Schramm W, Hollenbenders Y and Kurscheidt M. Explorative cost-effectiveness analysis of colorectal cancer recurrence detection with next-generation sequencing liquid biopsy in Spain, France, and Germany. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology 2024; 17: 17562848241248246. DOI: 10.1177/17562848241248246.


Background:Next-generation sequencing liquid biopsy (NGS-LB) for colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and surveillance remains an expensive technology as economies of scale have not yet been realized. Nevertheless, the cost of sequencing has decreased while sensitivity has increased, raising the question of whether cost-effectiveness (CE) has already been achieved from the perspective of European healthcare systems. Objectives:This health economic (HE) modeling study explores the CE of NGS-LB for CRC based on direct treatment costs compared to standard care without liquid biopsy in Spain, France, and Germany. Methods:A structured literature search was used to collect evidence from 2009 to 2020 on the stage-dependent quality of life (quality-adjusted life-years, QALY), efficacy, and total direct treatment costs (TDC) of NGS-LB. A decision-analytic Markov model was developed. Over the remaining lifetime, cumulative life expectancy (LE), TDC, and QALYs were calculated for 60-year-old men and women in CRC stage III with different assumed effects of NGS-LB of 1% or 3% on improved survival and reduced stage progression, respectively. Results:The use of NGS-LB increases LE by 0.19 years in Spanish men (France: 0.19 years, Germany: 0.13 years) and by 0.21 years in Spanish women (France: 0.21 years, Germany: 0.14 years), respectively. The 3% discounted cost per QALY gained was 35,571.95 € for Spanish men (France: 31,705.15 €, Germany: 37,537.68 €) and 35,435.71 € for Spanish women (France: 31,295.57 €, Germany: 38,137.08 €) in the scenario with 3% improved survival and reduced disease progression. Compared to the other two countries, Germany has by far the highest TDC, which can amount to >80k euros in the last treatment year. Conclusion:In this explorative HE modeling study, NGS-LB achieves generally accepted CE levels in CRC treatment from the health system perspective in three major European economies under assumptions of small improvements in cancer recurrence and survival. Confirmation of these findings through clinical trials is encouraged.