Scientists have said that a standard gene testing for patients who have been diagnosed with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) will be more cost-effective. They have said that the financial estimate will support the widespread adoption of this approach. A study of genetic tests and modified first-line cure shows that using genetic testing to match the treatment of KIT differences to the imatinib dose is a less expensive way as compared to empirical imatinib. Experts have said that genetic test helps doctors to give chemotherapy in a tumor-specific way. In this case, those patients who do not get any relief from imatinib are given the alternative cure. This study has been published in JAMA Network Open.
The author of the study, David Geffen has said that genetic test is cheap as it avoids futile treatment and low rates of disease growth. He has made a Markov model to match the efficiency of the targeted gene test and modified first-line therapy with imatinib therapy in patients with GIST. The key factor for assessing the cost efficiency of the gene test has been quality of life years (QALY). The cost-efficiency of gene testing is defined by the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. An incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, which is less than $100000, is considered cost-effective. As per the study, a therapy directed by the gene test is linked with an increase of 0.10 QALYs, at $9513 as compared to empirical imatinib. It leads to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $92100. However, experts have said that the findings are sensitive to the costs of targeted gene tests, drugs, and health utility model efforts.
Experts have said that 70 percent of times, a targeted gene test is quite cost-efficient. The results of the study show that therapy directed by targeted gene tests can be cheaper if it gets hold of more share in the market, as of now imatinib therapy has a larger market share. Experts have advised patients with newly detected GIST that they should go for genetic testing before the start of first-line chemotherapy. They have said that this way patients who do not get any relief from imatinib, can be given a better treatment for their lumps. Experts have said that there is a need for further studies to substantiate the findings.