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Oncology Modeling for Fun and Profit! Key Steps for Busy Analysts in Health Technology Assessment


  • Jaclyn Beca

    (Cancer Care Ontario)

  • Don Husereau

    (Institute of Health Economics
    University of Ottawa)

  • Kelvin K. W. Chan

    (University of Toronto
    Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control)

  • Neil Hawkins

    (The University of Glasgow)

  • Jeffrey S. Hoch

    (The University of California, Davis)


In evaluating new oncology medicines, two common modeling approaches are state transition (e.g., Markov and semi-Markov) and partitioned survival. Partitioned survival models have become more prominent in oncology health technology assessment processes in recent years. Our experience in conducting and evaluating models for economic evaluation has highlighted many important and practical pitfalls. As there is little guidance available on best practices for those who wish to conduct them, we provide guidance in the form of ‘Key steps for busy analysts,’ who may have very little time and require highly favorable results. Our guidance highlights the continued need for rigorous conduct and transparent reporting of economic evaluations regardless of the modeling approach taken, and the importance of modeling that better reflects reality, which includes better approaches to considering plausibility, estimating relative treatment effects, dealing with post-progression effects, and appropriate characterization of the uncertainty from modeling itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaclyn Beca & Don Husereau & Kelvin K. W. Chan & Neil Hawkins & Jeffrey S. Hoch, 2018. "Oncology Modeling for Fun and Profit! Key Steps for Busy Analysts in Health Technology Assessment," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 7-15, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:36:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40273-017-0583-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s40273-017-0583-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Don Husereau & Michael Drummond & Stavros Petrou & Chris Carswell & David Moher & Dan Greenberg & Federico Augustovski & Andrew Briggs & Josephine Mauskopf & Elizabeth Loder, 2013. "Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(3), pages 367-372, June.
    2. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Claxton, Karl & Stoddart, Greg L. & Torrance, George W., 2015. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199665884.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Don Husereau’s journal round-up for 25th November 2019
      by Don Husereau in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2019-11-25 12:00:55

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