Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation (ABMT) and the Treatment of Breast Cancer: The U.S. Experience

What is the U.S. experience with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) and high dose chemotherapy in breast cancer treatment? The researchers examined how treatment decisions were made and lessons that can be applied to the use of emerging technologies in the future. The study consisted of several projects, including 1) development of a chronology of the diffusion of ABMT; 2) examination of the development of clinical effectiveness evidence; 3) analysis of the decision to cover the therapy by third-party insurers and how those decisions were influenced by several external environmental factors; 4) review of the economics of ABMT utilization; and 5) analysis of the advocacy politics surrounding the use of ABMT. Through a series of descriptive and normative questions, the research team conducted an in-depth case study about the controversial treatment. This project provides policymakers with a useful framework for thinking about technology assessment in the future.