Multigene assays and molecular markers in breast cancer: Systematic review of health economic analyses

Roman Rouzier, Paolo Pronzato, Elisabeth Chéreau, Josh Carlson, Barnaby Hunt, William J. Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer is the most common female cancer and is associated with a significant clinical and economic burden. Multigene assays and molecular markers represent an opportunity to direct chemotherapy only to patients likely to have significant benefit. This systematic review examines published health economic analyses to assess the support for adjuvant therapy decision making. Literature searches of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and congress databases were carried out to identify economic evaluations of multigene assays and molecular markers published between 2002 and 2012. After screening and data extraction, study quality was assessed using the Quality of Health Economic Studies instrument. The review identified 29 publications that reported evaluations of two assays: Oncotype DX® and MammaPrint. Studies of both tests provided evidence that their routine use was cost saving or cost-effective versus conventional approaches. Benefits were driven by optimal allocation of adjuvant chemotherapy and reduction in chemotherapy utilization. Findings were sensitive to variation in the frequency of chemotherapy prescription, chemotherapy costs, and patients' risk profiles. Evidence suggests that multigene assays are likely cost saving or cost-effective relative to current approaches to adjuvant therapy. They should benefit decision making in early-stage breast cancer in a variety of settings worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-637
Number of pages17
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Gene assay
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Health economics
  • Molecular diagnostic techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Multigene assays and molecular markers in breast cancer: Systematic review of health economic analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this