AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Analysis of costs of high technological procedures such as peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) autotransplantation in lymphomas are generally finalized at disclosing whether the improvement of survival in a subset of patients is cost effective and whether the cost of the procedure could be reduced. With the aim of revealing a possibility of reducing costs with respect to conditions of safety, we present our experience with PBSC autotransplantation in a particularly poor prognosis subset of patients with lymphoma. DESIGN AND METHODS: The expenses are analyzed for groups of cost and main resources necessary at unitary cost are considered separately. Groups of cost include various phases of the PBSC autotransplantation such as preparative procedures, execution of myeloablative therapy, reinfusion of CD34 cells, supportive therapy after reinfusion until discharge of the patient, general support for the management of patient. All costs are calculated according to 1997 prices and salaries and reported in dollars. The analysis was conducted on 21 patients with lymphoma resistant to other therapies treated by myeloablative therapy and PBSC autotransplantation in an hematologic unit in an open ward; the assistance was provided by staff not exclusively dedicated to bone marrow transplant procedures, with some help from a family member. RESULTS: The PBSC procedure, including all phases, costs from $17,761.9 to $18,259.9 depending on the type of myeloablative therapy employed; the mean cost was $18,092.6. The preparative phase with mobilization of CD34 cells, cryopreservation and reinfusion costed $3,538.7 (19.6% of the total cost); a major cost of this phase was cryopreservation and CD34 manipulation ($857.1). The second phase with myeloablative therapy and reinfusion of CD34 cells had a mean cost of $2,785.9 (15.4% of the total cost); a major cost of this phase was the hospitalization ($1,119.8). The third phase of patient's support after treatment had a total cost of $7,649 (42.3% of the cost of the total procedure) with the major cost being due to hospitalization ($2,571) calculated on a mean of 15 days after the reinfusion of CD-34. The last group of costs, including management support, accounted for $4,119 (22.7%) with a major cost being amortization of the structure ($1,600). The general cost for nurse's assistance to the patient was $1,355.1 (7.5%). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: A procedure of PBSC autotransplantation in resistant lymphoma is affordable without the strict precautions generally given in intensive care units. This provides a substantial reduction of expenses because of the low number of specifically trained staff members and the generally low cost of the necessary supplies. Before, however, proposing PBSC autotransplantation in most patients with resistant lymphoma, an evaluation of whether costs could be further reduced and whether the procedure has a cost benefit impact is needed.
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Vol. 84 No. 2 (1999): February, 1999 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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