The costs of computed tomographic colonography (CTC) are not yet established for screening use. In our study, we estimated the threshold costs for which CTC screening would be a cost-effective alternative to colonoscopy for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the general population. We used the MISCAN-colon microsi-mulation model to estimate the costs and life-years gained of screening persons aged 50-80 years for 4 screening strategies: (i) optical colonoscopy; and CTC with referral to optical colonoscopy of (ii) any suspected polyp; (iii) a suspected polyp ≥6 mm and (iv) a suspected polyp ≥ 10 mm. For each of the 4 strategies, screen intervals of 5, 10, 15 and 20 years were considered. Subsequently, for each CTC strategy and interval, the threshold costs of CTC were calculated. We performed a sensitivity analysis to assess the effect of uncertain model parameters on the threshold costs. With equal costs ($662), optical colonoscopy dominated CTC screening. For CTC to gain similar life-years as colonoscopy screening every 10 years, it should be offered every 5 years with referral of polyps ≥6 mm. For this strategy to be as cost-effective as colonoscopy screening, the costs must not exceed $285 or 43% of colonoscopy costs (range in sensitivity analysis: 39-47%). With 25% higher adherence than colonoscopy, CTC threshold costs could be 71% of colonoscopy costs. Our estimate of 43% is considerably lower than previous estimates in literature, because previous studies only compared CTC screening to 10-yearly colonoscopy, where we compared to different intervals of colonoscopy screening.

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International Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lansdorp-Vogelaar, I., van Ballegooijen, M., Zauber, A., Boer, R., Wilschut, J., & Habbema, D. (2009). At what costs will screening with CT colonography be competitive? A cost-effectiveness approach. International Journal of Cancer, 124(5), 1161–1168. doi:10.1002/ijc.24025