Costs were calculated from the perspective of the statutory health insurances (GKV), including costs such as: outpatient, inpatient, medicinal products, appliances, remedies, and sick pay. Cystectomy was identified as a major contributor to costs, masking TURBT-mediated effects. Excluding patients undergoing cystectomy, mean total costs associated with an initial blue light TURBT were comparable to that of a white light TURBT.
The study also makes note of the fact that only about 20% of bladder cancer patients in the German statutory health insurance system receive blue light during the initial TURBT, despite its therapeutic benefits compared to white light which are stated in publications and guidelines: photodynamic diagnosis using hexaminolevulinate (HAL) -guided Blue light-TURBT may reduce the recurrence risk in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer compared to standard White light-TURBT, due to a more sensitive tumor detection.
This comparative retrospective analysis provides real-world comparative cost data on Blue light-TURBT for the treatment of bladder cancer in Germany. In combination with a higher tumor detection rate and consequently lower recurrence risk, HAL-guided Blue light-TURBT constitutes a valuable addition to standard White light TURBT.
"It is great to see that actual real-world evidence based on claims data for a significant number of patients demonstrates that Blue Light Cystoscopy is cost effective. These findings should add to the confidence in offering BLC® to more German patients not only from a payer perspective, but also for improved patient outcomes compared to White Light alone," says Susanne Strauss, Vice President and General Manager of Europe in Photocure.
Read the full study abstract here.
*TURBT: trans-urethral resection of bladder tumors