Personalizing Breast Cancer Tx Could Cut Initial Costs of Care

Small decline seen in costs in first 12 months of care with personalized treatment based on recurrence scores

WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Personalizing breast cancer treatment based on Oncotype DX recurrence scores could result in small decreases in costs in the initial 12 months of care, according to a study published online April 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Angela Mariotto, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues, estimated how changes in practice might impact costs in the initial 12 months of care following the TAILORx trial. They note that based on the TAILORx trial, women with tumors having Oncotype DX recurrence scores of 11 to 25 can omit chemotherapy. For the current study, the researchers estimated the mean initial costs before and after TAILORx, assuming all women received Oncotype DX testing and score-suggested therapy after the trial.

The authors found that pretrial mean initial costs were $2.816 billion. Oncotype DX testing costs were projected to increase from $115 to $231 million posttrial, while a decrease in chemotherapy use was expected (from 25 to 17 percent); this decrease would result in net savings of $49 million (1.8 percent decrease). Under most assumptions, a small net saving was seen; however, initial care costs could increase by $105 million (4 percent) if all women aged ≤50 years with tumors with recurrence scores of 16 to 25 elected to receive chemotherapy.

"Personalizing care by selecting chemotherapy based on recurrence scores has the potential to lower short-term costs, even after considering the added costs of expanded Oncotype DX testing," the authors write.

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