Front Oncol 2019 26;9:61. Epub 2019 Feb 26.
Gynaecological Oncology Research Group, Division of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Lynch syndrome is the most common inherited cause of endometrial cancer. Identifying individuals affected by Lynch syndrome enables risk-reducing interventions including colorectal surveillance, and cascade testing of relatives. We conducted a micro-costing study of screening all women with endometrial cancer for Lynch syndrome using one of four diagnostic strategies combining tumor microsatellite instability testing (MSI), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and/or methylation testing, and germline next generation sequencing (NGS). Resource use (consumables, capital equipment, and staff) was identified through direct observation and laboratory protocols. Published sources were used to identify unit costs to calculate a per-patient cost (£; 2017) of each testing strategy, assuming a National Health Service (NHS) perspective. Tumor triage with MSI and reflex methylation testing followed by germline NGS of women with likely Lynch syndrome was the cheapest strategy at £42.01 per case. Tumor triage with IHC and reflex methylation testing of MLH1 protein-deficient cancers followed by NGS of women with likely Lynch syndrome cost £45.68. Tumor triage with MSI followed by NGS of all women found to have tumor microsatellite instability cost £78.95. Immediate germline NGS of all women with endometrial cancer cost £176.24. The cost of NGS was affected by the skills and time needed to interpret results (£44.55/patient). This study identified the cost of reflex screening all women with endometrial cancer for Lynch syndrome, which can be used in a model-based cost-effectiveness analysis to understand the added value of introducing reflex screening into clinical practice.