Staging MR lymphangiography of the axilla for early breast cancer: cost-effectiveness analysis.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of MR lymphangiography-based strategies with that of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy alone in the axillary staging of early breast cancer.
A decision-analytic Markov Model was developed to estimate quality-adjusted life expectancy and lifetime costs among 61-year-old women with clinically node-negative early breast cancer. Three axillary staging strategies were compared: MR lymphangiography alone, combined MR lymphangiography-SLN biopsy, and SLN biopsy alone. The model incorporated treatment decisions, outcome, and costs consequent to axillary staging results. An incremental cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to compare strategies. The effect of changes in key parameters on results was addressed in sensitivity analysis.
In the base-case analysis, combined MR lymphangiography-SLN biopsy was associated with the highest quality-adjusted life expectancy (13.970 years) and cost ($63,582), followed by SLN biopsy alone (13.958 years, $62,462) and MR lymphangiography alone (13.957 years, $61,605). MR lymphangiography-SLN biopsy and SLN biopsy both were associated with higher life expectancy and cost relative to those of MR lymphangiography. MR lymphangiography-SLN biopsy, however, was associated with greater overall life expectancy and greater added life expectancy per dollar than was SLN biopsy. SLN biopsy alone therefore was not considered cost-effective, but MR lymphangiography and MR lymphangiography-SLN biopsy remained competing choices. Preference of MR lymphangiography strategies was most dependent on the sensitivity of MR lymphangiography and SLN biopsy and on the quality-of-life consequences of SLN biopsy and axillary lymph node dissection, but otherwise was stable across most parameter ranges tested.
From a cost-effectiveness perspective, MR lymphangiography strategies for axillary staging of early breast cancer are preferred over SLN biopsy alone. The sensitivity of MR lymphangiography is a critical determinant of the cost-effectiveness of MR lymphangiography strategies and merits further investigation in the care of patients with early breast cancer.
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ABSTRACT: Nanoparticles are frequently suggested as diagnostic agents. However, except for iron oxide nanoparticles, diagnostic nanoparticles have been barely incorporated into clinical use so far. This is predominantly due to difficulties in achieving acceptable pharmacokinetic properties and reproducible particle uniformity as well as to concerns about toxicity, biodegradation, and elimination. Reasonable indications for the clinical utilization of nanoparticles should consider their biologic behavior. For example, many nanoparticles are taken up by macrophages and accumulate in macrophage-rich tissues. Thus, they can be used to provide contrast in liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and inflammatory lesions (eg, atherosclerotic plaques). Furthermore, cells can be efficiently labeled with nanoparticles, enabling the localization of implanted (stem) cells and tissue-engineered grafts as well as in vivo migration studies of cells. The potential of using nanoparticles for molecular imaging is compromised because their pharmacokinetic properties are difficult to control. Ideal targets for nanoparticles are localized on the endothelial luminal surface, whereas targeted nanoparticle delivery to extravascular structures is often limited and difficult to separate from an underlying enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The majority of clinically used nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems are based on the EPR effect, and, for their more personalized use, imaging markers can be incorporated to monitor biodistribution, target site accumulation, drug release, and treatment efficacy. In conclusion, although nanoparticles are not always the right choice for molecular imaging (because smaller or larger molecules might provide more specific information), there are other diagnostic and theranostic applications for which nanoparticles hold substantial clinical potential.Radiology 10/2014; 273(1):10-28. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE. In breast-conserving surgery for nonpalpable breast cancers, surgical reexcision rates are lower with radioactive seed localization (RSL) than wire localization. We evaluated the cost-benefit of switching from wire localization to RSL in two competing payment systems: a fee-for-service (FFS) system and a bundled payment system, which is typical for accountable care organizations. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A Monte Carlo simulation was developed to compare the cost-benefit of RSL and wire localization. Equipment utilization, procedural workflows, and regulatory overhead differentiate the cost between RSL and wire localization. To define a distribution of possible cost scenarios, the simulation randomly varied cost drivers within fixed ranges determined by hospital data, published literature, and expert input. Each scenario was replicated 1000 times using the pseudorandom number generator within Microsoft Excel, and results were analyzed for convergence. RESULTS. In a bundled payment system, RSL reduced total health care cost per patient relative to wire localization by an average of $115, translating into increased facility margin. In an FFS system, RSL reduced total health care cost per patient relative to wire localization by an average of $595 but resulted in decreased facility margin because of fewer surgeries. CONCLUSION. In a bundled payment system, RSL results in a modest reduction of cost per patient over wire localization and slightly increased margin. A fee-for-service system suffers moderate loss of revenue per patient with RSL, largely due to lower reexcision rates. The fee-for-service system creates a significant financial disincentive for providers to use RSL, although it improves clinical outcomes and reduces total health care costs.American Journal of Roentgenology 06/2014; 202(6):1383-8. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Identifying the presence of axillary node and internal mammary node metastases in patients with invasive breast cancer is critical for determining prognosis and for deciding on appropriate treatment. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is the definitive method to exclude axillary metastases. Patients with positive SLNB results generally undergo axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). The benefit of preoperative identification of axillary metastases is that it allows the surgeon to proceed directly to ALND and to avoid an unnecessary SLNB and the need for a second surgical procedure involving the axillary nodes. Knowledge of the important anatomic landmarks of the axilla is important in finding and accurately reporting suspicious lymph nodes. The pathologic features of nodal metastases illuminate the imaging appearances of these nodes, as depicted with all modalities. Ultrasonography (US) is the primary imaging modality for evaluating axillary nodes. Morphologic criteria, such as cortical thickening, hilar effacement, and nonhilar cortical blood flow, are more important than size criteria in the identification of metastases. US-guided lymph node sampling, especially with core biopsy, is invaluable in confirming the presence of a metastasis in a suspicious node. Core biopsy has been shown to be equal in safety to fine needle aspiration and has a significantly lower false-negative rate. Magnetic resonance imaging is also useful, with the added benefit of providing a global view of both axillae. Computed tomography and radionuclide imaging play a lesser role in imaging the axilla. Preoperative image-based identification and sampling of abnormal lymph nodes that have a high positive predictive value for metastases is an extremely important component in the management of patients with invasive breast cancer. © RSNA, 2013.Radiographics 10/2013; 33(6):1589-1612. · 2.73 Impact Factor