Anastasios Skroumpelos, Theodoros Agorastos, Theodoros Constantinidis, Kimon Chatzistamatiou, John Kyriopoulos
Background: HPV test appears to be more effective in cervical cancer (CC) screening. However, the decision of its adoption as a primary screening method by substituting the established cytology lies in the evaluation of multiple criteria. Aim of this study is to evaluate the economic and clinical impact of HPV test as primary screening method for CC.
Methods: A decision tree and a Markov model were developed to simulate the screening algorithm and the natural history of CC. Fourteen different screening strategies were evaluated, for women 25-65 years old. Clinical inputs were drawn from the HERMES study and cost inputs from the official price lists. In the absence of CC treatment cost data, the respective Spanish costs were used after being converted to 2017 Greek values. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted.
Results: All screening strategies, that offer as primary screening method triennial HPV genotyping (simultaneous or reflex) alone or as co-testing with cytology appear to be more effective than all other strategies, with regards to both annual CC mortality, due to missed disease (-10.1), and CC incidence(-7.5) versus annual cytology (current practice). Of those, the strategy with HPV test with simultaneous 16/18 genotyping is the strategy that provides savings of 1.050 million euros annually. However, when the above strategy is offered quinquennially despite the fact that outcomes are decreased it remains more effective than current practice (-7.7 deaths and -1.3 incidence) and more savings per death averted (1.323 million) or incidence reduced (7.837 million) are realized.
Conclusions: HPV 16/18 genotyping as a primary screening method for CC appears to be one of the most effective strategies and dominates current practice in respect to both cost and outcomes. Even when compared with all other strategies, the outcomes that it generates justify the cost that it requires, representing a good value for money alternative.