, Volume 139, Issue 3, pp 621-637,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 May 2013

Multigene assays and molecular markers in breast cancer: systematic review of health economic analyses

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common female cancer and is associated with a significant clinical and economic burden. Multigene assays and molecular markers represent an opportunity to direct chemotherapy only to patients likely to have significant benefit. This systematic review examines published health economic analyses to assess the support for adjuvant therapy decision making. Literature searches of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and congress databases were carried out to identify economic evaluations of multigene assays and molecular markers published between 2002 and 2012. After screening and data extraction, study quality was assessed using the Quality of Health Economic Studies instrument. The review identified 29 publications that reported evaluations of two assays: Oncotype DX® and MammaPrint. Studies of both tests provided evidence that their routine use was cost saving or cost-effective versus conventional approaches. Benefits were driven by optimal allocation of adjuvant chemotherapy and reduction in chemotherapy utilization. Findings were sensitive to variation in the frequency of chemotherapy prescription, chemotherapy costs, and patients’ risk profiles. Evidence suggests that multigene assays are likely cost saving or cost-effective relative to current approaches to adjuvant therapy. They should benefit decision making in early-stage breast cancer in a variety of settings worldwide.