Can we improve treatment options for BC residents diagnosed with oral cancers?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ongoing developments in the treatment and management of oral cancers mean that decision-makers will soon be confronted with multiple new technologies to consider for inclusion in clinical practice.

New methods of screening may allow for earlier detection and improved survival. Developing genomic techniques may change the surveillance and treatment of precancerous oral lesions, providing equal (or better) outcomes using fewer resources. New surgical techniques may reduce the rate of local and distant recurrences, improving both length and quality of life for cancer patients. Additionally, new drug treatments for patients with recurrent and/or refractory disease are undergoing clinical trials.

“In an environment of constrained health care resources, trade-offs between cost and outcomes must be made,” says Ian Cromwell, a PhD student in the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) and Health Economist at the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control. Data access has recently been approved for Mr Cromwell’s thesis project which aims to improve the diagnostic and treatment options for residents of British Columbia diagnosed with oral cancers.

“We hypothesize that some combination of these new approaches will provide an optimum level of benefit to patients for the value of money spent. We will use standard health economic techniques to estimate the cost-effectiveness of these technologies, both individually and in concert with each other. In so doing, we hope to provide decision makers with relevant and useful evidence to guide policy and treatment decisions,” says Mr Cromwell.

This project is part of an ongoing program of research in the health economics of oral cancer and will be supervised by Dr. Nick Bansback, Associate Professor at SPPH and Canadian Institute of Health Research New Investigator, and Dr. Stuart Peacock, Leslie Diamond Chair in Cancer Survivorship at Simon Fraser University, Co-Director of ARCC, and Department Head and Distinguished Scientist at the Department of Cancer Control Research at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA).

PopData will link BC Ministry of Health data with BCCA's Oral Biopsy Service with records from the BC Cancer Registry and BCCA electronic chart review for the project.

Page last revised: July 26, 2017