Applying Risk-Based Follow-Up Strategies on the Dutch Breast Cancer Population: Consequences for Care and Costs

Teresa Draeger, Vinzenz Voelkel, Catharina G.M. Groothuis-Oudshoorn, Miha Lavric, Jeroen Veltman, Anneriet Dassen, Liesbeth J. Boersma, Annemieke Witteveen, Gabe S. Sonke, Hendrik Koffijberg, Sabine Siesling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Objectives: An important aim of follow-up after primary breast cancer treatment is early detection of locoregional recurrences (LRR). This study compares 2 personalized follow-up scheme simulations based on LRR risk predictions provided by a time-dependent prognostic model for breast cancer LRR and quantifies their possible follow-up efficiency.

Methods: Surgically treated early breast cancer patients between 2003 and 2008 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. The INFLUENCE nomogram was used to estimate the 5-year annual LRR. Applying 2 thresholds, they were defined according to Youden's J-statistic and a predefined follow-up sensitivity of 95%, respectively. These patient's risk estimations served as the basis for scheduling follow-up visits; 2 personalized follow-up schemes were simulated. The number of potentially saved follow-up visits and corresponding cost savings for each follow-up scheme were compared with the current Dutch breast cancer guideline recommendation and the observed utilization of follow-up on a training and testing cohort.

Results: Using LRR risk-predictions for 30 379 Dutch breast cancer patients from 2003 to 2006 (training cohort), 2 thresholds were calculated. The threshold according to Youden's approach yielded a follow-up sensitivity of 62.5% and a potential saving of 62.1% of follow-up visits and €24.8 million in 5 years. When the threshold corresponding to 95% follow-up sensitivity was used, 17% of follow-up visits and €7 million were saved compared with the guidelines. Similar results were obtained by applying these thresholds to the testing cohort of 11 462 patients from 2007 to 2008. Compared with the observed utilization of follow-up, the potential cost-savings decline moderately.

Conclusions: Personalized follow-up schemes based on the INFLUENCE nomogram's individual risk estimations for breast cancer LRR could decrease the number of follow-up visits if one accepts a limited risk of delayed LRR detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1156
Number of pages8
JournalValue in health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Follow-up
  • Health services research
  • Locoregional recurrence
  • Mamma carcinoma
  • Personalized care
  • Prediction model
  • Cancer registry
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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