Cost-Effectiveness of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Screening with Epstein-Barr Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction or Serology in High-Incidence Populations Worldwide. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Miller, J. A., Le, Q., Pinsky, B. A., Wang, H. 2020


BACKGROUND: The incidence of endemic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) varies considerably worldwide. In high-incidence regions, screening trials have been conducted. We estimated the mortality reduction and cost-effectiveness of EBV-based NPC screening in populations worldwide.METHODS: We identified 380 populations in 132 countries with incident NPC and developed a decision-analytic model to compare ten unique onetime screening strategies to no screening for men and women at age 50years. Screening performance and the stage distribution of undiagnosed NPC were derived from a systematic review of prospective screening trials.RESULTS: Screening was cost-effective in up to 14.5% of populations, depending on the screening strategy. These populations were limited to East Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, or were Asian, Pacific Islander, or Inuit populations in North America. A combination of serology and nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was most cost-effective, but other combinations of serologic and/or plasma PCR screening were also cost-effective. The estimated reduction in NPC mortality was similar across screening strategies. For a hypothetical cohort of patients in China, 10-year survival improved from 71.0% (95%CI = 68.8%-73.0%) without screening to a median of 86.3% (range = 83.5%-88.2%) with screening. This corresponded to a median 10-year reduction in NPC mortality of 52.9% (range= 43.1%-59.3%). Screening interval impacted absolute mortality reduction and cost-effectiveness.CONCLUSIONS: We observed decreased NPC mortality with EBV-based screening. Screening was cost-effective in many high-incidence populations and could be extended to men and women as early as age 40years in select regions. These findings may be useful when choosing among local public health initiatives.

View details for DOI 10.1093/jnci/djaa198

View details for PubMedID 33351145