Estimation of healthcare‐related charges in women with BRCA mutations and breast cancer

Joseph Biskupiak, Sudhir Unni, Claire Telford, Minkyoung Yoo, Xiangyang Ye, Rishi Deka, Diana Brixner, David Stenehjem

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BACKGROUND: Breast cancer costs were estimated at $16.5 billion in 2010 and were higher than other cancer costs. There are limited studies on breast cancer charges and costs by BRCA mutations and receptor status. We examined overall health care and breast cancer-related charges by BRCA status (BRCAm vs. BRCAwt), receptor status (HER2+ vs. HER2-), and treatment setting (neoadjuvant vs. adjuvant).

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of charge data from 1995-2014 in an academic medical center. Facilities, physician, pharmacy, and diagnosis-related charges were presented as mean and median charges with standard deviation (SD) and interquartile ranges (25%-75%). Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to assess statistically significant differences in charges between comparators.

RESULTS: Total median breast-cancer related charges were $65,414 for BRCAm and $54,635 for BRCAwt (p=0.19); however all-cause charges were higher for BRCAm patients ($145,066 vs. $119,119, p<0.001). HER2+ status was associated with higher median breast cancer charges ($152,159 vs. $44,087, p<0.0001) that was driven by the charges for biological agents. Patients initially seen in the neoadjuvant setting had higher mean breast cancer charges than in the adjuvant setting ($117,922 vs. $80,061, p<0.0001).

CONCLUSION: BRCA mutation status was not associated with higher breast cancer charges but HER2+ status had significantly higher charges, due to charges for biological agents. Patients who initially received neoadjuvant treatment had significantly higher overall treatment charges than adjuvant therapy patients. With the advent of novel therapies for BRCAm, the economic impact of these treatments will be important to consider relative to their survival benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by AstraZeneca to the University of Utah. The funding body played no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript. CT who was an employee of AstraZeneca at the time of this study, was involved in the design of the study, interpretation of the data and writing of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • BRCA
  • Breast cancer
  • Charges
  • HER-2
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Breast Neoplasms/genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Mutation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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