed considerably between patient subgroups, ranging from €29 803 for patients with a triple-negative subtype to €92 272 for patients with hormone receptor positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive cancer. Apart from the cancer subtype, several other factors, including age and survival time, were independently associated with patient lifetime costs. Overall, a large share of costs was attributed to systemic therapies (56%), predominantly to a few expensive agents, such as trastuzumab (15%), everolimus (10%), and bevacizumab (9%), as well as to inpatient hospital days (20%).

CONCLUSIONS: This real-world study shows the high degree of variability in hospital resource use and associated costs in advanced breast cancer care. The presented resource use and costs data provide researchers and policy makers with key figures for economic evaluations and budget impact analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • CARE
  • The Netherlands
  • breast neoplasms
  • healthcare costs
  • healthcare utilization
  • real-world data

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