, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 207-224

Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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Abstract

High-intermediate grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is an aggressive form of the disease, which can respond well to combination chemotherapy, with long-term survival seen in 40–50% of patients. When NHL relapses following standard treatment, high-dose chemotherapy with peripheral blood stem cell or bone marrow support may still cure a significant proportion of patients.

Despite a significant rise in the incidence of NHL over recent years, there remains only limited published economic study concerning the overall lifetime cost of treatment, the cost effectiveness of specific treatments or the overall societal cost burden of the disease. The majority of studies identified for the purposes of this review considered the cost of alternative forms of chemotherapy and bone marrow support strategies for patients with advanced disease. Data from these studies suggest that there is a definite trend towards reduced costs for high-dose therapy, possibly reflecting increasing technical experience and improved bone marrow recovery through the use of stem cell transplantation and growth factors. The limited number of cost-effectiveness evaluations suggest that high-dose therapy, following a chemosensitive relapse, is likely to be considered favourable against commonly quoted cost-effectiveness thresholds.

Cost effectiveness is becoming an increasingly important factor to consider in the formal assessment of new interventions conducted by groups such as the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence. In light of the increasing incidence of NHL and the extended use of high-dose treatments in other subgroups of patients, there is a need for increased research into the economics of new interventions for NHL.