Commenced in January 2007
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The Cost-Effectiveness of Pancreatic Surgical Cancer Care in the US vs. the European Union: Results of a Review of the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature

Authors: Shannon Hearney, Jeffrey Hoch


While all cancers are costly to treat, pancreatic cancer is a notoriously costly and deadly form of cancer. Across the world there are a variety of treatment centers ranging from small clinics to large, high-volume hospitals as well as differing structures of payment and access. It has been noted that centers that treat a high volume of pancreatic cancer patients have higher quality of care, it is unclear if that care is cost-effective. In the US there is no clear consensus on the cost-effectiveness of high-volume centers for the surgical care of pancreatic cancer. Other European countries, like Finland and Italy have shown that high-volume centers have lower mortality rates and can have lower costs, there however, is still a gap in knowledge about these centers cost-effectiveness globally. This paper seeks to review the current literature in Europe and the US to gain a better understanding of the state of high-volume pancreatic surgical centers cost-effectiveness while considering the contextual differences in health system structure. A review of major reference databases such as Medline, Embase and PubMed will be conducted for cost-effectiveness studies on the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer at high-volume centers. Possible MeSH terms to be included, but not limited to, are: “pancreatic cancer”, “cost analysis”, “cost-effectiveness”, “economic evaluation”, “pancreatic neoplasms”, “surgical”, “Europe” “socialized medicine”, “privatized medicine”, “for-profit”, and “high-volume”. Studies must also have been available in the English language. This review will encompass European scientific literature, as well as those in the US. Based on our preliminary findings, we anticipate high-volume hospitals to provide better care at greater costs. We anticipate that high-volume hospitals may be cost-effective in different contexts depending on the national structure of a healthcare system. Countries with more centralized and socialized healthcare may yield results that are more cost-effective. High-volume centers may differ in their cost-effectiveness of the surgical care of pancreatic cancer internationally especially when comparing those in the United States to others throughout Europe.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness analysis, economic evaluation, pancreatic cancer, scientific literature review

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