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Ihbe-Heffinger, Angela; Paessens, Bernadette J.; Schilling, Christoph von; Shlaen, Margarita; Gottschalk, Nina; Berger, Karin; Bernard, Rudolf; Kiechle, Marion; Peschel, Christian and Jacobs, Volker R. (2011): Management of Febrile Neutropenia - a German Prospective Hospital Cost Analysis in Lymphoproliferative Disorders, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, and Primary Breast Cancer. In: Onkologie, No. 5: pp. 241-246 [PDF, 275kB]


Background: Febrile neutropenia/leukopenia (FN/FL) is the most frequent dose-limiting toxicity of myelosuppressive chemotherapy, but German data on economic consequences are limited. Patients and Methods: A prospective, multicentre, longitudinal, observational study was carried out to evaluate the occurrence of FN/FL and its impact on health resource utilization and costs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD), and primary breast cancer (PBC) patients. Costs are presented from a hospital perspective. Results: A total of 325 consecutive patients (47% LPD, 37% NSCLC, 16% PBC; 46% women; 38% age >= 65 years) with 68 FN/FL episodes were evaluated. FN/FL occurred in 22% of the LPD patients, 8% of the NSCLC patients, and 27% of the PBC patients. 55 FN/FL episodes were associated with at least 1 hospital stay (LPD n = 34, NSCLC n = 10, PBC n = 11). Mean (median) cost per FN/FL episode requiring hospital care amounted to (sic) 3,950 ((sic) 2,355) and varied between (sic) 4,808 ((sic) 3,056) for LPD, (sic) 3,627 ((sic) 2,255) for NSCLC, and (sic) 1,827 ((sic) 1,969) for PBC patients. 12 FN/FL episodes (LPD n = 9, NSCLC n = 3) accounted for 60% of the total expenses. Main cost drivers were hospitalization and drugs (60 and 19% of the total costs). Conclusions: FN/FL treatment has economic relevance for hospitals. Costs vary between tumour types, being significantly higher for LPD compared to PBC patients. The impact of clinical characteristics on asymmetrically distributed costs needs further evaluation.

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