Clinical and economic burdens of recurrence following nephrectomy for intermediate high- or high-risk renal cell carcinoma: A retrospective analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data

Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, 2022


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is associated with a high risk of recurrence. Although RCC has been shown to impose a substantial burden on patients, little is known about the incremental clinical and economic burden attributable to disease recurrence. With recent advances in the RCC-therapeutic landscape, including adjuvant therapies, it is important to quantify the clinical and economic burden associated with RCC recurrence to better evaluate the potential impact of treatment in this patient population.


To quantify the incremental clinical and economic burden associated with disease recurrence among patients with intermediate high-risk and high-risk RCC postnephrectomy.


Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database (2007-2016) were used to identify patients with newly diagnosed, intermediate high-risk or high-risk RCC following nephrectomy. Patients with a diagnosis of metastatic disease or repeat nephrectomy or initiating a systemic treatment for advanced RCC were grouped as the recurrence cohort; patients without evidence of recurrence were grouped as the cohort without recurrence. Health care resource utilization (HRU), health care costs (2019 US dollars), and overall survival (OS) were compared between cohorts with and without recurrence, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.


A total of 269 patients with recurrence and 374 patients without recurrence were analyzed. Mean age was 75.2 and 75.7 years (P = 0.383), respectively, and 64.7% and 57.8% (P = 0.076) of patients were male, respectively. Median follow-up duration was 17 and 28 months, respectively. Patients with recurrence had a significantly shorter OS relative to patients without recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio = 6.00; 95% CI = 4.24-8.48; P < 0.001). Additionally, compared with patients without recurrence, patients with recurrence had significantly more inpatient admissions (0.16 vs 0.04 admissions per person-month [PM]; adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] = 3.88; 95% CI = 3.12-4.81), outpatient visits (3.06 vs 1.77 visits per PM; aIRR = 1.68; 95% CI = 1.56-1.81), emergency department visits (0.10 vs 0.05 visits per PM; aIRR = 2.11; 95% CI = 1.66-2.68), and days hospitalized (1.40 vs 0.35 days per PM; aIRR = 6.73; 95% CI = 4.95-9.15) per patient per month (all P < 0.001). Adjusted mean monthly health care costs per patient were significantly higher among patients with recurrence vs patients without recurrence (differences of all-cause total costs, total medical costs, and pharmacy cost per month: $6,320, $4,924, and $1,387; all P < 0.001).


RCC recurrence is associated with a significant increase in mortality, HRU, and health care costs, highlighting the substantial unmet need in patients with intermediate high-risk and high-risk RCC postnephrectomy when adjuvant therapies are not widely available.

View abstract


Sundaram M, Song Y, Rogerio JW, Zhang S, Bhattacharya R, Adejoro O, Carley C, Zhu J, Signorovitch J, Haas NB