Economic analysis of biomarker-based anti-EGFR therapies in metastatic colorectal cancer in the Austrian context
Niedersüß-Beke D., Simon J., Schiffinger M., Mader RM.
Background: In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), multimodal therapeutic strategies and diagnostics have continuously improved patient survival. The aim of our investigation was to relate this enhanced clinical outcome to treatment costs based on predictive biomarker scenarios guiding epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeting in a developed country. Methods: We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis for the combination of EGFR inhibitors with chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of mCRC. Resource use estimates were based on actual data from two oncological departments and on clinical outcomes adapted from published trials. Comparative analyses for the use of EGFR inhibitors were based on three biomarker scenarios (sensitivity: 35%, 55% and 75%) to estimate their incremental cost-effectiveness and were completed by sensitivity analyses. Results: Using FOLFIRI+cetuximab, preselection for EGFR therapy with KRAS testing prolonged progression-free survival with average savings of 913 €/month/patient (scenario 1) and average savings of 1811 €/month/patient when testing the whole RAS-family (scenario 2). In a future but realistic scenario, up 39% of treatment costs could be saved with almost three life–years gained (LYG). The incremental cost/LYG was 212,083 € (116,646–1,866,332 €) for unselected EGFR therapy, 32,251 € (30,294–43,488 €) for EGFR following KRAS testing, 19,172 € (15,369–28,611 €) for the all RAS scenario, and 12,369 € (3865–18,533 €) for a future biomarker scenario. Conclusions: In the therapy of mCRC, predictive biomarker testing has shown to be effective and cost saving. For further improvement, a strong research focus on predictive biomarkers is considered highly efficient to promote precision oncology by alleviating the pressure on the healthcare system.