Cost-effectiveness of first-line immunotherapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Szu Chun Yang, Huang Tz Ou, Wu Chou Su, Shi Yi Wang

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Background: Researchers have not simultaneously compared the cost-effectiveness of six immunotherapies with chemotherapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness across different programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) levels. Methods: A Markov model with lifetime horizon was created for seven regimens: pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (pembro-chemo), nivolumab plus ipilimumab (nivo-ipi), nivolumab, ipilimumab plus chemotherapy (nivo-ipi-chemo), atezolizumab plus chemotherapy (atezo-chemo), atezolizumab, bevacizumab plus chemotherapy (atezo-beva-chemo), single-agent pembrolizumab, and chemotherapy alone. Input parameters were derived from trial data, a network meta-analysis, and other literature. We conducted the analysis from the perspective of US health care sector. Results: For all patients without considering PD-L1 expression, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of pembro-chemo versus chemotherapy was $183,299 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). The preferred regimens based on ICERs differed by PD-L1 levels. For patients with PD-L1 ≥50%, pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy and pembro-chemo versus pembrolizumab resulted in ICERs of $96,189 and $198,913 per QALY, respectively. The other strategies were dominated. For patients with PD-L1 of 1%–49%, the ICER of pembro-chemo comparing to chemotherapy was $218,159 per QALY. The other regimens were dominated by pembro-chemo. For patients with PD-L1 <1%, nivo-ipi versus chemotherapy and nivo-ipi-chemo versus nivo-ipi resulted in ICERs of $161,277 and $881,975 per QALY, and the other regimens were dominated strategies. At the willingness-to-pay threshold of $150,000 per QALY, pembrolizumab had 87% and pembro-chemo had 1% probabilities being cost-effective in patients with PD-L1 ≥50% and 1%–49%, respectively. Nivo-ipi had a 34% probability being cost-effective in patients with PD-L1 <1%. Conclusions: The PD-L1 level should be incorporated into treatment decision-making. Our findings suggest that first-line pembrolizumab, pembro-chemo, and nivo-ipi are the preferred strategies for patients with PD-L1 ≥50%, 1%–49%, and <1%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8838-8850
Number of pages13
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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