Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 12, Issue 10, pp 692–700 | Cite as

Cost-effectiveness analyses of docetaxel versus paclitaxel once weekly in patients with metastatic breast cancer in progression following anthracycline chemotherapy, in Spain

  • Carmen Frías
  • Javier Cortés
  • Miguel Ángel Seguí
  • Itziar Oyagüez
  • Miguel Ángel Casado
Research Articles



Our aim was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of docetaxel versus weekly paclitaxel regimen in patients with metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracycline from the Spanish National Health Service (NHS) perspective.


A Markov model with a 21-day cycle duration was developed to estimate total treatment-related costs and clinical benefits over 5 years of docetaxel (100 mg/m2) and weekly paclitaxel (80 mg/m2). Patient data were obtained from the Randomized Phase III Study of Docetaxel Compared with Paclitaxel in Metastatic Breast Cancer (TAX-311) and Anglo-Celtic IV trials. Utilities were obtained from literature, and unitary costs (€2009) from a Spanish health-cost database and the Catalogue of Medicines. Cost and benefits [life-years gained (LYG) and quality-adjusted life years (QALY)] were discounted at 3%. Sensitivity analyses were performed.


Docetaxel yields higher health benefits (1.83 LYG; 1.08 QALY) than paclitaxel (1.46 LYG; 0.84 QALY). Global costs (treatment, concomitant medication, adverse events management, progression, best supportive care, and end of life phase) per patient were €20,052 and €9,982 with docetaxel and paclitaxel, respectively. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of docetaxel versus paclitaxel was €190/LYG and €295/QALY. Based on a €30,000/QALY threshold, docetaxel has 99% probability of being cost-effective. ICER was mostly sensitive to hazard ratio (HR) (when varied from 1.46 to 1.09; €3,517/ QALY), discount over the ex-lab price of Taxol® (75%; €6,396/QALY) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylactic treatment (when administered in 60% of cycles instead of 100%; cost saving). Variations in other inputs, such as time horizon (3–10 years), discount rate (0–5%), or adverse event cost (± 25%) were shown not to have relevant influence on the results.


Compared to weekly paclitaxel, docetaxel therapy is cost effective for treating metastatic breast cancer patients.


Metastatic breast cancer Docetaxel Paclitaxel Cost-effectiveness 


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Copyright information

© Feseo 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Frías
    • 1
  • Javier Cortés
    • 2
  • Miguel Ángel Seguí
    • 1
  • Itziar Oyagüez
    • 3
  • Miguel Ángel Casado
    • 3
  1. 1.Corporació Sanitària Parc TaulíBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Hospital Universitari Vall d’HebrónBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research IberiaPozuelo de Alarcón, MadridSpain

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