Bernardo H. L. Goulart and Scott D. Ramsey
Bernardo H. L. Goulart, Mark E. Bensink, David G. Mummy and Scott D. Ramsey
A recent randomized trial showed that low-dose CT (LDCT) screening reduces lung cancer mortality. Health care providers need an assessment of the national budget impact and cost-effectiveness of LDCT screening before this intervention is adopted in practice. Using data from the 2009 National Health Interview Survey, CMS, and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), the authors performed an economic analysis of LDCT screening that includes a budget impact model, an estimate of additional costs per lung cancer death avoided attributed to screening, and a literature search of cost-effectiveness analyses of LDCT screening. They conducted a one-way sensitivity analysis, reporting expenditures in 2011 U.S. dollars, and took the health care payer and patient perspectives. LDCT screening will add $1.3 to $2.0 billion in annual national health care expenditures for screening uptake rates of 50% to 75%, respectively. However, LDCT screening will avoid up to 8100 premature lung cancer deaths at a 75% screening rate. The prevalence of smokers who qualify for screening, screening uptake rates, and cost of LDCT scan were the most influential parameters on health care expenditures. The additional cost of screening to avoid one lung cancer death is $240,000. Previous cost-effectiveness analyses have not conclusively shown that LDCT is cost-effective. LDCT screening may add substantially to the national health care expenditures. Although LDCT screening can avoid more than 8000 lung cancer deaths per year, a cost-effectiveness analysis of the NLST will be critical to determine the value of this intervention and to guide decisions about its adoption.
Alexandra O. Sokolova, Brian H. Shirts, Eric Q. Konnick, Ginger J. Tsai, Bernardo H.L. Goulart, Bruce Montgomery, Colin C. Pritchard, Evan Y. Yu and Heather H. Cheng
With the promise and potential of clinical next-generation sequencing for tumor and germline testing to impact treatment and outcomes of patients with cancer, there are also risks of oversimplification, misinterpretation, and missed opportunities. These issues risk limiting clinical benefit and, at worst, perpetuating false conclusions that could lead to inappropriate treatment selection, avoidable toxicity, and harm to patients. This report presents 5 case studies illustrating challenges and opportunities in clinical next-generation sequencing interpretation and clinical application in solid tumor oncologic care. First is a case that dissects the origin of an ATM mutation as originating from a hematopoietic clone rather than the tumor. Second is a case illustrating the potential for tumor sequencing to suggest germline variants associated with a hereditary cancer syndrome. Third are 2 cases showing the potential for variant reclassification of a germline variant of uncertain significance when considered alongside family history and tumor sequencing results. Finally, we describe a case illustrating challenges with using microsatellite instability for predicting tumor response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. The common theme of the case studies is the importance of examining clinical context alongside expert review and interpretation, which together highlight an expanding role for contextual examination and multidisciplinary expert review through molecular tumor boards.