Endoscopic screening and periodic surveillance for patients with Barrett’s esophagus has been shown to be cost-effective in patients with esophageal dysplasia where treatment for esophageal cancer is limited to esophagectomy.
Most gastroenterologists refer patients with high-grade dysplasia for esophagectomy.
Effective endoscopic therapies are available for nonoperative patients with esophageal cancer.
The cost-effectiveness of screening strategies that incorporate nonsurgical treatment has not yet been determined.
Dr Gerson and colleagues from America designed a Markov model to compare lifetime costs and life expectancy for a cohort of 50-year-old men with chronic reflux symptoms.
|Screening and surveillance of patients with both dysplastic and nondysplastic Barrett’s esophagus costs $12,140 per life-year gained|
|Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The research group compared 10 clinical strategies incorporating combinations of screening and surveillance protocols (no screening, screening with periodic surveillance for both dysplastic and nondysplastic Barrett’s esophagus, or periodic surveillance for dysplasia only).
The researchers employed esophagectomy or surgical and endoscopic treatment or high-grade dysplasia (esophagectomy or intensive surveillance).
There were options of esophagectomy or surgical and endoscopic treatment options for cancer.
The researchers found that screening and surveillance of patients with both dysplastic and nondysplastic Barrett’s esophagus which was then followed by esophagectomy for surgical candidates with high-grade dysplasia or esophageal cancer and endoscopic therapy for cancer patients who were not operative candidates cost $12,140 per life-year gained compared to no screening.
In addition the group showed that other screening strategies, including strategies that had no endoscopic treatment options, were either less effective at the same cost, or equally effective at a higher cost.
Dr Gerson concluded, "The cost-effectiveness of screening and subsequent surveillance of patients with dysplastic as well as nondysplastic Barrett’s esophagus followed by endoscopic or surgical therapy in patients who develop cancer, compares favorably to many widely accepted screening strategies for cancer."