Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Preoperative Versus Postoperative Radiation Therapy in Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Xuanlu M. Qu, Alexander V. Louie, Jonathan Ashman, Nabil Wasif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose Surgery combined with radiation therapy (RT) is the cornerstone of multidisciplinary management of extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS). Although RT can be given in either the preoperative or the postoperative setting with similar local recurrence and survival outcomes, the side effect profiles, costs, and long-term functional outcomes are different. The aim of this study was to use decision analysis to determine optimal sequencing of RT with surgery in patients with extremity STS. Methods and Materials A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a state transition Markov model, with quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as the primary outcome. A time horizon of 5 years, a cycle length of 3 months, and a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000/QALY was used. One-way deterministic sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the thresholds at which each strategy would be preferred. The robustness of the model was assessed by probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Results Preoperative RT is a more cost-effective strategy ($26,633/3.00 QALYs) than postoperative RT ($28,028/2.86 QALYs) in our base case scenario. Preoperative RT is the superior strategy with either 3-dimensional conformal RT or intensity-modulated RT. One-way sensitivity analyses identified the relative risk of chronic adverse events as having the greatest influence on the preferred timing of RT. The likelihood of preoperative RT being the preferred strategy was 82% on probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Conclusions Preoperative RT is more cost effective than postoperative RT in the management of resectable extremity STS, primarily because of the higher incidence of chronic adverse events with RT in the postoperative setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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