Boston, MA, USA– Up to 25% of patients who are tested for thyroid cancer using Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB) may receive indeterminate diagnostic results. These patients usually go through a diagnostic thyroid surgery in order to determine if their thyroid nodule is cancerous.
A new molecular test could potentially reduce indeterminate test results that frequently occur in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer using FNAB. This test would decrease unnecessary surgeries and could be a cost-saving strategy when compared to FNAB, which is currently the standard of practice.
The aim of the study, “Cost-effectiveness of Using a Molecular Diagnostic Test to Improve Pre-Operative Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer” was to estimate the clinical and economic benefit of utilizing a molecular diagnostic test (DX test) that can improve the diagnosis of thyroid cancer.
Assuming 95% sensitivity and specificity of the DX test when used as an adjunct to FNAB, utilization of the DX test resulted in a positive gain of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and significant cost-savings per patient. If the cost of the DX test is less than $500 (approximately) per test, we expect to save QALYs and reduce costs when it is utilized. Sensitivity of the DX test, compared to specificity, had a larger influence upon the overall outcomes.
Lead Author, Mehdi Najafzadeh, Ph.D, says, “Using this molecular test- that can be developed based on gene or protein expression studies- appears to be a dominant diagnostic strategy. If the new test proves to have high accuracy with a reasonable cost per test, it can reduce unnecessary surgeries. This can increase patients’ quality of life and save cost at the same time.”
The full study is published in Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).
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