Genomic Testing May Reduce Medical Costs for Colon Cancer

Use of the Oncotype DX® colon cancer test to guide treatment decisions may reduce medical costs and improve patient well-being. These results were presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

The Oncotype DX colon cancer test evaluates 12 genes in a sample of tumor tissue and generates a Recurrence Score. The Recurrence Score provides information about the likelihood of cancer recurrence, and may help guide decisions about the need for adjuvant (post-surgery) chemotherapy.

Previous economic analyses reported that use of the test should both save money and improve patient well-being. To further evaluate these outcomes, researchers estimated costs and outcomes for patients with Stage II, T3 colon cancer before and after knowledge of the Oncotype DX test results. The analysis made use of information from 141 patients in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Research Consortium.

  • After the receiving the test results, physicians were less likely to recommend adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Overall, average total direct medical costs decreased by $1,683
  • Patients experienced a modest improvement in quality of life

This study confirms that use of the Oncotype DX colon cancer test changes treatment decisions and reduces medical costs for patients with Stage II, T3 colon cancer.

Reference: Yu T, Alberts SR, Behrens RJ et al. Real-world comparative economics of a 12-gene assay for prognosis in stage II colon cancer. Presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. May 31-June 4, 2013; Chicago, IL. Abstract  3640.

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