The Past, Present, and Future of Economic Evaluations of Precision Medicine at the Committee for Economic Analyses of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group

Curr Oncol. 2021 Sep 21;28(5):3649-3658. doi: 10.3390/curroncol28050311.


Precision medicine in oncology poses unique challenges to the generation of clinical and economic evidence used for cost-effectiveness analyses that can inform health technology assessment. The conduct of randomized controlled trials for biomarker-specific therapies targeted towards small populations has limitations in regard to feasibility, timeliness, and cost. These limitations result in associated challenges for groups involved in the generation of economic evidence to inform treatment-related decision making, including the Committee of Economic Analysis (CEA) at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG). We provide a high-level description and vision about the new paradigm of clinical trial design, generation of economic evidence, and novel approaches to economic evaluations necessary in the space of precision medicine in oncology in Canada. The CEA's previous approach to precision medicine, including master protocol designs and single-arm studies, is reviewed. Methods and approaches currently under consideration by the CEA and national collaborators, such as the role of real-world and clinical trial evidence in enabling life-cycle assessment of therapies, are explored. Finally, future initiatives being planned in the space of precision medicine at CCTG, such as the incorporation of correlative studies to identify and test high-performing biomarkers in trials, are discussed.

Keywords: clinical trial; economic evaluation; precision medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical