CN Mobile Logo

Search form


Capecitabine/Docetaxel Is More Cost Effective Than Docetaxel Alone in Pretreated Disease

Capecitabine/Docetaxel Is More Cost Effective Than Docetaxel Alone in Pretreated Disease

SYDNEY, Australia—Capecitabine (Xeloda) plus docetaxel (Taxotere) is a
cost-saving treatment for patients with advanced breast cancer previously
treated with an anthracycline-containing regimen, results of an economic
analysis suggest. The combination, shown in a pivotal randomized trial to
provide a significant survival benefit over docetaxel alone in advanced breast
cancer, is also associated with a decrease in total treatment costs, according
to Carlene Todd, health economist with Roche Products Pty. Ltd., Sydney,

"It’s very rare with a new oncology product to have a survival gain and a
cost saving," Ms. Todd said. "Usually, there is an additional cost associated
with the addition of a therapy to an existing treatment."

Since November 2002, capecitabine/docetaxel combination therapy has been
listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for advanced
breast cancer patients who failed anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. The
PBS includes more than 500 drugs subsidized by the Australian government. To be
listed, a drug must be both efficacious and cost effective, Ms. Todd explained.

Based on Phase III Trial

The pharmacoeconomic analysis of capecitabine/docetaxel was based on results
of the recently published randomized phase III clinical trial including 511
patients with anthracycline-pretreated advanced breast cancer (O’Shaughnessy J,
et al: J Clin Oncol 20: 2812-23, 2002). The trial compared combination
therapy (capecitabine 1,250 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days, plus
docetaxel 75 mg/m2 every 3 weeks) vs docetaxel alone (100 mg/m2
every 3 weeks).

Capecitabine/docetaxel increased overall mean survival by 2.7 months vs
docetaxel alone (P < .05). The mean duration of therapy was also longer
for the combination (129 vs 98 days) reflecting a time to progression 2.4
months longer than with docetaxel alone (P < .001).

Investigators prospectively collected pharmacoeconomic data on parameters
including number of infusions, drug dosage, and hospitalizations. Unit costs
were based on published estimates for Australia.


By clicking Accept, you agree to become a member of the UBM Medica Community.