Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common and malignant brain tumor in adults. The median survival in patients harboring this neoplasm is 12 months irrespective of any form of therapy. Health care costs of illnesses with high mortality rates, such as GBM, are of particular interest in times of constrained health care resources. No information regarding costs for the treatment of patients with GBM is available in Canada. The aim of this study was to conduct an analysis of the costs of treatment of GBM in Nova Scotia.
Patients with histologically proven GBM during a three year period (1996-1998) in Nova Scotia were included in the study. Analysis was based on hospital costs supplemented by data on additional medical services received following discharge for the primary intervention.
The mean cost of medical care per patient from the time of diagnosis to death was $17,149. The highest costs were related to hospitalization with ward costs alone accounting for 48% of all costs. Radiotherapy costs were 25%, surgery costs were 16% and chemotherapy costs were 7% of all costs. Costs for diagnostic procedures were 6% of the total costs.
Our data reflect the costs and practice pattern in the treatment of GBM in Nova Scotia and may be of value as an initial attempt to analyze costs of treatment of GBM in Canada.