Scientific advances have improved our ability to target cancer interventions to individuals who will benefit most and spare the risks and costs to those who will derive little benefit or even be harmed. Several approaches are currently used for targeting interventions for cancer risk reduction, screening, and treatment, including risk prediction algorithms for identifying high-risk subgroups and diagnostic tests for tumor markers and germline genetic mutations. Economic evaluation can inform decisions about the use of targeted interventions, which may be more costly than traditional strategies. However, assessing the impact of a targeted intervention on costs and health outcomes requires explicit consideration of the method of targeting. In this study, we describe the importance of this principle by reviewing published cost-effectiveness analyses of targeted interventions in breast cancer. Few studies we identified explicitly evaluated the relationships among the method of targeting, the accuracy of the targeting test, and outcomes of the targeted intervention. Those that did found that characteristics of targeting tests had a substantial impact on outcomes. We posit that the method of targeting and the outcomes of a targeted intervention are inextricably linked and recommend that cost-effectiveness analyses of targeted interventions explicitly consider costs and outcomes of the method of targeting.
View details for DOI 10.1097/GIM.0b013e31821f3e64
View details for Web of Science ID 000295884200001
View details for PubMedID 21637102