M. Schlander:

Medizinischer Fortschritt im Zeichen von „Degrowth“?

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (May 06, 2024), Newspaper Article, Opinion Editorial.

M. Schlander, W. van Harten, V.P. Retèl, et al.:

The socioeconomic impact of cancer on patients and their relatives: Organisation of European Cancer Institutes task force consensus recommendations on conceptual framework, taxonomy, and research directions.

Lancet Oncology (2024), DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(23)00636-8 (Online ahead of print).

(Article available on request)

Loss of income and out-of-pocket expenditures are important causes of financial hardship in many patients with cancer, even in high-income countries. The far-reaching consequences extend beyond the patients themselves to their relatives, including caregivers and dependents. European research to date has been limited and is hampered by the absence of a coherent theoretical framework and by heterogeneous methods and terminology. To address these shortages, a task force initiated by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) produced 25 recommendations, including a comprehensive definition of socioeconomic impact from the perspective of patients and their relatives, a conceptual framework, and a consistent taxonomy linked to the framework. The OECI task force consensus statement highlights directions for future research with a view towards policy relevance. Beyond descriptive studies into the dimension of the problem, individual severity and predictors of vulnerability should be explored. It is anticipated that the consensus recommendations will facilitate and enhance future research efforts into the socioeconomic impact of cancer and cancer care, providing a crucial reference point for the development and validation of patient-reported outcome instruments aimed at measuring its broader effects.

M.W. Lwin, C.-Y. Cheng, S. Calderazzo, C. Schramm, M. Schlander:

Would initiating colorectal cancer screening from age of 45 be cost-effective in Germany? An individual-level simulation analysis.

Front. Public Health (2024), DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1307427 (Online ahead of print).

Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening has been shown to be effective and cost-saving. However, the trend of rising incidence of early-onset CRC challenges the current national screening program solely for people ≥50 years in Germany, where extending the screening to those 45–49 years might be justified. This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CRC screening strategies starting at 45 years in Germany.
DECAS, an individual-level simulation model accounting for both adenoma and serrated pathways of CRC development and validated with German CRC epidemiology and screening effects, was used for the cost-effectiveness analysis. Four CRC screening strategies starting at age 45, including 10-yearly colonoscopy (COL), annual/biennial fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or the combination of the two, were compared with the current screening offer starting at age 50 years in Germany. Three adherence scenarios were considered: perfect adherence, current adherence, and high screening adherence. For each strategy, a cohort of 100,000 individuals with average CRC risk was simulated from age 20 until 90 or death. Outcomes included CRC cases averted, prevented death, quality-adjusted life-years gained (QALYG), and total incremental costs considering both CRC treatment and screening costs. A 3% discount rate was applied and costs were in 2023 Euro.
Initiating 10-yearly colonoscopy-only or combined FIT + COL strategies at age 45 resulted in incremental gains of 7–28 QALYs with incremental costs of €28,360–€71,759 per 1,000 individuals, compared to the current strategy. The ICER varied from €1,029 to €9,763 per QALYG, and the additional number needed for colonoscopy ranged from 129 to 885 per 1,000 individuals. Among the alternatives, a three times colonoscopy strategy starting at 45 years of age proves to be the most effective, while the FIT-only strategy was dominated by the currently implemented strategy. The findings remained consistent across probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
The cost-effectiveness findings support initiating CRC screening at age 45 with either colonoscopy alone or combined with FIT, demonstrating substantial gains in quality-adjusted life-years with a modest increase in costs. Our findings emphasize the importance of implementing CRC screening 5 years earlier than the current practice to achieve more significant health and economic benefits.

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