Cost of Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review



We performed a systematic review of studies estimating the cost of illness of lung cancer to compare costs between studies and examine cost drivers, emphasizing generalizability and methodological choices.


A systematic search on studies published in English on cost of illness of lung cancer was performed in MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus. Databases were searched in January 2017, and records were screened based on eligibility criteria. The systematic search was updated on May 7, 2020. The quality of included studies was appraised using a modified Drummond checklist.


Of the 4891 records screened, 19 records were included. Most of the studies were cross-sectional and retrospective and used a prevalence-based approach and a bottom-up approach. Direct medical costs ranged from 4484.13 US dollars purchasing power parity to 45 364.48 US dollars purchasing power parity. Total medical costs as a percentage of total gross domestic product (GDP) ranged from 0.00248 to 0.1326 (median 0.0217), and total medical costs as a percentage of total health expenditure ranged from 0.038 to 0.836 (median 0.209).


There was considerable methodological heterogeneity that made it difficult to compare results between studies. The costs of lung cancer are substantial and impose a substantial economic burden on patients, healthcare systems, and societies. By comparing cancer costs with total health expenditures and GDP per capita, it can be concluded that lung cancer imposes a considerable economic burden on patients and healthcare systems in countries with lower GDP per capita and higher incidence rate.


Mahmood Yousefi Habib Jalilian Somayeh Heydari Farshad Seyednejad Nazanin Mir

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