Lower Costs for Hypofractionated Post-Mastectomy Radiotherapy

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Lower Costs for Hypofractionated Post-Mastectomy Radiotherapy
Lower Costs for Hypofractionated Post-Mastectomy Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing post-mastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT), hypofractionated (Hf)-PMRT is associated with reduced health care costs compared with conventionally fractionated (Cf)-PMRT, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

Joshua W. Mortimer, from the University of New South Wales in Coffs Harbour, Australia, and colleagues examined the health care costs at a regional Australian radiotherapy institute for Cf-PMRT versus Hf-PMRT administration. The authors retrospectively reviewed medical records of 196 patients treated with PMRT. The crude average costs were compared for Cf-PMRT and Hf-PMRT, and treatment components accounting for any differences were assessed.

The researchers found that Hf-PMRT, administered with or without irradiation to the regional lymph nodes, correlated with a significant reduction in Medicare costs ($5,613 versus $8,272 Australian Dollars per patient for Hf-PMRT versus Cf-PMRT; P < 0.001). Savings associated with Hf-PMRT varied from 22.1 to 32.0 percent for patients receiving no regional irradiation and for those receiving both axillary and supraclavicular therapy, respectively.

"Hf-PMRT results in a significant reduction in the financial costs associated with treating breast cancer patients in a regional Australian setting when compared with Cf-PMRT," the authors write.

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