BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are a group of heterogeneous cancers that develop in cells in the diffuse neuroendocrine system.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the clinical effectiveness of three interventions [everolimus (Afinitor; Novartis International AG, Basel, Switzerland), lutetium-177 DOTATATE (177Lu-DOTATATE) (Lutathera; Imaging Equipment Ltd, Radstock, UK) and sunitinib (Sutent; Pfizer Inc., New York, NY, USA)] for treating unresectable or metastatic NETs with disease progression and establish the cost-effectiveness of these interventions.
DATA SOURCES: The following databases were searched from inception to May 2016: MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, MEDLINE Daily, Epub Ahead of Print, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Web of Science.
REVIEW METHODS: We systematically reviewed the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness literature on everolimus, 177Lu-DOTATATE and sunitinib for treating advanced, unresectable or metastatic progressive NETs. The following NET locations were considered separately: pancreas, gastrointestinal (GI) tract and lung, and GI tract (midgut only). We wrote a survival partition cohort-based economic evaluation in Microsoft Excel 2013 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA) from the UK NHS and Personal Social Services perspective. This comprised three health states: (1) progression-free survival (PFS), (2) progressed disease and (3) death.
RESULTS: Three randomised controlled trials (RCTs), RADIANT-3 [RAD001 in Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors, Third Trial; pancreatic NETs (pNETs): everolimus vs. best supportive care (BSC)], A6181111 (pNETs: sunitinib vs. BSC) and RADIANT-4 (RAD001 in Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors, Fourth Trial; GI and lung NETs: everolimus vs. BSC), met the inclusion criteria for the clinical effectiveness systematic review. The risk of bias was low. Although the NETTER-1 (Neuroendocrine Tumors Therapy) RCT, of 177Lu-DOTATATE plus 30 mg of octreotide (Sandostatin, Novartis) compared with 60 mg of octreotide, was excluded from the review, we nonetheless present the results of this trial, as it informs our estimate of the cost-effectiveness of 177Lu-DOTATATE. The pNETs trials consistently found that the interventions improved PFS and overall survival (OS) compared with BSC. Our indirect comparison found no significant difference in PFS between everolimus and sunitinib. Estimates of OS gain were confounded because of high rates of treatment switching. After adjustment, our indirect comparison suggested a lower, but non-significant, hazard of death for sunitinib compared with everolimus. In GI and lung NETs, everolimus significantly improved PFS compared with BSC and showed a non-significant trend towards improved OS compared with BSC. Adverse events were more commonly reported following treatment with targeted interventions than after treatment with BSC. In the base case for pNETs, assuming list prices, we estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for everolimus compared with BSC of £45,493 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) and for sunitinib compared with BSC of £20,717 per QALY. These ICERs increased substantially without the adjustment for treatment switching. For GI and lung NETs, we estimated an ICER for everolimus compared with BSC of £44,557 per QALY. For GI (midgut) NETs, the ICERs were £199,233 per QALY for everolimus compared with BSC and £62,158 per QALY for a scenario analysis comparing 177Lu-DOTATATE with BSC. We judge that no treatment meets the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) end-of-life criteria, although we cannot rule out that sunitinib in the A6181111 trial does.
LIMITATIONS: A RCT with included comparators was not identified for 177Lu-DOTATATE. The indirect treatment comparison that our economic analysis was based on was of a simple Bucher type, unadjusted for any differences in the baseline characteristics across the two trials.
CONCLUSIONS: Given NICE's current stated range of £20,000-30,000 per QALY for the cost-effectiveness threshold, based on list prices, only sunitinib might be considered good value for money in England and Wales.
FUTURE WORK: Further analysis of individual patient data from RADIANT-3 would allow assessment of the robustness of our findings. The data were not made available to us by the company sponsoring the trial.
STUDY REGISTRATION: This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42016041303.
FUNDING: The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.