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Maria A. Kouvaraki, Suzanne E. Shapiro, Jeffrey E. Lee, Douglas B. Evans, and Nancy D. Perrier

Thyroid carcinoma has a unique biologic behavior characterized by early spread to regional lymph nodes and occasional extrathyroidal soft tissue extension but a low incidence of distant metastasis and infrequent disease-related death. Therefore, controversy exists over the proper extent of thyroidectomy and regional lymph node dissection in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The modest disease-specific mortality makes it unlikely that the extent of surgery will ever be the subject of a prospective randomized trial. Although more extensive cervical surgery may have only a limited effect on the duration of survival in patients with DTC, it may significantly improve quality of life by minimizing cervical recurrence. The high rates of cervical recurrence in patients with DTC and MTC have alerted physicians to the importance of fine-needle aspiration biopsy and ultrasonography for the diagnosis, preoperative staging, and follow-up of thyroid cancer. In patients with MTC, death caused by disease is uncommon in the absence of radiographically evident distant metastasis at the time of thyroidectomy. Cervical recurrence is even more common with MTC, and the need for compartment-oriented lymphadenectomy is accepted as standard surgical treatment to minimize disease recurrence. Postoperatively, calcitonin (CT) levels can be used to guide clinical management, but basal CT levels should not be used to direct the timing of prophylactic thyroidectomy in affected high-risk patients with familial MTC.

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Shi-Yi Wang, Tiange Chen, Weixiong Dang, Sarah S. Mougalian, Suzanne B. Evans, and Cary P. Gross

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.

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Gabrielle W. Peters, Sarah J. Gao, Christin Knowlton, Andrew Zhang, Suzanne B. Evans, Susan Higgins, Lynn D. Wilson, Nicholas Saltmarsh, Martha Picone, and Meena S. Moran

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Brigette A. Davis, Jenerius A. Aminawung, Maysa M. Abu-Khalaf, Suzanne B. Evans, Kevin Su, Rajni Mehta, Shi-Yi Wang, and Cary P. Gross

Background: Racial disparities have been reported in breast cancer care, yet little is known about disparities in access to gene expression profiling (GEP) tests. Given the impact of GEP test results, such as those of Oncotype DX (ODx), on treatment decision-making for hormone receptor–positive (HR+) breast cancer, it is particularly important to assess disparities in its use. Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based study of 8,784 patients diagnosed with breast cancer in Connecticut during 2011 through 2013. We assessed the association between race, ethnicity, and ODx receipt among women with HR+ breast cancer for whom NCCN does and does not recommend ODx testing, using bivariate and multivariate logistic analyses. Results: We identified 5,294 women who met study inclusion criteria: 83.8% were white, 6.3% black, and 7.4% Hispanic. Overall, 50.9% (n=4,131) of women in the guideline-recommended group received ODx testing compared with 18.5% (n=1,163) in the nonrecommended group. More white women received the ODx test compared with black and Hispanic women in the recommended and nonrecommended groups (51.4% vs 44.6% and 47.7%; and 21.2% vs 9.0% and 9.7%, respectively). After adjusting for tumor and clinical characteristics, we observed significantly lower ODx use among black (odds ratio [OR], 0.64; 95% CI, 0.47–0.88) and Hispanic women (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.45–0.77) compared with white women in the recommended group and in the guideline-discordant group (blacks: OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.20–0.78, and Hispanics: OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23–0.85). Conclusions: In this population-based study, we identified racial disparities in ODx testing. Disparities in access to innovative cancer care technologies may further exacerbate existing disparities in breast cancer outcomes.