Retrospective Costs and Outcomes of Oral Cancer Patients in British Columbia
- What are the costs associated with the treatment of oral cancer in British Columbia?
- What is the potential cost-effectiveness impact of technological and/or programmatic changes to current standard of practice?
Multiple novel options for the management of oral cancer are at various stages of the bench-to-bedside pipeline. New methods of screening healthy people may allow for earlier detection, which may lead to improved survival. Genomic techniques may allow for a change in the surveillance and treatment of precancerous oral lesions, providing equal (or better) outcomes at a significant reduction in resource utilization. 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.
It is likely not possible to fully fund all options. In an environment of constrained health care resources, trade-offs between cost and outcomes must be made. We hypothesize that there exists some combination of these novel approaches that provides 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 decisions.