Is FDG PET/CT cost-effective for pre-operation staging of potentially operative non-small cell lung cancer? - From Chinese healthcare system perspective

Yu-ting Wang, Gang Huang
European Journal of Radiology 2012, 81 (8): e903-9

OBJECTIVES: The remarkable morbidity and mortality of lung cancer in the large population address major economic challenges to Chinese healthcare system. This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET)/CT for staging patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in China.

METHODS: Management of potentially operative NSCLC was modeled on decision analysis employing data in China. The strategies compared were conventional CT staging (strategy A), additional PET/CT in all patients (strategy B) or only in patients with normal-sized lymph nodes on CT (strategy C). Published medical data for Chinese patients was extracted. The costs corresponded to reimbursement by Chinese public health provider in 2010. Uncertainly of employed parameters was calculated in sensitivity analysis.

RESULTS: Taking strategy A as baseline, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of strategy B was 23,800RMB ($3500) per life year saved, which was acceptable in views of a developing country as China; while strategy C exhibited some loss of life years. Sensitivity analysis suggested the ICER (B-A) was raised more remarkably by a deterioration of PET specificity than by that of its sensitivity. The ICER was turned negative by PET specificity lower than 0.79. Economically, PET cost was proportional to the ICER (B-A), and decrease of palliative therapy cost could reduce both the ICER and overall cost.

CONCLUSIONS: The PET/CT strategy is potentially cost-effective for management of NSCLC in China. Patients with nodal-positive CT results are not suggested to be excluded from further PET/CT. Furthermore, maintaining high specificity of PET in clinical scenarios is crucial. Prospective trials are warranted to transfer these results into policy making.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"