Linking Intermediate to Final “Real-World” Outcomes: Is Financial Toxicity a Reliable Predictor of Poorer Outcomes in Cancer?

Longo, C. J.

Traditionally, economic evaluations are based on clinical trials with well-defined patient populations that exclude many patient types. By contrast, studies that incorporate general patient populations end up including those in lower income categories, some of whom have significant financial burdens (often described as financial toxicity) related to their care. Consideration of these patient burdens when examining the incremental cost-effectiveness of newer treatments from a clinical trial perspective can result in differing conclusions regarding cost-effectiveness. The challenge is to reliably assess the link between financial toxicity, quality of life and potential decisions to forego or delay care. It is also well-documented that these financial effects are not evenly distributed across populations, with those with low income and of black or Latino decent being most affected. There is a paucity of literature in this space, but some of the early work has suggested that for lung, breast, colorectal and ovarian cancers there are poorer quality-of-life scores and/or shorter overall survival for those experiencing financial toxicity. Hence, we may see both a lower quality of life and a shorter duration of life for these populations. If this is the case, additional considerations include: are the benefits of newer, more-expensive treatment strategies muted by the lack of adherence to these newer treatments due to financial concerns, and, if true, can these effects be effectively quantified as “real-world” outcomes? This rapid review examines these possibilities and the steps that may be required to examine this reliably.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2022
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