Objectives: The estimation of lifetime quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) requires the extrapolation of both length and quality of life (QoL). The extrapolation of QoL has received little attention in the literature. Here we explore the predictive value of “time to death” (TTD) for extrapolating QoL in oncology. Methods: We used QoL and survival data from the Patient Reported Outcomes Following Initial Treatment and Long-Term Evaluation of Survivorship registry, which is linked to The Netherlands Cancer Registry. QoL was assessed with EQ-5D and SF-6D. We tested the relationship between TTD and QoL using linear, 2-part, and beta regression models. Incremental QALYs were compared using the TTD approach and an annual age-related disutility approach using artificial survival data with varying mortality rates. Results: A total of 6 samples with >100 patients each were used for the analysis. A declining pattern in QoL was observed when patients were closer to death, confirming the predictive value of TTD for QoL. The declining pattern in QoL was most pronounced when QoL was measured with SF-6D. Proximity to death had a larger impact on QoL than age. Incremental QALYs were higher using the TTD approach than annual age-related disutility, ranging from +0.139 to +0.00003 depending on mortality rates. Conclusions: TTD is a predictor variable for QoL. Using TTD allows cost-effectiveness models that lack QoL data to extrapolate morbidity using overall survival estimates. The TTD approach generates more incremental QALYs than an annual age-related disutility, most notably for longer survival periods.
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Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Versteegh reported receiving personal fees from EuroQoL Research Foundation outside the submitted work and grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KgGA, BeiGene, Novartis The Netherlands, Biogen The Netherlands, Amgen, and AstraZeneca outside the submitted work. Dr Blommestein reported that his institution received fees for his role in serving as an advisory board member to Pfizer and reported receiving grants from BMS (Celgene BV) outside the submitted work. Dr. van Baal is an editor for Value in Health and had no role in the peer-review process of this article. No other disclosures were reported.
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