Cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging surveillance in stage II and III extremity soft tissue sarcoma: An Australian perspective

Susie Bae, Jonathan Karnon, Glenis Crane, Taryn Bessen, Jayesh Desai, Phillip Crowe, Susan Neuhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Surveillance imaging is used to detect local and/or distant recurrence following primary treatment of localised soft tissue sarcoma (STS), however evidence supporting optimal surveillance modality or frequency is lacking. We used prospectively collected sarcoma data to describe current surveillance imaging practice in patients with AJCC stage II and III extremity STS and evaluate its cost-effectiveness. Methods: From three selected Australian sarcoma referral centres, we identified patients with stage II and III extremity STS treated between 2009 and 2013. Medical records were reviewed to ascertain surveillance imaging practices, including modality, frequency and patient outcomes. A discrete event simulation model was developed and calibrated using clinical data to estimate health service costs and quality adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with alternative surveillance strategies. Results: Of 133 patients treated for stage II and III extremity STS, the majority were followed up with CT chest (86%), most commonly at 3-monthly intervals and 62% of patients had the primary site imaged with MRI at 6-monthly. There was limited use of chest-X-ray. A discrete event simulation model demonstrated that CT chest screening was the most cost effective surveillance strategy, gaining additional QALYs at a mean incremental cost of $30,743. MRI alone and PET-CT alone were not cost-effective, whilst a combined strategy of CT + MRI had an incremental cost per QALY gained of $96,556. Conclusions: Wide variations were observed in surveillance imaging practices in this high-risk STS cohort. Modelling demonstrated the value of CT chest for distant recurrence surveillance over other forms of imaging in terms of cost and QALYs. Further work is required to evaluate cost-effectiveness in a prospective manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages10
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Disease recurrence
  • Distant recurrence
  • Imaging surveillance
  • Local recurrence
  • Metastasectomy
  • Pulmonary metastases
  • Soft tissue sarcoma


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging surveillance in stage II and III extremity soft tissue sarcoma: An Australian perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this