The following is the summary of “Cost of Metastatic Prostate Cancer in the United States” published in the January 2023 issue of Urology by Olsen, et al.

Their goal was to estimate the costs of treating metastatic prostate cancer on a patient-by-patient basis and on an annual aggregate basis. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, researchers identified Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer or claims with diagnosis codes for metastatic disease (indicating tumor progression following diagnosis) between 2007 and 2017. These Medicare beneficiaries were at least 66 years old. 

Researchers calculated the annual cost of medical care and compared it to the costs incurred by cases and a sample of beneficiaries who did not have prostate cancer. Results indicate that researchers have an annual cost estimate of $31,427 per patient that is attributable to metastatic prostate cancer (95% confidence interval: $31,219-$31,635; 2019 dollars). In addition, the annual attributable costs increased over time, going from $28,311 (95% CI: $28,047-$28,575) in the period of 2007-2013 to $37,055 (95% CI: $36,716-$37,394) in the period of 2014-2017. 

The annual costs of treating prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body range from $5.2 billion to $8.2 billion. The approval of new oral therapies used in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer has coincided with an increase over time in the number of patients whose annual health care costs are attributable to metastatic prostate cancer. These costs are substantial and have increased over time.