4 years ago

Assessing the relationship between toxicity and economic cost of oncological target agents: A systematic review of clinical trials

Roy Cerqueti, Alessandro Conti, Francesca Tartari

by Francesca Tartari, Alessandro Conti, Roy Cerqueti

Target agents are peculiar oncological drugs which differ from the traditional therapies in their ability of recognizing specific molecules expressed by tumor cells and microenvironment. Thus, their toxicity is generally lower than that associated to chemotherapy, and they represent nowadays a new standard of care in a number of tumors. This paper deals with the relationship between economic costs and toxicity of target agents. At this aim, a cluster analysis-based exploration of the main features of a large collection of them is carried out, with a specific focus on the variables leading to the identification of their toxicity and related costs. The analysis of the toxicity is based on the Severe Adverse Events (SAE) and Discontinuation (D) rates of each target agent considering data published on PubMed from 1965 to 2016 in the phase II and III studies that have led to the approval of these drugs for cancer patients by US Food and Drug Administration. The construction of the dataset represents a key step of the research, and is grounded on the critical analysis of a wide set of clinical studies. In order to capture different evaluation strategies of the toxicity, clustering is performed according to three different criteria (including Voronoi tessellation). Our procedure allows us to identify 5 different groups of target agents pooled by similar SAE and D rates and, at the same time, 3 groups based on target agents’ costs for 1 month and for the median whole duration of therapy. Results highlight several specific regularities for toxicity and costs. This study present several limitations, being realized starting from clinical trials and not from individual patients’ data. However, a macroscopic perspective suggests that costs are rather heterogeneous, and they do not clearly follow the clustering based on SAE and D rates.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183639

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