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Early Economic Evaluation Highlights the Potential Benefits of Biomarker-Directed Care in Breast Cancer and Renal Cell Carcinoma

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GE Healthcare today announced results of three health economic models to estimate the potential cost offsets to the healthcare system of biomarker testing in patients with early breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma to guide therapy selection. These studies were presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 15th European Congress in Berlin, Germany.

In two of the studies, the data showed that use of angiogenesis-specific biomarker imaging tests could lead to reduced costs by early determination of response to therapy and early identification of rapid disease progression. Specifically:

  • In a model of 100 UK patients with metastatic breast cancer, one study focused identifying sub-groups in whom such anti-angiogenesis therapies may be of value. The cost consequences of introducing an angiogenesis-specific biomarker imaging test (A-IT) to guide the continuation or removal of anti-angiogenesis (AA) drugs based on a positive or negative determination of early response was evaluated. Per-patient cost savings of £4,561 were realized when A-IT was used to identify treatment response.[1] The majority of the savings came from reduced therapy acquisition costs for those patients who ultimately did not receive any benefit from this specific therapy.
  • A second study of a model of 100 UK patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma evaluated the economic impact of utilizing an angiogenesis-specific imaging (AI) biomarker to identify disease progression versus RECIST monitoring among sunitinib-treated patients. The study revealed that use of the biomarker resulted in per-patient cost savings of £683 per patient.[2] In this model, the cost savings reflect the resources freed up which can be used to pay for the AI biomarker.

Additionally, a third study examined the potential impact of better targeting the use of taxane therapies in early breast cancer, by estimating the potential cost impact of a predictive test for taxane response. In a cohort of 100 UK patients, applying an in-vitro biomarker that could predict patient response led to an average cost savings (as measured by treatment costs and costs associated with adverse events resulting from treatment) of £1,398 per patient.[3]

“We recognize that early economic evaluations of potential biomarker-guided treatment pathways can provide useful preliminary information to developers, clinicians and payers,” said Ger Brophy, Head of New Product Development, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. “Prolonged therapy exposes non-responding patients to potential risks without clinical benefit, resulting in misallocated healthcare resources which could be directed elsewhere. Our new diagnostics need to play a part not only in raising the quality of healthcare, but also in making efficient provision of good care more possible. While further clinical development of these tests is needed; collectively, these models show that utilizing such tests may have the potential to reduce both the costs of treatment and also the costs of managing treatment-related adverse events.”

Study: Paramore et al. Estimating economic impact of angiogenesis-specific imaging in metastatic breast cancer. Data presented at ISPOR 15th European Congress, 3-7 November 2012, Berlin, Germany.

Study: Gruschkus et al. Economic evaluation of reduced futile 1st line therapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients using early angiogenesis-specific imaging. Data presented at ISPOR 15th European Congress, 3-7 November 2012, Berlin, Germany.

Study: Brown et al. Economic analysis of a predictive test for taxane response in early breast cancer patients in the UK. Data presented at ISPOR 15th European Congress, 3-7 November 2012, Berlin, Germany.

Source: GE Healthcare