Economic impact of screening for bladder cancer using bladder tumor markers: a decision analysis

Urol Oncol. Jul-Aug 2006;24(4):338-43. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2005.11.025.


Purpose: The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of bladder markers such as BladderChek (NMP22; Matritech, Inc., Newton, MA) and UroVysion (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL) for use in screening for bladder cancer. The purpose of this analysis was to assess the cost associated with implementing a widespread screening program using a noninvasive bladder tumor marker.

Methods: Data for the accuracy of NMP22 in detecting bladder cancer was gathered from a comprehensive literature review. A decision tree analysis was constructed to evaluate the total cost of screening a low and high-risk population for bladder cancer using NMP22. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the effect of relaxing the various assumptions in the model.

Results: Application of the model to all men, regardless of the degree of risk, rendered a cost per cancer detected of $783,913, $269,028, and $139,305 for ages 50-59, 60-69, and 70-79 years, respectively. Screening only patients at high-risk for bladder cancer (annual incidence 6%) would yield a cost per cancer detected of $3,310. Incidence of cancer and marker specificity had the highest influence on cost per cancer detected.

Conclusions: Application of NMP22 to the entire population would render an extremely high cost per cancer detected. However, application to an appropriate high-risk target population could achieve cost per cancer detected comparable to currently used screening programs for prostate, colon, and breast cancer. Further studies are needed to assess the accuracy of bladder tumor markers in detecting bladder cancer in a completely asymptomatic cohort.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / economics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • nuclear matrix protein 22