European cost-effectiveness study of uPA/PAI-1 biomarkers to guide adjuvant chemotherapy decisions in breast cancer

Sophie Marguet*, Chafika Mazouni, Bram L. T. Ramaekers, Ariane Dunant, Ronald Kates, Volker R. Jacobs, Manuela A. Joore, Nadia Harbeck, Julia Bonastre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: This study investigated the cost effectiveness of guideline-recommended (American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society of Medical Oncology) urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)/plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) biomarkers to guide adjuvant chemotherapy decisions for hormone receptor-positive, node-negative early breast cancer patients at intermediate risk of relapse, in France, Germany, and The Netherlands. Methods: uPA/PAI-1 testing was compared to chemotherapy for all patients and to no chemotherapy in two age-related subgroups (35-49 and 50-75 years). A partitioned survival analysis was performed using patient-level data for survival outcomes and secondary sources. Mean quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs were estimated over a lifetime horizon to calculate the incremental net monetary benefit (INMB) at a willingness-to-pay of (sic)50,000/QALY. Uncertainty was explored through bootstrap and probabilistic sensitivity analysis using 5000 replicates. Results: In the 35-49 year age group, INMBs were negative when uPA/PAI-1 testing was compared to chemotherapy for all patients but positive when it was compared to no chemotherapy for the three countries. In the 50-75 year age group, INMBs of uPA/PAI-1 testing compared to both reference strategies were positive in the three countries, with cost-effectiveness probabilities for the uPA/PAI-1 strategy of 65%, 70%, and 59% for France, Germany, and the Netherlands, respectively, compared with chemotherapy for all patients, and 64%, 58%, and 65%, respectively, compared with no chemotherapy. Conclusions: uPA/PAI-1 testing could allow the selection of patients older than 50 years requiring chemotherapy in this population, but the cost effectiveness of this strategy is uncertain. Chemotherapy for all patients is the most cost-effective strategy for patients younger than 50 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-179
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Cost effectiveness
  • uPA/PAI-1
  • Quality of life

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