Breast cancer screening with digital breast tomosynthesis compared with digital mammography was predicted to increase life-years gained by 7% and decrease false-positive results by 2% and was cost-effective at a threshold of €35 000 per life-year gained.

Background Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a promising screening test, but its outcomes and cost-effectiveness remain uncertain.

Purpose To determine if biennial DBT is cost-effective in a screening setting, when compared with digital mammography (DM) in the Netherlands, and to quantify the uncertainty.

Materials and Methods In this study, performed from March 2018 to February 2019, the MIcrosimulation SCreening ANalysis model was used to conduct a probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA), consisting of 10 000 model runs with 1 000 000 women simulated per run. The Bayesian Cost-Effectiveness Analysis package and the Sheffield Accelerated Value of Information tool were used to process PSA outcomes. Two simulated cohorts born in 1970 were invited to undergo biennial screening between ages 50 and 74 years—one cohort was assigned to DM screening, and one was assigned to DBT screening. DM input parameters were based on data from the Dutch breast cancer screening program. DBT parameters were based on literature and expert opinion. Willingness-to-pay thresholds of €20 000 ($22 000) and €35 000 ($38 500) per life-year gained (LYG) were considered. Effects and costs were discounted at 3.5% per year.

Results DBT resulted in a gain of 13 additional life-years per 1000 women invited to screening (7% increase, 13 of 193), followed over lifetime, compared with DM and led to 2% (four of 159) fewer false-positive results. DBT screening led to incremental discounted lifetime effects of 5.09 LYGs (95% confidence interval: −0.80, 9.70) and an increase in lifetime costs of €137 555 ($151 311) per 1000 women (95% confidence interval: €31 093 [$34 202], €263 537 [$289 891]) compared with DM, resulting in a mean incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €27 023 ($29 725) per LYG. The probability of DBT being more cost-effective was 0.36 at €20 000 and 0.66 at €35 000 per LYG.

Conclusion Switching from digital mammography to biennial digital breast tomosynthesis is not cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €20 000 per life-year gained, but digital breast tomosynthesis has a higher probability of being more cost-effective than digital mammography at a threshold of €35 000 per life-year gained.,
Department of Public Health

Sankatsing, V.D.V., Juraniec, K., Grimm, S.E., Joore, M.A, Pijnappel, W.W.M.P, de Koning, H.J, & van Ravesteyn, N.T. (2020). Cost-effectiveness of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis in Population-based Breast Cancer Screening: A Probabilistic Sensitivity Analysis. Radiology, 297(1), 40–48. doi:10.1148/radiol.2020192505