Cost-effectiveness of stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) for brain tumors

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Stereotactic laser ablation(SLA) or laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) has been increasingly adopted as a treatment for primary and metastatic brain cancers. Here, we examined the published economic assessments of SLA, and review the current state of knowledge. Methods: The PubMed database was queried for articles investigating the cost-effectiveness of LITT. 3068 articles were screened. Two studies that met the inclusion criteria were included in this review. Results: Cost-effectiveness analysis(CEA) favored SLA(n = 8) relative to craniotomy (n = 92) for brain metastases (Mean difference [MD]=−US$6522; 95% confidence interval (CI) –$11,911 to –$1133; p = 0.02). SLA (n = 19) was found to be cost equivalent to craniotomy (n = 248) (MD=–US$1669; 95%(CI) –$8192 to $4854, p = 0.62) for primary brain tumors in general. CEA favored SLA for a subset of primary brain cancers. SLA was found to be cost-effective for difficult to access high-grade gliomas(HGG). When compared to ‘other’ existing treatments, the cost per life-years gained (LYG) through SLA was ∼$29,340, a threshold below that set for new technology adaptation in the U.S. Factors contributing to these cost-effectiveness were: (1) SLA of HGGs was associated with three-months prolongation in survival; (2) SLA of brain metastasis was associated with (i) shorter average length of stay (SLA: 2.3 days; craniotomy: 4.7 days), (ii) decreased discharge to inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), skilled nursing facility (SNF), or home healthcare (SLA: 14.8%; craniotomy: 52%), (iii) lowered 30-day readmission (SLA: 0%; craniotomy: 14.1%). Conclusion: There is limited data on the cost-effectiveness of SLA. In the available literature, SLA compared favorably to craniotomy in terms of cost-effectiveness as a treatment for primary and metastatic brain cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020


  • Stereotactic Laser Ablation (SLA)
  • brain tumors
  • cost effectiveness
  • glioblastoma
  • metastases
  • thermal therapy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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