Treatment cost and life expectancy of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): a discrete event simulation model on a UK population-based observational cohort

Han I Wang, Alexandra Gwen Smith, Eline Aas, Eve Roman, Simon Crouch, Cathy Burton, Russell Patmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the commonest non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Previous studies examining the cost of treating DLBCL have generally focused on specific first-line therapy alone; meaning that their findings can neither be extrapolated to the general patient population nor to other points along the treatment pathway. Based on empirical data from a representative population-based patient cohort, the objective of this study was to develop a simulation model that could predict costs and life expectancy of treating DLBCL.

All patients newly diagnosed with DLBCL in the UK’s population-based Haematological Malignancy Research Network ( in 2007 were followed until 2013 (n=271). Mapped treatment pathways, alongside cost information derived from the National Tariff 2013/14, were incorporated into a patient level simulation model in order to reflect the heterogeneities of patient characteristics and treatment options. The NHS and social services perspective was adopted, and all outcomes were discounted at 3.5% per annum.

Overall, the expected total medical costs were £22,122 for those treated with curative intent, and £2,930 for those managed palliatively. For curative chemotherapy, the predicted medical costs were £14,966, £23,449 and £7,376 for first, second, and third line treatments, respectively. The estimated annual cost for treating DLBCL across the UK was around £88-92 million.

This is the first cost modelling study using empirical data to provide ‘real world’ evidence throughout the DLBCL treatment pathway. Future application of the model could include evaluation of new technologies/treatments to support healthcare decision makers, especially in the era of personalised medicine. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalThe European Journal of Health Economics
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

© Authors 2016.


  • Cost
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Discrete event simulation
  • Patient-level simulation
  • Models, Econometric
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • State Medicine
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care/economics
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Male
  • United Kingdom
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse/economics
  • Time Factors
  • Life Expectancy
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Aged

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