Trimodal therapy vs. radical cystectomy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer: A Markov microsimulation model
Keywords:trimodal therapy; radical cystectomy; decision analysis; Markov model
Introduction: Radical cystectomy (RC) is the historic gold standard treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), but trimodal therapy (TMT) has emerged as a valid therapeutic option for select patients. Given that prospective clinical trials have been difficult to perform in this area, our aim was to compare these two primary treatment strategies using decision analytic methods.
Methods: A two-dimensional Markov microsimulation model was constructed using TreeAge Pro to compare RC and TMT for patients with newly diagnosed MIBC. A comprehensive literature search was used to populate model probabilities and utilities. Our primary outcome was quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Secondary outcomes included crude life expectancy (LE) and bladder cancer recurrences. The simulated patient for our model was an adult with MIBC (pT2-4 N0 M0) who was a candidate for either RC or TMT.
Results: A total of 500 000 patients were simulated. TMT resulted in an estimated mean QALE of 7.48 vs. 7.41 for RC. However, the average LE for patients treated with TMT was lower compared with RC (10.20 vs. 10.74 years). A sensitivity analysis evaluating the impact of age showed that younger patients treated with RC had greater QALE and longer LE than those treated with TMT; inverse findings were observed for elderly patients. Overall, 39.4% of patients treated with TMT experienced a bladder recurrence.
Conclusions: RC results in a longer LE compared to TMT (0.54 years), but with a lower QALE (-0.07 years). The preferred treatment strategy varied with patient age.
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