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The cost-effectiveness of follow-up strategies after cancer treatment: a systematic literature review

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Publication details

JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Mar 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 12 Apr 2018
Number of pages16
Early online date12/04/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Abstract
Introduction
The cost of treatment and follow-up of cancer patients in the UK is substantial. In a budget-constrained system such as the NHS, it is necessary to consider the cost-effectiveness of the range of management strategies at different points on cancer patients’ care pathways to ensure that they provide adequate value for money.

Sources of data
We conducted a systematic literature review to explore the cost-effectiveness of follow-up strategies of patients previously treated for cancer with the aim of informing UK policy. All papers that were considered to be economic evaluations in the subject areas described above were extracted.

Areas of agreement
The existing literature suggests that intensive follow-up of patients with colorectal disease is likely to be cost-effective, but the opposite holds for breast cancer.

Areas of controversy
Interventions and strategies for follow-up in cancer patients were variable across type of cancer and setting. Drawing general conclusions about the cost-effectiveness of these interventions/strategies is difficult.

Growing points
The search identified 2036 references but applying inclusion/exclusion criteria a total of 44 articles were included in the analysis. Breast cancer was the most common (n = 11) cancer type followed by colorectal (n = 10) cancer. In general, there were relatively few studies of cost-effectiveness of follow-up that could influence UK guidance. Where there was evidence, in the most part, NICE guidance broadly reflected this evidence.

Areas timely to develop research
In terms of future research around the timing, frequency and composition of follow-ups, this is dependent on the type of cancer being considered. Nevertheless, across most cancers, the possibility of remote follow-up (or testing) by health professionals other than hospital consultants in other settings appears to warrant further work.

cancer, follow-up, review, cost-effectiveness
Issue Section: Invited Review

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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