Although healthcare and economics are not a pleasant mix, they are an unavoidable one. Any medical treatment costs money – and experimental cancer therapy is often not covered by national healthcare systems or standard insurance.

As a result, one of the first questions our prospective patients ask regards the cost of pursuing Immunotherapy. While we can’t give any exact figures, we can provide some information to help determine the ideal choice for each case.

What goes Into the Cost of Immunotherapy of Cancer?

The term “immunotherapy” englobes a handful of treatments, and their costs are different. Here, we need to differentiate between two types of immunotherapy treatments. 

The first type consists of established immunotherapy methods. These are already available as commercial drugs, and patients can buy them at specialist oncology hospitals at their market price. 

The second type is advanced customized treatments. This includes some known protocols, such as CAR-T, and other experimental treatments, prepared in our labs. These treatments are significantly costlier, as the doses and protocols are adjusted depending on the patient. Often, so are the compounds we use: for example, anti-cancer vaccines are often made from tumor samples and are specific to each patient.

Therefore, the cost must cover all development expenses, from lab equipment and maintenance to the support staff. The final cost of Immunotherapy will depend on the treatment chosen, as each has a different price tag. Oncolytic viruses and anti-cancer vaccines are generally costly to develop. However, cell therapy usually requires a more extended development and is therefore costlier. 

Is Immunotherapy “Good Value”?

Based on an initial quote, it may be tempting for many patients to choose the lower price tag and then simply stick to it. Then, patients may move on to the next option if it becomes necessary.

In general, the smarter the treatment, the more expensive it is. But when it becomes necessary, patients may be taking a risky gamble by avoiding it. A smart, highly-effective method minimizes the chances of further treatment being necessary. As a result, the lifetime cost of a more complex option may be lower than that of a cheaper initial choice.