Hematologic malignancy outcomes have remarkably improved in the past decade with further advancement expected in future years. However, the detrimental effects of financial toxicity (FT) on patients with hematologic malignancies, because of both diagnoses and subsequent treatments, have not been studied comprehensively. We performed a systematic review of all studies reporting FT as a primary or secondary outcome among adult or pediatric patients with hematological malignancies. A total of 55 studies met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Across studies, 20–50% of patients reported some form of FT, including loss of work productivity, food and transportation costs, and depletion of savings. Younger age, lower-income level, unemployment, and rural residence were the most commonly identified risk factors for FT. Two studies looked at survival outcomes, with one reporting improvement in survival with a decrease in financial toxicity. However, significant heterogeneity in FT definitions was found between countries and payor systems. Only half of the studies (51%, n = 28) used validated survey instruments such as the COST assessment. The present systematic review identified that FT is common in patients with hematological malignancies and may be associated with poorer outcomes. However, studies of FT generally use non-standardized methods with cross-sectional analyses rather than longitudinal, prospective assessments. Further work is needed to standardize FT reporting and investigate measures to alleviate FT among patients with hematologic malignancies.
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