Costs of Definitive Chemoradiation, Surgery, and Adjuvant Radiation Versus De-Escalated Adjuvant Radiation per MC1273 in HPV+ Cancer of the Oropharynx

Mark R. Waddle, Daniel J. Ma, Sue L. Visscher, Bijan J. Borah, Jackson M. May, Katherine A. Price, Eric J. Moore, Samir H. Patel, Michael L. Hinni, Ashish V. Chintakuntlawar, Joaquin J. Garcia, Darlene E. Graner, Michelle A. Neben-Wittich, Yolanda I. Garces, Christopher L. Hallemeier, Daniel L. Price, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Jeffrey R. Janus, Robert L. Foote, Robert C. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: De-escalated treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV)+ oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has shown promising initial results. Health-care policy is increasingly focusing on high-value care. This analysis compares the cost of care for HPV+ OPSCC treated with definitive chemoradiation (CRT), surgery and adjuvant radiation (RT), and surgery and de-escalated CRT on MC1273. Methods and Materials: MC1273 is a prospective, phase 2 study evaluating adjuvant CRT to 30 to 36 Gy plus docetaxel for HPV+ OPSCC after surgery for high-risk patients. Matched standard-of-care control groups were retrospectively identified for patients treated with definitive CRT or adjuvant RT. Standardized costs were evaluated before radiation, during treatment (during RT), and at short-term (6 month) and long-term (7-24 month) follow-up periods. Results: A total of 56 definitive CRT, 101 adjuvant RT, and 66 MC1273 patients were included. The CRT arm had more T3-4 disease (63% vs 17–21%) and higher N2c-N3 disease (52% vs 20–24%) vs both other groups. The total treatment costs in the CRT, adjuvant RT, and MC1273 groups were $47,763 (standard deviation [SD], $19,060], $57,845 (SD, $17,480), and $46,007 (SD, $9019), respectively, and the chemotherapy and/or RT costs were $39,936 (SD, $18,480), $26,603 (SD, $12,542), and $17,864 (SD, $3288), respectively. The per-patient, per-month, average short-term follow-up costs were $3860 (SD, $10,525), $1072 (SD, $996), and $972 (SD, $833), respectively, and the long-term costs were $978 (SD, $2294), $485 (SD, $1156), and $653 (SD, $1107), respectively. After adjustment for age, T-stage, and N-stage, treatment costs remained lower for CRT and MC1273 versus adjuvant RT ($45,450 and $47,114 vs $58,590, respectively; P < .001), whereas the total per-patient, per-month follow-up costs were lower in the MC1273 study group and adjuvant RT versus CRT ($853 and $866 vs $2030, respectively; P = .03). Conclusions: MC1273 resulted in 10% and 20% reductions in global costs compared with standard-of-care adjuvant RT and definitive CRT treatments. Substantial cost savings may be an added benefit to the already noted low toxicity and maintained quality of life of treatment per MC1273.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-402
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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