Objectives: The majority of recent cost-effectiveness reviews concluded that computerised tomographic colonography (CTC) is not a cost-effective colorectal cancer (CRC) screening strategy yet. The objective of this review is to examine cost-effectiveness of CTC versus optical colonoscopy (COL) for CRC screening and identify the main drivers influencing cost-effectiveness due to the emergence of new research.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted for cost-effectiveness studies comparing CTC and COL as a screening tool and providing outcomes in life-years saved, published between January 2006 and November 2012.
Results: Nine studies were included in the review. There was considerable heterogeneity in modelling complexity and methodology. Different model assumptions and inputs had large effects on resulting cost-effectiveness of CTC and COL. CTC was found to be dominant or cost-effective in three studies, assuming the most favourable scenario. COL was found to be not cost effective in one study.
Conclusions: CTC has the potential to be a cost-effective CRC screening strategy when compared to COL. The most important assumptions that influenced the cost-effectiveness of CTC and COL were related to CTC threshold-based reporting of polyps, CTC cost, CTC sensitivity for large polyps, natural history of adenoma transition to cancer, AAA parameters and importantly, adherence. There is a strong need for a differential consideration of patient adherence and compliance to CTC and COL. Recent research shows that laxative-free CTC screening has the potential to become a good alternative screening method for CRC as it can improve patient uptake of screening.
Keywords: Colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer; Computerised tomographic colonography; Cost-effectiveness; Economics; Modelling; Patient adherence; Screening; Simulation.
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