Cost-effectiveness analysis: Screening, prevention and treatment of cervical cancer

Volume 27, Issue 43, Pages 5921-6102 (9 October 2009)

Screening, prevention and treatment of cervical cancer—A global and regional generalized cost-effectiveness analysis
Pages 6060-6079
Gary Michael Ginsberg, Tessa Tan-Torres Edejer, Jeremy A. Lauer, Cecilia Sepulveda

The paper calculates regional generalized cost-effectiveness estimates of screening, prevention, treatment and combined interventions for cervical cancer.

Using standardised WHO-CHOICE methodology, a cervical cancer model was employed to provide estimates of screening, vaccination and treatment effectiveness. Intervention effectiveness was determined via a population state-transition model (PopMod) that simulates the evolution of a sub-regional population accounting for births, deaths and disease epidemiology. Economic costs of procedures and treatment were estimated, including programme overhead and training costs.

In regions characterized by high income, low mortality and high existing treatment coverage, the addition of any screening programme to the current high treatment levels is very cost-effective. However, based on projections of the future price per dose (representing the economic costs of the vaccination excluding monopolistic rents and vaccine development cost) vaccination is the most cost-effective intervention.

In regions characterized by low income, low mortality and existing treatment coverage around 50%, expanding treatment with or without combining it with screening appears to be cost-effective or very cost-effective. Abandoning treatment in favour of screening in a no-treatment scenario would not be cost-effective. Vaccination is usually the most cost-effective intervention. Penta or tri-annual PAP smears appear to be cost-effective, though when combined with HPV-DNA testing they are not cost-effective.

In regions characterized by low income, high mortality and low treatment levels, expanding treatment with or without adding screening would be very cost-effective. A one off vaccination plus expanding treatment was usually very cost-effective. One-off PAP or VIA screening at age 40 are more cost-effective than other interventions though less effective overall.

From a cost-effectiveness perspective, consideration should be given to implementing vaccination (depending on cost per dose and longevity of efficacy) and screening programmes on a worldwide basis to reduce the burden of disease from cervical cancer. Treatment should also be increased where coverage is low.

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