Cost-effectiveness analysis of the 70-gene signature compared with clinical assessment in breast cancer based on a randomised controlled trial

Valesca P. Retèl*, Danalyn Byng, Sabine C. Linn, Katarzyna Jóźwiak, Hendrik Koffijberg, Emiel J. Rutgers, Fatima Cardoso, Martine J. Piccart, Coralie Poncet, Laura J. van 't Veer, Wim H. van Harten

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: The clinical utility of the 70-gene signature (MammaPrint®) to guide chemotherapy use in T1-3N0-1M0 breast cancer was demonstrated in the Microarray in Node-Negative and 1 to 3 Positive Lymph Node Disease May Avoid Chemotherapy (MINDACT) study. One thousand four ninety seven of 3356 (46.2%) enrolled patients with high clinical risk (in accordance with the modified Adjuvant! Online clinical-pathological assessment) had a low-risk 70-gene signature. Using patient-level data from the MINDACT trial, the cost-effectiveness of using the 70-gene signature to guide adjuvant chemotherapy selection for clinical high risk, estrogen receptor positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor 2 negative (HER2-) patients was analysed. Patients and methods: A hybrid decision tree-Markov model simulated treatment strategies in accordance with the 70-gene signature with clinical assessment versus clinical assessment alone, over a 10-year time horizon. Primary outcomes were quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), country-specific costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for six countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK and the US. Results: Treatment strategies guided by the 70-gene signature result in more QALYs compared with clinical assessment alone. Costs of the 70-gene signature strategy were lower in five of six countries. This led to dominance of the 70-gene signature in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and the US and to a cost-effective situation in the UK (ICER £22,910/QALY). Annual national cost savings were €4.2M (Belgium), €24.7M (France), €45.1M (Germany), €12.7M (Netherlands) and $244M (US). UK budget increase was £8.4M. Conclusion: Using the 70-gene signature to safely guide chemotherapy de-escalation in clinical high risk patients with ER+/HER2- tumours is cost-effective compared with using clinical assessment alone. Long-term follow-up and outcomes from the MINDACT trial are necessary to address uncertainties in model inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of cancer
Early online date11 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Breast cancer
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Gene expression profiling
  • MammaPrint®
  • 70-gene signature


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