INTRODUCTION: The use of a bronchial genomic classifier has been shown to improve the diagnostic accuracy of bronchoscopy for suspected lung cancer by identifying patients who may be more suitable for radiographic surveillance as opposed to invasive procedures. Our objective was to assess the cost-effectiveness of bronchoscopy plus a genomic classifier versus bronchoscopy alone in the diagnostic work-up of patients at intermediate risk for lung cancer.
METHODS: A decision-analytic Markov model was developed to project the costs and effects of two competing strategies by using test performance from the Airway Epithelial Gene Expression in the Diagnosis of Lung Cancer-1 and Airway Epithelial Gene Expression in the Diagnosis of Lung Cancer-2 studies. The diagnostic accuracy of noninvasive and invasive follow-up, as well as associated adverse event rates, were derived from published literature. Procedure costs were based on claims data and 2016 inpatient and outpatient reimbursement amounts. The model projected the number of invasive follow-up procedures, 2-year costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) by strategy, and resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratio discounted at 3% per annum.
RESULTS: Use of the genomic classifier reduced invasive procedures by 28% at 1 month and 18% at 2 years, respectively. Total costs and QALY gain were similar with classifier use ($27,221 versus $27,183 and 1.512 versus 1.509, respectively), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $15,052 per QALY.
CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggests that the use of a genomic classifier is associated with meaningful reductions in invasive procedures at about equal costs and is therefore a high-value strategy in the diagnostic work-up of patients at intermediate risk of lung cancer.