Background: Response-guided neoadjuvant chemotherapy (RG-NACT) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is effective in treating oestrogen receptor positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (ER-positive/HER2-negative) breast cancer. We estimated the expected cost-effectiveness and resources required for its implementation compared to conventional-NACT.
Methods: A Markov model compared costs, quality-adjusted-life-years (QALYs) and costs/QALY of RG-NACT vs. conventional-NACT, from a hospital perspective over a 5-year time horizon. Health services required for and health outcomes of implementation were estimated via resource modelling analysis, considering a current (4 %) and a full (100 %) implementation scenario.
Results: RG-NACT was expected to be more effective and less costly than conventional NACT in both implementation scenarios, with 94 % (current) and 95 % (full) certainty, at a willingness to pay threshold of €20.000/QALY. Fully implementing RG-NACT in the Dutch target population of 6306 patients requires additional 5335 MRI examinations and an (absolute) increase in the number of MRI technologists, by 3.6 fte (full-time equivalent), and of breast radiologists, by 0.4 fte. On the other hand, it prevents 9 additional relapses, 143 cancer deaths, 23 congestive heart failure events and 2 myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukaemia events.
Conclusion: Considering cost-effectiveness, RG-NACT is expected to dominate conventional-NACT. While personnel capacity is likely to be sufficient for a full implementation scenario, MRI utilization needs to be intensified.
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
- Resource utilization
- Response monitoring
- Breast cancer