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Topotecan for the treatment of recurrent and stage IVB carcinoma of the cervix

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JournalHealth technology assessment
DatePublished - May 2010
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)55-62
Original languageEnglish


This paper presents a summary of the evidence review group (ERG) report into the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of topotecan in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of recurrent and stage IVB carcinoma of the cervix, in accordance with the licensed indication, based upon the evidence submission from the manufacturer to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as part of the single technology appraisal (STA) process. The outcomes measured were overall survival, progression-free survival, response rates, adverse effects of treatment, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. The manufacturer stated that topotecan plus cisplatin is the only combination regimen to date to have demonstrated a statistically significant survival advantage compared to cisplatin monotherapy in the licensed population. The clinical evidence came from three clinical trials comparing topotecan plus cisplatin with cisplatin monotherapy (GOG-0179), topotecan plus cisplatin with paclitaxel plus cisplatin (GOG-0169), and four cisplatin-based combination therapies: topotecan plus cisplatin, paclitaxel plus cisplatin, gemcitabine plus cisplatin, and vinorelbine plus cisplatin (GOG-0204). Results from GOG-0179 showed greater median overall survival with topotecan plus cisplatin than with cisplatin monotherapy: 9.4 months versus 6.5 months. Similar results were also reported for median progression-free survival. Response rates also showed an advantage with topotecan plus cisplatin compared with cisplatin monotherapy. The response rates in patients receiving cisplatin monotherapy were very low, but the potential reasons for this were not discussed in the manufacturer's submission. Patients receiving topotecan plus cisplatin experienced a greater number of adverse events and the ERG was concerned with some of the assumptions related to HRQoL. In the base-case direct comparison, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of topotecan plus cisplatin versus cisplatin monotherapy was (sin)17,974 per QALY in the main licensed population, (sin)10,928 per QALY in the cisplatin-naive population (including stage IVB patients) and (sin)32,463 per QALY in sustained cisplatin-free interval patients. In response to the point for clarification raised by the ERG, the manufacturer submitted a revised indirect comparison incorporating HRQoL and a longer time horizon. Where the hazard ratio derived from GOG-0169 was employed, paclitaxel plus cisplatin was dominated by topotecan plus cisplatin, but, where the hazard ratio from GOG-0204 was adopted, paclitaxel plus cisplatin was found to have an ICER of (sin)13,260 per QALY versus topotecan plus cisplatin. At present there is a paucity of evidence available on the clinical effects of topotecan plus cisplatin and the effects of palliative treatment in general for women with advanced and recurrent carcinoma of the cervix. Further trials, or the implementation of registries, are required to establish the efficacy and safety of topotecan plus cisplatin. The guidance issued by NICE on 28 October 2009 as a result of the STA states that topotecan in combination with cisplatin is recommended as a treatment option for women with recurrent or stage IVB cervical cancer, only if they have not previously received cisplatin.

Women who have previously received cisplatin and are currently being treated with topotecan in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of cervical cancer should have the option to continue therapy until they and their clinicians considr it appropriate to stop.

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