Journal Article
. 2012 Feb; 30(8):806-12.
doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.37.7499.

Uptake and economic impact of first-cycle colony-stimulating factor use during adjuvant treatment of breast cancer

Dawn L Hershman 1 Elizabeth T Wilde  Jason D Wright  Donna L Buono  Kevin Kalinsky  Jennifer L Malin  Alfred I Neugut  
  • PMID: 22312106
  •     29 References
  •     11 citations


Purpose: In 2002, pegfilgrastim was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the benefits of dose-dense breast cancer chemotherapy, especially for hormone receptor (HR) -negative tumors, were reported. We examined first-cycle colony-stimulating factor use (FC-CSF) before and after 2002 and estimated US expenditures for dose-dense chemotherapy.

Methods: We identified patients in Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare greater than 65 years old with stages I to III breast cancer who had greater than one chemotherapy claim within 6 months of diagnosis(1998 to 2005) and classified patients with an average cycle length less than 21 days as having received dose-dense chemotherapy. The associations of patient, tumor, and physician-related factors with the receipt of any colony-stimulating factor (CSF) and FC-CSF use were analyzed by using generalized estimating equations. CSF costs were estimated for patients who were undergoing dose-dense chemotherapy.

Results: Among the 10,773 patients identified, 5,266 patients (48.9%) had a CSF claim. CSF use was stable between 1998 and 2002 and increased from 36.8% to 73.7% between 2002 and 2005, FC-CSF use increased from 13.2% to 67.9%, and pegfilgrastim use increased from 4.1% to 83.6%. In a multivariable analysis, CSF use was associated with age and chemotherapy type and negatively associated with black/Hispanic race, rural residence, and shorter chemotherapy duration. FC-CSF use was associated with high socioeconomic status but not with age or race/ethnicity. The US annual CSF expenditure for women with HR-positive tumors treated with dose-dense chemotherapy is estimated to be $38.8 million.

Conclusion: A rapid increase in FC-CSF use occurred over a short period of time, which was likely a result of the reported benefits of dose-dense chemotherapy and the ease of pegfilgrastim administration. Because of the increasing evidence that elderly HR-positive patients do not benefit from dose-dense chemotherapy, limiting pegfilgrastim use would combat the increasing costs of cancer care.

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