Study Highlights Potential Cost Savings of Yttrium-90 Glass Microspheres to Treat HCC


May 26, 2016—BTG plc announced the presentation of new data highlighting that the transarterial radioembolization (TARE) treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using Yttrium-90 (90-Y) glass microspheres is associated with cost savings and decreased hospital resource use. The data were presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.

According to the company, BTG’s TheraSphere 90-Y glass microspheres are engineered to carry greater power than any other 90-Y liver-directed cancer therapy, delivering high doses of radiation to liver tumors while sparing normal tissue. The powerful, targeted, and well-tolerated therapy may lead to patients becoming eligible for curative therapies.

The results of the budget impact analysis, undertaken from a Canadian hospital perspective, show that for a Canadian hospital managing 200 HCC patients annually, reimbursing TARE would incur savings of approximately $37,000, $55,000, and $75,000 in years 1, 2, and 3, respectively. In year 3, the analysis includes incremental costs of $207,000 for device acquisition compared against the savings of $281,000 for administration and savings of $1,000 in adverse event management.

The budget impact analysis used the Ontario Case Costing Initiative database, published literature, and expert opinion to determine the potential for cost savings from a Canadian hospital perspective. It compared the treatment of intermediate HCC with TARE using 90-Y glass microspheres versus inpatient transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE), including conventional TACE and drug-eluting beads TACE. In patients with advanced HCC, TARE was compared to self-administered sorafenib.

In the company’s announcement, Study Investigator Marie Maxime Hubert, MSc, commented, “For patients with HCC, at either intermediate or advanced stages, TARE has the potential to improve survival, has a favorable safety profile, and has seen successful outcomes in patients with portal vein thrombosis. In the context of increasingly cost-pressured health systems around the world, the potential for TARE to improve patient outcomes while at the same time supporting hospitals' management of scarce resources should not be underestimated." Ms. Hubert is Manager of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at JSS Medical Research Inc. in Montreal, Quebec.

BTG advised that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved use of TheraSphere in the United States under a humanitarian device exemption for the treatment of HCC. In the European Union, TheraSphere has received CE Mark approval for the treatment of hepatic neoplasia. In Canada, TheraSphere may be used in the treatment of hepatic neoplasia in patients who have appropriately positioned arterial catheters.


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