June 17, 2018

Cost-effectiveness of genome sequencing (3)

Application of next-generation sequencing to improve cancer management: A review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness

Once again, there is no need for cost-effectiveness if there is not a clear message on the analytical validity, clinical validity and utility of a diagnostic test.
A new article want to shed light on cancer and NGS, and says:
Our search for cost‐effectiveness studies on NGS in cancer care yielded 2037 articles. Only 6 articles included cost‐effectiveness studies of the application of NGS (targeted gene panel) in cancer

The 6 selected reports could be separated into 2 types. Three of the articles assessed the cost‐effectiveness of recommending patients receiving targeted therapy matching their genetic mutation identified via NGS; and the remaining 3 articles assessed the cost‐effectiveness of using NGS as part of the screening program to direct patients or high risk family members into prophylactic treatment

Two out of 3 articles in the “targeted therapy” group reported that NGS and targeted therapy was not cost-effective (Table 3A), using an ICER threshold of US$100 000 per Quality Adjusted Life
Year (QALY) gained. An ICER of less than US$100 000/QALYs gained is generally considered favourable for funding in the United States

Two out of the 3 articles in the “screening” group reported that the use of NGS was cost‐effective (Table 3B), that is, under US$100 000 per QALY gained.loser surveillance.
 In our evaluation of the effectiveness of NGS, we found that NGS is effective at identifying mutations in cancer patients, and we reported that 37% of the diagnosed patients proceeded to receive therapy matching their genetic profile. However, with only 6 articles available that assess the cost-effectiveness of NGS in various settings, it remains an area for future research to determine whether the technology is cost-effective in routine cancer management
Summary: the message is that there is no message with such a few observations!

Something is being missed...