Study finds blood-based CRC tests most cost-effective CRC screening test alternative

A blood-based colorectal cancer test was found to be the most cost-effective alternative colorectal cancer test for people who didn't want a colonoscopy or fecal immunochemical test, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers used the microsimulation screening analysis-colon model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of screening with capsule endoscopy, computed tomographic colonography, multitarget stool DNA tests and the mSEPT9 blood test, according to the February 2021 study. They also compared the alternatives with FIT and colonoscopy screenings.

Quality-adjusted life-years gained, the number of colonoscopies and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were projected, and researchers assumed a willingness-to-pay-threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. The mSEPT9 had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $63,252.

When assuming perfect adherence, mSEPT9 had more adjusted life-years gained and CRC cases averted than FIT screening, but the test also led to a higher rate of colonoscopy referrals.

Researchers concluded, "This study suggests that for individuals not willing to participate in FIT or [colonoscopy], mSEPT9 is the test of choice if the high colonoscopy referral rate is acceptable to them."

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