St. Louis, MO, USA – A research team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, has developed the first economic model for evaluating if a common type of DNA testing should be utilized in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The pathology process is very complex, and it’s been well-documented that a small portion of the time patient biopsy samples are contaminated or switched. The aim of the study, “Development of a decision-analytic model for the application of STR-based provenance testing of transrectal prostate biopsy specimens” published in Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), was to understand how and when DNA identity testing might be used to solve this problem, when factoring in the cost of the testing.
The researchers conclude that it is highly likely that DNA identity testing will be a cost-effective method for preventing prostate treatment errors stemming from misidentification of patient biopsy specimens.
Nearly 40% of men with an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) who undergo prostate biopsy will have a positive result. However, if specimen provenance is uncertain, the diagnostic and therapeutic process carries significant risk to the patient. Over the last decade, DNA identity testing has emerged as a method with clinical applicability, but its economic value has not been established.
“We’ve known for a long time that DNA testing like this can be instrumental in solving a problem with specimen identity,” said Dr. John Pfeifer, Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs, Pathology and Immunology at Washington University, who was the principal investigator that lead the team conducting the study. “Now we are beginning to understand that it can be cost-effective to do so prospectively on every suspected malignant case.”
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
For more information: www.ispor.org