Resource utilization and costs of managing patients with advanced melanoma: a Canadian population-based study

F. Gwadry-Sridhar, S. Nikan, A. Hamou, S.J. Seung, T. Petrella, A.M. Joshua, S. Ernst, N. Mittmann



The use and detailed costs of services provided for people with advanced melanoma (amel) are not well known. We conducted an analysis to determine the use of health care services and the associated costs delineated by relevant attributable costs, which we defined for subjects in the province of Ontario.


Through the Ontario Cancer Data Linkage Project, a cohort of amel patients with diagnoses between 31 August 2005 and 2012 (follow-up to 2013) and with valid International Classification of Diseases (9th revision, Clinical Modification) 172 codes and histology codes was identified. A cohort of individuals with amel having a combination of at least 1 palliative, 1 medical oncology, and 1 hospitalization code was generated. The health system services used by this population were clustered into hospitalization, palliation, physician medical visits, medication, homecare, laboratory, diagnostics, and other resources. Overall rates of use and disaggregated costs were determined by phase of care for the entire cohort.


The mean age for the 2748 individuals in the cohort was 67 years. The greater proportion of the patients were men (65.6%) and were more than 65 years of age (>50%). In this advanced cohort, fewer than 45% of patients were alive 3 years after the malignant melanoma diagnosis. The average annual cost per patient over the time horizon was $6,551. At $15,830, year 1 after diagnosis was the most expensive, followed by year 2, at $8,166.


Our data provide a baseline for the costs associated with amel treatment. Future studies will include newer agents and comparative effectiveness research for personalized therapies.


Advanced melanoma; resource utilization cost; outcomes of treatment; Ontario cd-link

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)