Cost-Effectiveness of a Biopsy-Based 8-Protein Prostate Cancer Prognostic Assay to Optimize Treatment Decision Making in Gleason 3 + 3 and 3 + 4 Early Stage Prostate Cancer.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The oncologist, Volume 20, Issue 12, p.1355-1364 (2015)


BACKGROUND: Many patients with Gleason 3 + 3 and 3 + 4 early stage prostate cancer receive invasive treatment but likely derive little or no benefit. A novel 8-protein prognostic assay generates a risk score at time of biopsy that is predictive of prostate cancer aggressiveness and can inform treatment decisions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of using the assay to inform treatment decisions compared with usual care. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We developed a simulation model to estimate quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) and cost outcomes for the 8-protein assay and usual care strategies. Risk classification outcomes, treatment distributions, costs, health state utilities, and mortality rates were derived from the assay's validation study and the peer-reviewed literature. Outcomes included incremental QALYs, costs, and cost-effectiveness ratios. We conducted one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses to evaluate the most influential inputs and to explore joint uncertainty in outcomes, respectively. RESULTS: The 8-protein assay strategy resulted in 0.04 more QALY and $700 less in costs compared with usual care (and thus was "dominant"). The cost-effectiveness of the assay strategy was most sensitive to the assay cost, the active surveillance health state utility, and the proportion of low-risk patients receiving active surveillance (vs. treatment) in usual care. In the probabilistic sensitivity analyses, the assay strategy decreased cost and increased QALYs in 86.9% and 58.3% of simulations, respectively. CONCLUSION: Assuming that ongoing prospective studies support the results of retrospective validation studies, the 8-protein prognostic assay strategy for prostate cancer is likely to be a cost-effective alternative to usual guideline-based care in biopsy Gleason 3 + 3 and 3 + 4 early stage prostate cancer. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Prostate cancer prognostic assays such as the 8-protein assay can provide information about disease aggressiveness that may improve decisions about use of active surveillance versus invasive treatment in Gleason 3 + 3 and 3 + 4 disease. This study, the first cost-effectiveness evaluation of this type of assay reported in the peer-reviewed literature, found that the assay strategy is expected to result in increased quality-adjusted survival and decreased cost compared with usual care. The findings demonstrate the potential for prognostic assays to be dominant strategies in this clinical setting, in which many patients currently receive invasive treatment but derive limited clinical benefit.