Economic burden of treatment failure in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients

Current Medical Research and Opinion. 2018 Jun;34(6):1135-1142


This study assessed healthcare costs of first-line treatment failure (TF) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Pre-diagnosis treatment-naïve adults with ≥2 CLL diagnoses initiated on an antineoplastic agent (index date) after their first CLL diagnosis with ≥12 and ≥6 months of continuous observation pre- and post-index, respectively, were selected from the Truven Health MarketScan Research Databases. Patients had no solid malignancies in the pre-index period nor selected blood malignancies at any time. Initial therapy included antineoplastic agents initiated in the first 30 days post-index. TF occurred at the earliest of: initiation of a new antineoplastic agent, treatment resumption following a ≥3 month break, non-chemotherapy intervention (stem cell transplant or radiotherapy), hospice care or hospital mortality. The cost of TF was evaluated as the healthcare cost difference between patients with and without first-line TF using ordinary least square regressions adjusted for baseline characteristics. Non-parametric bootstrap was used to evaluate statistical significance.


Among 2226 patients identified (mean age: 68 years; female: 41%), 46% experienced first-line TF. The average TF cost was $3011 per patient per month (p < .001). when stratifying patients by event indicating tf and by most common therapies, non-chemotherapy intervention ($7582 per patient per month; p >< .0001) and fludarabine cyclophosphamide rituximab ($4758; p >< .001) were associated with the highest tf cost, respectively.>


The cost of first-line TF is high and varies across first-line therapies. This should be considered when selecting the initial therapy in these patients.

View abstract


Wang S, Lafeuille MHLefebvre PRomdhani HEmond B, Senbetta M