Direct cost for initial management of prostate cancer: a systematic review

C. Sanyal, A.G. Aprikian, S. Chevalier, F.L. Cury, A. Dragomir



Prostate cancer (pca) is the most common non-skin cancer among men in Canada and other Western countries. Increased prevalence and higher cost of newer treatments have led to a significant rise in the economic burden of pca. The objectives of the present study were to systematically review the literature on direct costs for the initial management of pca, and to examine the methodologic considerations across studies.


Bibliographic databases were systematically searched for peer-reviewed articles in English. Studies were reviewed for methodologic considerations and mean direct cost of active surveillance or watchful waiting (as/ww) and initial treatments. Direct cost was standardized to 2011 Canadian dollars.


After a review of abstracts and full-text papers, seventeen articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Studies were published during 1992–2010. The studies reported on health care systems in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, German, Italy, and Spain. Our review identified a lack of methodologic consensus, leading to variation in direct costs between studies. Nevertheless, results indicate a significant direct cost of pca treatments.


The existing literature lacks methodologically rigorous studies on the direct costs of pca treatments specific to publicly funded health care systems. Additional studies are required to appreciate the direct costs of newer treatments and the impact of their adoption on the growing economic burden of pca management.


Prostate cancer; economic burden; direct costs; systematic review; health policy

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