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Economic burden of patients with inoperable advanced breast cancer receiving early or late capecitabine or trastuzumab as second-line treatment: A population-based study

Chieh-Yu Liu ()


This study aimed to investigate the economic burden and healthcare resource utilization of receiving early or late capecitabine and trastuzumab as second-line anthracycline- or taxane-based treatments for inoperable advanced breast cancer (IABC). Data was retrieved from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. The demographic characteristics, healthcare resource utilization, and economic burden of patients with IABC receiving capecitabine and trastuzumab for 0–3, 3–6, 6–9 and 9–12 months after anthracycline- or taxane-based treatments were analyzed. 1,629 women newly diagnosed with IABC were recruited. IABC incidence rates reduced from 9.75% in 2004 to 7.35% in 2006. However, the proportion of patients receiving capecitabine or trastuzumab after anthracycline- or taxane-based treatments increased. Inpatient admissions (times/year), length of hospital stay (days/year), and outpatient visits (visits/year) did not differ significantly for the 2004–2005, 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 cohorts of patients with IABC receiving capecitabine and trastuzumab at different time points. The 1-year healthcare cost and outpatient, inpatient, and total costs (USD/year) differed significantly for trastuzumab but not for capecitabine. The conclusion indicated that early or late capecitabine or trastuzumab administration after first-line anthracycline or taxane-based treatments did not exhibit a change in healthcare resource utilization. In addition, the 1-year healthcare costs did not differ significantly for patients with IABC receiving early or late capecitabine. However, patients with IABC receiving trastuzumab continue to face an economic burden.


Inoperable breast cancer; capecitabine; trastuzumab; healthcare resources; economic burden

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