Importance: Genomic screening for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) in unselected women offers an opportunity to prevent cancer morbidity and mortality, but the potential clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of such screening have not been well studied.
Objective: To estimate the lifetime incremental incidence of HBOC and the quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs, and cost-effectiveness of HBOC genomic screening in an unselected population vs family history-based testing.
Design, setting, and participants: In this study conducted from October 27, 2017, to May 3, 2020, a decision analytic Markov model was developed that included health states for precancer, for risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM) and risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO), for earlier- and later-stage HBOC, after cancer, and for death. A complimentary cascade testing module was also developed to estimate outcomes in first-degree relatives. Age-specific RRM and RRSO uptake probabilities were estimated from the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative and published sources. Parameters including RRM and RRSO effectiveness, variant-specific cancer risk, costs, and utilities were derived from published sources. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were conducted to evaluate model assumptions and uncertainty.
Main outcomes and measures: Lifetime cancer incidence, QALYs, life-years, and direct medical costs for genomic screening in an unselected population vs family history-based testing only were calculated. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated as the difference in cost between strategies divided by the difference in QALYs between strategies. Earlier-stage and later-stage cancer cases prevented and total cancer cases prevented were also calculated.
Results: The model found that population screening of 30-year-old women was associated with 75 (95% credible range [CR], 60-90) fewer overall cancer cases and 288 QALYs (95% CR, 212-373 QALYs) gained per 100 000 women screened, at an incremental cost of $25 million (95% CR, $21 millon to $30 million) vs family history-based testing; the ICER was $87 700 (78% probability of being cost-effective at a threshold of $100 000 per QALY). In contrast, population screening of 45-year-old women was associated with 24 (95% CR, 18-29) fewer cancer cases and 97 QALYs (95% CR, 66-130 QALYs) gained per 100 000 women screened, at an incremental cost of $26 million (95% CR, $22 million to $30 million); the ICER was $268 200 (0% probability of being cost-effective at a threshold of $100 000 per QALY). A scenario analysis without cascade testing increased the ICER to $92 600 for 30-year-old women and $354 500 for 45-year-old women. A scenario analysis assuming a 5% absolute decrease in mammography screening in women without a variant was associated with the potential for net harm (-90 QALYs per 100 000 women screened; 95% CR, -180 to 10 QALYs).
Conclusions and relevance: The results of this study suggest that population HBOC screening may be cost-effective among younger women but not among older women. Cascade testing of first-degree relatives added a modest improvement in clinical and economic value. The potential for harm conferred by inappropriate reduction in mammography among noncarriers should be quantified.