Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology

Micro-cost Analysis of ALK Rearrangement Testing by FISH to Determine Eligibility for Crizotinib Therapy in NSCLC: Implications for Cost Effectiveness of Testing and Treatment

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology 2014:8 145-152

Original Research

Published on 08 Dec 2014

DOI: 10.4137/CMO.S19236

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Break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is the gold standard test for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement. However, this methodology often is assumed to be expensive and potentially cost-prohibitive given the low prevalence of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases. To more accurately estimate the cost of ALK testing by FISH, we developed a micro-cost model that accounts for all cost elements of the assay, including laboratory reagents, supplies, capital equipment, technical and pathologist labor, and the acquisition cost of the commercial test and associated reagent kits and controls. By applying a set of real-world base-case parameter values, we determined that the cost of a single ALK break-apart FISH test result is $278.01. Sensitivity analysis on the parameters of batch size, testing efficiency, and the cost of the commercial diagnostic testing products revealed that the cost per result is highly sensitive to batch size, but much less so to efficiency or product cost. This implies that ALK testing by FISH will be most cost effective when performed in high-volume centers. Our results indicate that testing cost may not be the primary determinant of crizotinib (XALKori®) treatment cost effectiveness, and suggest that testing cost is an insufficient reason to limit the use of FISH testing for ALK rearrangement.




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