Fourfold increased detection of Lynch syndrome by raising age limit for tumour genetic testing from 50 to 70 years is cost-effective.
BACKGROUND: Recognising colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with Lynch syndrome (LS) can increase life expectancy of these patients and their close relatives. To improve identification of this under-diagnosed disease, experts suggested raising the age limit for CRC tumour genetic testing from 50 to 70 years. The present study evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this strategy.
METHODS: Probabilistic efficacy and cost-effectiveness analyses were performed comparing tumour genetic testing of CRC diagnosed at age 70 or below (experimental strategy) versus CRC diagnosed at age 50 or below (current practice). The proportions of LS patients identified and cost-effectiveness including cascade screening of relatives, were calculated by decision analytic models based on real life data.
RESULTS: Using the experimental strategy, 4 times more LS patients can be identified among CRC patients as compared to current practice. Both the costs to detect one LS patient (€ 9,437/carrier versus € 4,837/carrier), and the number needed to test for detecting one LS patient (42 versus 19) doubled. When family cascade screening was included, the experimental strategy was found to be highly cost-effective according to Dutch standards, resulting in an overall ratio of €2,703 per extra life year gained in additionally tested patients.
CONCLUSION: Testing all CRC tumours diagnosed at or below age 70 for LS is cost-effective. Implementation is important as relatives from the large number of LS patients that are missed by current practice, can benefit from life-saving surveillance.© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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