A cost-effectiveness analysis of positron emission tomography-computed tomography surveillance versus up-front neck dissection for management of the neck for N2 disease after chemoradiotherapy.


To study the cost effectiveness of positron emission tomography-computerized tomography (PET-CT) scanning in the management of the neck after chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

PET-CT strategy costs an average of $14,492 per patient. Neck dissection had a 0.6% greater efficacy in controlling neck disease with a $22,433 incremental cost.

Our results strongly support the use of PET-CT imaging as the more cost-effective strategy for surveillance of neck after completion of definitive CRT compared to up-front neck dissection.

Cost effectiveness and decision analysis model.

A cost-effectiveness analysis comparing up-front neck dissection to serial PET-CT imaging in a hypothetical clinical scenario of debate. A patient with an oropharygeal cancer with pretreatment N2 disease having a complete response was considered. Standardized costs were obtained using national databases. A literature review in PubMed was performed to obtain information on incidence, probabilities, and range for various clinical events in the algorithm.

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