Real-World Analysis of Treatment Patterns, Healthcare Utilization, Costs, and Mortality Among People with Biliary Tract Cancers in the USA

Marcus J. Healey, Brian Seal, Nicole Princic, Danae Black, Elisabetta Malangone-Monaco, Nilofer S. Azad, Rory L. Smoot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: People with advanced biliary tract cancers (BTCs) have a 5-year survival of approximately 2% in the USA. Most cases are inoperable or require systemic treatment following surgery. This study adds to current literature by describing treatment patterns, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), costs, and mortality among people with BTCs. Methods: Adults diagnosed with BTCs were identified in the Merative MarketScan administrative claims databases from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2020. Descriptive analysis was used to measure treatment patterns (i.e., regimen types, therapy duration) during three lines of therapy (LOT). All-cause and disease-related HCRU and costs were measured per-patient-per-month (PPPM) during the entire follow-up and in each LOT. Mortality was reported among the subset linked to the National Death Index (NDI). Results: There were 2648 eligible people with BTCs [mean age 64.0 (standard deviation [SD] 12.4) years, 51.5% female, average follow-up 11.9 (SD 11.1) months]. Treatment was received by 56.3% (n = 1490), and 20.9% (n = 5534) and 7.1% (n = 187) moved on to a second and third LOT, respectively. The average treatment duration decreased across LOTs, from 3.8 (SD 3.1) months in LOT1 to 2.6 (SD 2.4) months in LOT3. Gemcitabine + cisplatin was the most common regimen in LOT1 (44.6%). Total all-cause mean healthcare costs PPPM increased after LOT1 (mean $21,517, $29,721, and $28,557, for LOT1, LOT2, and LOT3, respectively) and the majority (71.2%) were related to BTCs. Of people with BTCs linked to the NDI (n = 2168), 66.1% died and average time to death was 11.3 (SD 11.2) months. Conclusions: These findings, showing a high rate of mortality, a decrease in treatment duration, and an increase in costs as people progress after LOT1, add recent data to current literature highlighting the unmet need for more effective treatment options for people with BTCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5530-5545
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Cost of illness
  • Healthcare
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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