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  • Publication
    Cost-Effectiveness Analyses of Lung Cancer Screening Using Low-Dose Computed Tomography: A Systematic Review Assessing Strategy Comparison and Risk Stratification
    Objectives: Our first study objective was to assess the range of lung cancer screening intervals compared within cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) and to examine the implications for the strategies identified as optimally cost effective; the second objective was to examine if and how risk subgroup-specific policies were considered. Methods: PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were searched for model-based CEAs of LDCT lung screening. The retrieved studies were assessed to examine if the analyses considered sufficient strategy variation to permit incremental estimation of cost effectiveness. Regarding risk selection, we examined if analyses considered alternative risk strata in separate analyses or as alternative risk-based eligibility criteria for screening. Results: The search identified 33 eligible CEAs, 23 of which only considered one screening frequency. Of the 10 analyses considering multiple screening intervals, only 4 included intervals longer than 2 years. Within the 10 studies considering multiple intervals, the optimal policy choice would differ in 5 if biennial intervals or longer had not been considered. Nineteen studies conducted risk subgroup analyses, 12 of which assumed that subgroup-specific policies were possible and 7 of which assumed that a common screening policy applies to all those screened. Conclusions: The comparison of multiple strategies is recognised as good practice in CEA when seeking optimal policies. Studies that do include multiple intervals indicate that screening intervals longer than 1 year can be relevant. The omission of intervals of 2 years or longer from CEAs of LDCT screening could lead to the adoption of sub-optimal policies. There also is scope for greater consideration of risk-stratified policies which tailor screening intensity to estimated disease risk. Policy makers should take care when interpreting current evidence before implementing lung screening.