Cost-effectiveness analysis of multigene expression profiling assays to guide adjuvant therapy decisions in women with invasive early-stage breast cancer

Pharmacogenomics J. 2020 Feb;20(1):27-46. doi: 10.1038/s41397-019-0089-x. Epub 2019 May 27.


Gene expression profiling (GEP) testing using 12-gene recurrence score (RS) assay (EndoPredict®), 58-gene RS assay (Prosigna®), and 21-gene RS assay (Oncotype DX®) is available to aid in chemotherapy decision-making when traditional clinicopathological predictors are insufficient to accurately determine recurrence risk in women with axillary lymph node-negative, hormone receptor-positive, and human epidermal growth factor-receptor 2-negative early-stage breast cancer. We examined the cost-effectiveness of incorporating these assays into standard practice. A decision model was built to project lifetime clinical and economic consequences of different adjuvant treatment-guiding strategies. The model was parameterized using follow-up data from a secondary analysis of the Anastrozole or Tamoxifen Alone or Combined randomized trial, cost data (2017 Canadian dollars) from the London Regional Cancer Program (Canada) and secondary Canadian sources. The 12-gene, 58-gene, and 21-gene RS assays were associated with cost-effectiveness ratios of $36,274, $48,525, and $74,911/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained and resulted in total gains of 379, 284.3, and 189.5 QALYs/year and total budgets of $12.9, $14.2, and $16.6 million/year, respectively. The total expected-value of perfect information about GEP assays' utility was $10.4 million/year. GEP testing using any of these assays is likely clinically and economically attractive. The 12-gene and 58-gene RS assays may improve the cost-effectiveness of GEP testing and offer higher value for money, although prospective evidence is still needed. Comparative field evaluations of GEP assays in real-world practice are associated with a large societal benefit and warranted to determine the optimal and most cost-effective assay for routine use.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / economics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / economics
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / economics
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics