Cost value analyses

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A central pillar of the work done by the DKFZ Division of Health economics is the elaboration of economic evaluations, particularly cost-effectiveness analysis.

Cost-effectiveness analysis evaluates the effectiveness of two or more treatments relative to their cost. Different interventions are currently study in this pillar. One example of the projects included is the economics of colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women in developed countries, accounting for 0.74 million new cases and 0.33 million deaths in 2012. The economic burden of CRC in the European Union in 2009 alone was estimated to amount to €13.1 billion. Early detection and treatment through CRC screening with stool-based tests, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy has been shown to be strongly associated with CRC mortality reduction. Furthermore, economic evidence indicates that the above-mentioned strategies are cost effective compared to no screening. There remain, however, open research questions; for example, as to the identification of an optimal strategy, and the cost-effectiveness of programs to increase screening participation rates. Hence, research has been initiated to better understand the economic disease burden in Germany, to systematically review and update recent evidence on the cost-effectiveness of CRC screening, and to use economic modeling to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CRC screening strategies.

Additionally, the Division is conducting different economic evaluations of specific new cancer interventions. For instance, we are analyzing the cost-effectiveness of risk-stratified screening strategies using either mammography or newer modalities (including combined strategies). Furthermore, the division is looking at the cost-effectiveness of a new skin cancer early detection tool.

Selected Publications

T. Ran, C.-Y- Cheng, B. Misselwitz, H. Brenner, J. Ubels, M. Schlander:
Cost–effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening strategies: A systematic review.
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in press (2019).
DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.01.014.

M. Schlander, C.-Y. Cheng, T. Ran:
The health economics of cancer screening in Germany: Which population-based interventions are cost-effective? [Gesundheitsökonomie der Krebsfrüherkennung in Deutschland: Welche Interventionen sind kosteneffektiv bei bevölkerungsweiter Umsetzung?]
Bundesgesundheitsblatt, (2018) 61(12) 1559-1568.
DOI: 10.1007/s00103-018-2839-3.

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