Incorporating Tumor Characteristics to Maximize 21-Gene Assay Utility: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

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Background: Literature suggests that Oncotype DX (ODX) is cost-effective. These studies, however, tend to ignore clinical characteristics and have not incorporated population-based data regarding the distribution of ODX results across different clinical risk groups. Accordingly, this study assessed the cost-effectiveness of ODX across strata of clinical risk groups using population-based ODX data. Methods: We created state-transition models to calculate costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained over the lifetime for women with estrogen receptor (ER)–positive, HER2-negative, lymph node–negative breast cancer from a US payer perspective. Using the Connecticut Tumor Registry, we classified the 2,245 patients diagnosed in 2011 through 2013 into 3 clinical risk groups according to the PREDICT model, a risk calculator developed by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Within each risk group, we then determined the recurrence score (RS) distributions (<18, 18–30, and ≥31). Other input parameters were derived from the literature. Uncertainty was assessed using deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Results: Approximately 82.5%, 11.9%, and 5.6% of our sample were in the PREDICT low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups, respectively. When combining these 3 groups, ODX had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $62,200 per QALY for patients aged 60 years. The ICERs, however, differed across clinical risk groups, ranging from $124,600 per QALY in the low-risk group, to $28,700 per QALY in the intermediate-risk group, to $15,700 per QALY in the high-risk group. Results were sensitive to patient age: the ICER for patients aged 45 to 75 years ranged from $77,100 to $344,600 per QALY in the PREDICT low-risk group, and was lower than $100,000 per QALY in the intermediate- and high-risk groups. Conclusions: ODX is not cost-effective for women with clinical low-risk breast cancer, which constitutes most patients with ER-positive disease.

Correspondence: Shi-Yi Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, P.O. Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520. Email:

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