Background: Multiple reviews demonstrated high variability in effectiveness and cost-effectiveness outcomes among studies on breast cancer screening (BCS) programmes. No study to our knowledge has summarized the current evidence on determinants of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the most used BCS approaches or tried to explain differences in conclusions of systematic reviews on this topic. Based on published reviews, this systematic review aims to assess the degree of variability of determinants for (a) effectiveness and (b) cost-effectiveness of BCS programmes using mammography, clinical breast examination, breast self-examination, ultrasonography, or their combinations among the general population.
Methods: We will perform a comprehensive systematic literature search in Cochrane, Scopus, Embase, and Medline (via Pubmed). The search will be supplemented with hand searching of references of the included reviews, with hand searching in the specialized journals, and by contacting prominent experts in the field. Additional search for grey literature will be conducted on the websites of international cancer associations and networks. Two trained research assistants will screen titles and abstracts of publications independently, with at least random 10% of all abstracts being also screened by the principal researcher. The full texts of the systematic reviews will then be screened independently by two authors, and disagreements will be solved by consensus. The included reviews will be grouped by publication year, outcomes, designs of original studies, and quality. Additionally, for reviews published since 2011, transparency in reporting will be assessed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist for the review on determinants of effectiveness and a modified PRISMA checklist for the review on determinants for cost-effectiveness. The study will apply the Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews checklist to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. We will report the data extracted from the systematic reviews in a systematic format. Meta-meta-analysis of extracted data will be conducted when feasible. Discussion: This systematic review of reviews will examine the degree of variability in the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of BCS programmes.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42016050764and CRD42016050765.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Breast cancer screening, Cost-effectiveness, Costs, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Systematic review
Sponsor The work reported in this paper was undertaken during the tenure of a postdoctoral fellowship of Dr. Olena Mandrik from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, partially supported by the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Actions, People, Co-funding of regional, national, and international programmes (COFUND).
Persistent URL,
Journal Systematic Reviews
Mandrik, E.A, Ekwunife, O.I, Zielonke, N, Meheus, F, Severens, J.L, Lhachimi, S.K, & Murillo, R. (2017). What determines the effects and costs of breast cancer screening?. Systematic Reviews, 6(1). doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0510-y