Diagnostic accuracy, clinical effectiveness and budget impact of screening BRCA1/2 mutation carriers by MRI. A health technology assessment

Tjelle TE, Torkilseng EB, Movik E, Harboe I, Couto E, Juvet LK.
Record ID 32018000791
Authors' objectives: The objective of this health technology assessment is to examine the diagnostic accuracy, clinical effectiveness and budget impact of breast cancer screening using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in combination with mammography versus mammography alone in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations.
Authors' results and conclusions: The literature search was completed in December 2016, and resulted in five included references: one systematic review and four clinical studies. Diagnostic accuracy: The combination of MRI and mammography was associated with higher sensitivity and lower specificity than mammography only. This means that more true positives will be identified (13 and 12 more per 1000 per year for BRCA1 and BRCA2, respectively) at the cost of more false positives (140 and 118 more per 1000 per year for BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers, respectively). The certainty of the evidence was considered high. Clinical effectiveness: We were not able to detect a reduction in breast cancer mortality when adding MRI to an annual mammography screening program compared to only mammography (RR 0.64; 95% CI 0.16-2.54). The certainty of the evidence was considered very low, due to imprecision and very wide confidence interval. The mortality of women in the non-screening group was significantly higher than for women who attended a screening program with either mammography alone or a combination of MRI and mammography. Economical outcomes: The current breast screening strategy for BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers is annual MRI and mammography from the age of 25 to 75. An alternative strategy examined in this report involves annual screening with mammography as currently prescribed, but MRI only from age 25 to 50, thus saving approximately 1.4 million NOK for BRCA 1 carriers and 1.1 million NOK for BRCA2 carriers each year. A further reduction in cost will be achieved by introducing a screening program involving only annual mammography compared to the current practice resulting in 6,2 million NOK annual savings for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Conclusion: Higher sensitivity but lower specificity are obtained when MRI and mammography are used in combination compared to mammography only for detection of breast cancers in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Therefore, by the combined screening, more true positives will be found, but also more false positives. Adding MRI to an annual mammography-screening program has not shown to statistically significant reduce breast cancer mortality among women with hereditary breast and ovary cancer generally, or BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations specifically, compared to mammography screening alone. The results suggests that if MRI is removed from the current Norwegian screening strategy, the consequence would be a reduction in MRI screening-related costs. Future studies should have longer follow-up and report the association between detected breast cancer, stage distribution at diagnosis and treatment costs.
Authors' methods: We conducted systematic literature searches for systematic reviews and for primary studies. Individual search strategies were designed for each database. Search strategies were based on a combination of subject headings and text words for BRCA, MRI and breast cancer. Two reviewers independently screened all identified records and critically appraised the selected publications. The outcomes of interest were cancer mortality and breast cancer mortality. Quantitative data for the included studies were combined for meta-analysis using Review Manager. We report the diagnostic accuracy and used a random effects model to estimate odds ratios or risk ratios and corresponding 95 % confidence intervals. We used the GRADE tool (Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluations) to assess the certainty of the evidence. Health economic evaluation: In current practice, women are screened annually using MRI in combination with mammography from 25 to 75 years old. In this HTA, we compare this practice with two alternative strategies: 1) An annual screening with mammography only from age 25 to 70 2) A combination of annual MRI and mammography from age 25 to 50, followed by annual mammography alone up to age 70.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2018
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: Norway
MeSH Terms
  • Genes
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mammography
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Mutation
  • Mass Screening
  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • MRI
Organisation Name: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Contact Address: P.O. Box 222 Skoyen, N-0123, Oslo
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.