Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 565–573 | Cite as

Cost-effectiveness analysis of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2): positive advanced breast cancer

Brief Report



The EMILIA trial demonstrated that trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) significantly increased the median profession-free and overall survival relative to combination therapy with lapatinib plus capecitabine (LC) in patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer (ABC) previously treated with trastuzumab and a taxane. We performed an economic analysis of T-DM1 as a second-line therapy compared to LC and monotherapy with capecitabine (C) from both perspectives of the US payer and society.


We developed four possible Markov models for ABC to compare the projected life-time costs and outcomes of T-DM1, LC, and C. Model transition probabilities were estimated from the EMILIA and EGF100151 clinical trials. Direct costs of the therapies, major adverse events, laboratory tests, and disease progression, indirect costs (productivity losses due to morbidity and mortality), and health utilities were obtained from published sources. The models used 3 % discount rate and reported in 2015 US dollars. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis and model averaging were used to account for model parametric and structural uncertainty.


When incorporating both model parametric and structural uncertainty, the resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) comparing T-DM1 to LC and T-DM1 to C were $183,828 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) and $126,001/QALY from the societal perspective, respectively. From the payer’s perspective, the ICERs were $220,385/QALY (T-DM1 vs. LC) and $168,355/QALY (T-DM1 vs. C).


From both perspectives of the US payer and society, T-DM1 is not cost-effective when comparing to the LC combination therapy at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $150,000/QALY. T-DM1 might have a better chance to be cost-effective compared to capecitabine monotherapy from the US societal perspective.


Cost-effectiveness analysis Trastuzumab emtansine T-DM1 Kadcyla HER2-positive advanced breast cancer 



There is no financial support provided by any source for this study. Primary findings of this study were presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, IL, June 2nd, 2015.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

QAL received consultation fee from Genentech in the past unrelated to the current study. The other authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western University of Health Sciences, College of PharmacyPomonaUSA

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