Cost-effectiveness of PSA screening in the US: extrapolating from the ERSPC

Tuesday, 22 February 2011- Preliminary results of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) showed a decrease in prostate cancer specific mortality associated with prostate specific antigen screening.

A. Shteynshlyuger and G. Andriole evaluated the cost-effectiveness of prostate specific antigen screening using data from the ERSPC protocol when extrapolated to the United States.

The researchers used previously reported Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare data and a nationwide sample of employer provided estimates of costs of care for patients with prostate cancer. The European data were used in accordance with the study protocol to determine the costs and cost-effectiveness of prostate specific antigen screening.

The results showed the lifetime cost of screening with prostate specific antigen, evaluating abnormal prostate specific antigen and treating identified prostate cancer to prevent 1 death from prostate cancer was $5,227,306 based on the European findings and extrapolated to the US.

If screening achieved a similar decrease in overall mortality as the decrease in prostate cancer specific mortality in the European study, such intervention would cost $262,758 per life-year saved. Prostate specific antigen screening reported in the European study would become cost effective when the lifelong treatment costs were below $1,868 per life-year, or when the number needed to treat was lowered to 21 or fewer men.

"The lifelong costs of screening protocols are determined by the cost of treatment with an insignificant contribution from screening costs. We established a model that predicts the minimal requirements that would make screening a cost-effective measure for population based implementation," the researchers said.

Source:  A. Shteynshlyuger, G. Andriole, "Cost-Effectiveness of Prostate Specific Antigen Screening in the United States: Extrapolating From the European Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer," Journal of Urology, Volume 185, Issue 3, March 2011 doi:10.1016/j.juro.2010.10.079.


Edited by: JV

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