Background: We assessed the cost-effectiveness of high dose arabinoside (HiDAC)-based and allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT)-based therapy in patients with acute leukemia.

Patients and Methods: We analyzed the outcome, cost and cost-effectiveness of 106 patients treated between 01/94 and 01/02 (94 AML/12 ALL). Forty-two young patients at either intermediate or unknown cytogenetic risk received post-remission intensive therapy (24 HiDAC-based / 18 alloSCT-based therapy).

Results: After a median follow-up of 50 months, the estimated 7 year overall survival for the HiDAC-based group showed a tendency to be higher than the alloSCT-based group (48% versus 28%; p=0.1452). HiDAC-base group spent a significantly lower total cost (USD 51,857 versus 75,474; p=0.004) than the alloSCT-based group. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the mean cost per year of life saved for the HiDAC-based group is considerably less expensive than the alloSCT-based group (USD 11,224 versus 21,564). The reduced total cost for the HiDAC-based group originated from lower cost in room fees, medication, laboratory and procedure, but not in blood transfusion and professional man-power fees.

Conclusion: HiDAC therapy as initial post-remission intensive therapy is a cost-effective approach in AML patients at either intermediate or unknown cytogenetic risk, which deserves further prospective clinical study to address this issue.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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