Cost-effectiveness analysis of prevention strategies for gynecologic cancers in Lynch syndrome

Cancer. 2008 Jul 15;113(2):326-35. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23554.


Background: Women with Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) have an increased lifetime risk for endometrial and ovarian cancer. Screening and prophylactic surgery have been recommended as prevention strategies. In this study, the authors estimated the net health benefits and cost-effectiveness of these strategies in a Markov decision-analytic model.

Methods: Five strategies were compared for a hypothetical cohort of women with Lynch syndrome: 1) no prevention ('reference'); 2) prophylactic surgery (hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) at age 30 years; 3) prophylactic surgery at age 40 years; 4) annual screening with endometrial biopsy, transvaginal ultrasound, and CA 125 from age 30 years; and 5) annual screening from age 30 years until prophylactic surgery at age 40 years (combined strategy). Net health benefit was measured in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and the primary outcome measured was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). Baseline and transition probabilities were obtained from published literature, and costs were from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Agency for Health Care Quality and Research. Sensitivity analyses were performed for uncertainty around various parameters.

Results: The combined strategy provided the highest net health benefit (18.98 QALYs) but had an ICER of $194,650 per QALY relative to the next best strategy (prophylactic surgery at age 40 years). Prophylactic surgery at age 30 years and annual screening were dominated by alternate strategies.

Conclusions: Annual screening followed by prophylactic surgery at age 40 years was the most effective gynecologic cancer prevention strategy, but the incremental benefit over prophylactic surgery alone was attained at substantial cost. The ICER would become favorable by improving the effectiveness and reducing the costs of screening in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / economics*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / economics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors