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Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) incidence is increasing rapidly. Esophageal cancer has the second lowest 5-year survival rate of people diagnosed with cancer in Canada. Given the poor survival and the potential for further increases in incidence, phase-specific cost estimates constitute an important input for economic evaluation of prevention, screening, and treatment interventions. The study aims to estimate phase-specific net direct medical costs of care attributable to EAC, costs stratified by cancer stage and treatment, and predictors of total net costs of care for EAC.
A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted using Ontario Cancer Registry-linked administrative health data from 2003 to 2011. The mean net costs of EAC care per 30 patient-days (2016 CAD) were estimated from the payer perspective using phase of care approach and generalized estimating equations. Predictors of net cost by phase of care were based on a generalized estimating equations model with a logarithmic link and gamma distribution adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors.
The mean net costs of EAC care per 30 patient-days were $1016 (95% CI, $955–$1078) in the initial phase, $669 (95% CI, $594–$743) in the continuing care phase, and $8678 (95% CI, $8217–$9139) in the terminal phase. Overall, stage IV at diagnosis and surgery plus radiotherapy for EAC incurred the highest cost, particularly in the terminal phase. Strong predictors of higher net costs were receipt of chemotherapy plus radiotherapy, surgery plus chemotherapy, radiotherapy alone, surgery alone, and chemotherapy alone in the initial and continuing care phases, stage III-IV disease and patients diagnosed with EAC later in a calendar year (2007–2011) in the initial and terminal phases, comorbidity in the continuing care phase, and older age at diagnosis (70–74 years), and geographic region in the terminal phase.
Costs of care vary by phase of care, stage at diagnosis, and type of treatment for EAC. These cost estimates provide information to guide future resource allocation decisions, and clinical and policy interventions to reduce the burden of EAC.
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