The Cost-Effectiveness of Transurethral resection of the prostate versus Thulium laser transurethral vaporesection of the prostate in the UNBLOCS randomised controlled trial for benign prostatic obstruction

Sian M Noble*, Aideen M Ahern, Jo M Worthington, Hashim Hashim, Hilary J Taylor, Grace Young, Brookes Sara, Paul H Abrams, Lyndsey Johnson, Rafiyah Khan, Toby Page, Satchi Swami, J. Athene Lane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Objective
To determine the cost‐effectiveness of the current ‘gold standard’ operation of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) compared to the new laser technique of thulium laser transurethral vaporesection of the prostate (ThuVARP) in men with benign prostatic obstruction (BPO) within the UK National Health Service (NHS).

Patients and Methods
The trial was conducted across seven UK centres (four university teaching hospitals and three district general hospitals). A total of 410 men aged ≥18 years presenting with either bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) or urinary retention secondary to BPO, and suitable for surgery, were randomised (whilst under anaesthetic) 1:1 to receive the TURP or ThuVARP procedure. Resource use in relation to the operation, initial inpatient stay, and subsequent use of NHS services was collected for 12 months from randomisation (equivalent to primary effectiveness outcome) using hospital records and patient questionnaires. Resources were valued using UK reference costs. Quality adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated from the EuroQoL five Dimensions five Levels (EQ‐5D‐5L) questionnaire completed at baseline, 3‐ and 12‐months. Total adjusted mean costs, QALYs and incremental Net Monetary Benefit statistics were calculated: cost‐effectiveness acceptability curves and sensitivity analyses addressed uncertainty.

Results
The total adjusted mean secondary care cost over the 12 months in the TURP arm (£4244) was £9 (95% CI –£376, £359) lower than the ThuVARP arm (£4253). The ThuVARP operation took on average 21 min longer than TURP. The adjusted mean difference of QALYs (0.01 favouring TURP, 95% CI −0.01, 0.04) was similar between the arms. There is a 76% probability that TURP is the cost‐effective option compared with ThuVARP at the £20 000 per QALY willingness to pay threshold used by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Conclusion
One of the anticipated benefits of the laser surgery, reduced length of hospital stay with an associated reduction in cost, did not materialise within the study. The longer duration of the ThuVARP procedure is important to consider, both from a patient perspective in terms of increased time under anaesthetic, and from a service delivery perspective. TURP remains a highly cost‐effective treatment for men with BPO.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalBJU International
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020

Structured keywords

  • BTC (Bristol Trials Centre)
  • BRTC

Keywords

  • Benign Prostatic Obstruction
  • Cost Effectiveness Analysis
  • Transurethral resection of the Prostate
  • Thulium laser Transurethral Vaporesection of the Prostate
  • Quality of life

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