Cost-effectiveness of using a gene expression profiling test to aid in identifying the primary tumour in patients with cancer of unknown primary

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We aimed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of a 2000-gene-expression profiling (GEP) test to help identify the primary tumor site when clinicopathological diagnostic evaluation was inconclusive in patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP). We built a decision-analytic-model to project the lifetime clinical and economic consequences of different clinical management strategies for CUP. The model was parameterized using follow-up data from the Manitoba Cancer Registry, cost data from Manitoba Health administrative databases and secondary sources. The 2000-GEP-based strategy compared to current clinical practice resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $44,151 per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained. The total annual-budget impact was $36.2 million per year. A value-of-information analysis revealed that the expected value of perfect information about the test's clinical impact was $4.2 million per year. The 2000-GEP test should be considered for adoption in CUP. Field evaluations of the test are associated with a large societal benefit.

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