Original Study| Volume 21, ISSUE 1, P8-15, February 2023

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Avelumab Maintenance Treatment After First-line Chemotherapy in Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma–A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Published:October 08, 2022DOI:



      Recently, a clinical trial (NCT02603432) showed that avelumab maintenance treatment, post first-line chemotherapy, can significantly prolong the overall survival of patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC), however, the treatment was very expensive. This study aimed to determine the cost-effectiveness of avelumab maintenance therapy in advanced or metastatic UC from the US taxpayer perspective.


      Based on the data of the JAVELIN Bladder 100 clinical trial (NCT 02603432), a Markov multi-state model was constructed to investigate the costs and clinical outcomes of avelumab maintenance after platinum-based chemotherapy versus best supportive care (BSC) for advanced or metastatic UC. Parameters of the model came from the 2020 Average Sales Price Drug Pricing Files and published literature. The main outputs were costs, life years (LYs), quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). Robustness was tested by deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. The analysis was stratified to include both the overall population and a subset of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive patients.


      Avelumab maintenance therapy was estimated to generate an additional 0.26 QALYs (1.46 vs. 1.20 QALYs) and costs $183,271 ($278,323 vs. $95,052) more compared to BSC alone in the overall population, yielding an ICER of $699,065/QALY. For the PD-L1-positive population, avelumab produced a 0.42 increase in QALYs (1.74 vs. 1.32 QALYs) and raised costs to $223,238 ($320,355 vs. $97,117), resulting in an ICER of $521,850/QALY for this population. Both ICERs were above the willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $200,000/QALY. Sensitivity analyses manifested that the model was robust.


      From the perspective of the US taxpayer, avelumab maintenance therapy is considered cost-ineffective for patients with advanced or metastatic UC at a WTP threshold of $200,000/QALY in the overall population as well as in PD-L1-positive population.


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