A systematic review of cost-effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies for metastatic colorectal cancer

A. Lange*, A. Prenzler, M. Frank, M. Kirstein, A. Vogel, J. M. Von Der Schulenburg

*Corresponding author for this work
40 Citations (Scopus)


Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) imposes a substantial health burden on patients and society. In recent years, advances in the treatment of mCRC have mainly resulted from the introduction of monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs). However, the application of these MoAbs considerably increases treatment costs. The objective of this article is to review and assess the economic evidence of MoAB treatment in mCRC. A systematic literature review was conducted and cost-effectiveness (CE) as well as cost-utility-studies were identified. For this, Medline, Embase, SciSearch, Cochrane, and nine other databases were searched from 2000 through February 2013 for full-text publications. The quality of the studies was assessed via a validated assessment tool (Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES)). A total of 843 publications were screened. Of those, 15 studies involving the MoAbs bevacizumab, cetuximab and panitumumab met all inclusion criteria. Four studies analysed the CE of first-line treatment with bevacizumab and nine the CE of cetuximab in subsequent treatment lines. Two studies dealt with the CE of panitumumab. The analysis of sequential regimes and the direct comparison of two MoABs were analysed by only one study each. The quality of the included studies was high with the exception of one study. Conclusions The treatment with bevacizumab, cetuximab and panitumumab is mainly considered to be not cost-effective in patients with mCRC. However, testing for Kirsten ras oncogene (KRAS) mutation prior to the treatment with cetuximab or panitumumab is found to be clearly cost-effective compared to no testing. Future research should focus on the CE of first-line treatment with cetuximab or panitumumab and studies on upcoming agents like regorafenib and aflibercept.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.2014


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of cost-effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies for metastatic colorectal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this