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- PublicationColorectal Cancer Screening within Colonoscopy Capacity Constraints: Can FIT-Based Programs Save More Lives by Trading off More Sensitive Test Cutoffs against Longer Screening Intervals?Introduction. Colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention programs using fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) in screening rely on colonoscopy for secondary and surveillance testing. Colonoscopy capacity is an important constraint. Some European programs lack sufficient capacity to provide optimal screening intensity regarding age ranges, intervals, and FIT cutoffs. It is currently unclear how to optimize programs within colonoscopy capacity constraints. Design. Microsimulation modeling, using the MISCAN-Colon model, was used to determine if more effective CRC screening programs can be identified within constrained colonoscopy capacity. A total of 525 strategies were modeled and compared, varying 3 key screening parameters: screening intervals, age ranges, and FIT cutoffs, including previously unevaluated 4- and 5-year screening intervals (using a lifetime horizon and 100% adherence). Results were compared with the policy decisions taken in Ireland to provide CRC screening within available colonoscopy capacity. Outcomes estimated net costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and required colonoscopies. The optimal strategies within finite colonoscopy capacity constraints were identified. Results. Combining a reduced FIT cutoff of 10 µg Hb/g, an extended screening interval of 4 y and an age range of 60–72 y requires 6% fewer colonoscopies, reduces net costs by 23% while preventing 15% more CRC deaths and saving 16% more QALYs relative to a strategy (FIT 40 µg Hb/g, 2-yearly, 60–70 year) approximating current policy. Conclusion. Previously overlooked longer screening intervals may optimize cancer prevention with finite colonoscopy capacity constraints. Changes could save lives, reduce costs, and relieve colonoscopy capacity pressures. These findings are relevant to CRC screening programs across Europe that employ FIT-based testing, which face colonoscopy capacity constraints.
Scopus© Citations 4 7
- PublicationA Systematic Review of Cost-Effectiveness Analyses of Colorectal Cancer Screening in Europe: Have Studies Included Optimal Screening Intensities?Objective: To assess the range of strategies analysed in European cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with respect to the screening intervals, age ranges and test cut-offs used to define positivity, to examine how this might influence what strategies are found to be optimal, and compare them with the current screening policies with a focus on the screening interval. Methods: We searched PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus for peer-reviewed, model-based CEAs of CRC screening. We included studies on average-risk European populations using the guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) or faecal immunochemical test (FIT). We adapted Drummond’s ten-point checklist to appraise study quality. Results: We included 39 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Biennial screening was the most frequently used interval which was analysed in 37 studies. Annual screening was assessed in 13 studies, all of which found it optimally cost-effective. Despite this, 25 of 26 European stool-based programmes use biennial screening. Many CEAs did not vary the age range, but the 14 that did generally found broader ranges optimal. Only 11 studies considered alternative FIT cut-offs, 9 of which found lower cut-offs superior. Conflicts between current policy and CEA evidence are less clear regarding age ranges and cut-offs. Conclusions: The existing CEA evidence indicates that the widely adopted biennial frequency of stool-based testing in Europe is suboptimal. It is likely that many more lives could be saved throughout Europe if programmes could be offered with more intensive annual screening.