"The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of three catheters for long-term chemotherapy in breast cancer patients" Chen et al (2023).
Vascular access device options in breast cancer patients


Background: Venous access devices commonly used in clinical practice for long-term chemotherapy of breast cancer include central venous catheters (CVCs), peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs), and implantable venous access ports (IVAPs). CVCs and PICCs are less costly to place but have a higher complication rate than IVAPs. However, there is a lack of cost-utility comparisons among the three devices. The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of three catheters for long-term chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Methods: This study used propensity score matching (PSM) to establish a retrospective cohort. Decision tree models were used to compare the cost-effectiveness of three different intravenous lines in breast cancer chemotherapy patients. Cost parameters were derived from data extracted from the outpatient and inpatient charging systems, and total costs included costs of placement, maintenance, extraction, and handling of complications; utility parameters were derived from previous cross-sectional survey results of the research group; and complication rates were derived from breast cancer catheterization patient information as well as follow-up information. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were measured for efficacy outcomes. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were used to compare the three strategies. To assess uncertainty in model parameters, sensitivity analyses (univariate sensitivity analysis and probabilistic sensitivity analysis) were performed.

Results: A total of 10,718 patients (3780 after propensity score matching) were included. IVAPs had the smallest cost-utility ratio, and PICCs had the largest cost-utility ratio when left in place for more than 12 months. The incremental cost-utility ratio of PICC to CVC was $2375.08/QALY, IVAP to PICC was $522.01/QALY, and IVAP to CVC was $612.98/QALY. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios showed that IVAPs were more effective than CVCs and PICCs. Model regression analysis showed that the IVAP was recommended as the best regimen regardless of the catheter indwelling time (6 months, 12 months or more than 12 months). The reliability and stability of the model were verified by single-factor sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo simulation (probabilistic sensitivity analysis).

Conclusion: This study provides economic evidence for the selection of vascular access in breast cancer chemotherapy patients. In the case of limited resources in China, establishing a decision tree model comparing the cost-effectiveness of three vascular access devices for breast cancer chemotherapy patients determined that the IVAP was the most cost-effective regimen.


Chen N, Yang Q, Li YF, Guo Q, Huang Y, Peng JL. Cost-utility analysis of different venous access devices in breast cancer patients: a decision-based analysis model. BMC Health Serv Res. 2023 May 16;23(1):497. doi: 10.1186/s12913-023-09517-1. PMID: 37194042.Reference: