Activity-Based Costing and Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for Assessing the Costs of Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment- A Systematic Review of the Literature



A review of the literature on economic analyses in cancer (prevention, diagnosis, and treatment) using activity-based costing (ABC) or time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) for measuring costs and to examine how these approaches have been applied to assess and manage cancer costs.


This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. We conducted a search for studies that used ABC or TDABC to calculate the cost of cancer in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Only English- and Portuguese-language articles were retrieved from Medline, Lilacs, ScieLO, and Embase (January 1990 to August 2016).


In total, 421 studies were evaluated. However, only 27 papers were included. The first publications were from the early 2000s, but most of the studies were published in 2016 (n = 10). Most of the studies were carried out in the United States (n = 6) and Belgium (n = 6). Cancer treatment was the major focus of all studies (n = 20), followed by screening programs evaluations (n = 4) and diagnosis (n = 3). Among treatment modalities, economic analysis of radiotherapy was the most common topic of study. Retrospective clinical data represented 57.6% of the studies. More than 50% of the studies presented unspecified economic analysis. The hospital perspective was the most prevalent perspective among the studies (46.1%).


ABC and TDABC economic analyses are a promising area of studies in oncology costs.


Rafael J. Vargas Alves Ana P. Beck da Silva Etges Giácomo Balbinotto Neto Carisi Anne Polanczyk

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