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Medical Costs and Outcomes for Australian Women With Ovarian Cancer: A Patient-Level Analysis Over 2.5 Years
  1. Louisa G. Gordon, PhD*,,
  2. Paul A. Scuffham, PhD,,
  3. Vanessa L. Beesley, PhD*,
  4. Adèle C. Green, MBBS, PhD*,,
  5. Anna DeFazio, PhD§,
  6. David K. Wyld, MBBS, FRACP,
  7. Alexandra M. Clavarino, PhD and
  8. Penelope M. Webb, PhD*,
  1. * Genetics and Population Health Division, Queensland Institute of Medical Research;
  2. Griffith Medical Research College, Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Griffith University;
  3. School of Medicine, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland;
  4. § Department of Gynaecological Oncology and Westmead Institute for Cancer Research, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney at Westmead Millenium Institute, Sydney;
  5. Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital;
  6. School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Louisa Gordon, PhD, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane, Herston 4029, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. E-mail: Louisa.Gordon{at}


Objective: As treatment costs for gynecological cancer escalate, real-world data on use of resources and costs becomes increasingly important. This study investigated medical costs, quality of life, and survival end points for women with ovarian cancer in Australia.

Methods: Women with primary epithelial ovarian cancer referred for chemotherapy (n = 85) were recruited through 7 hospitals in Australia. Overall survival, progression-free interval, and quality-adjusted life years were assessed by stage using the Cox proportional hazards models. Direct medical costs, including those for surgeries, hospitalizations, supportive care, chemotherapy, and adverse effects (while on chemotherapy), were calculated over 2.5 years and assessed by nonparametric bootstrapping.

Results: Quality-adjusted life years decreased with increased disease stage at diagnosis and ranged from 2.3 for women with stage I or II disease to 1.3 for those with stage IV disease. A total of AU $4.1 million (2008) were spent on direct medical costs for 85 women over approximately 2.5 years. Medical costs were significantly higher for women with stage III or IV disease compared with that for women with stage I or II disease ($50,945 vs $31,958, P < 0.01) and/or women who experienced surgical complications and/or adverse effects requiring hospitalization while on chemotherapy ($57,821 vs $34,781, P < 0.01). Costs after first-line chemotherapy were significantly higher for women with advanced disease (mean, $20,744) compared with those for women with early disease (mean, $5525; P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Whereas for women with early-stage ovarian cancer, costs are concentrated in the period of primary treatment, cumulated costs are especially high for women with recurrent disease rising rapidly after first-line therapy.

  • Cost analysis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Quality-adjusted life years
  • Treatment adverse effects

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.