Precision medicine not only promises better treatment, but cost effective healthcare. A new economic model has shown that broad NGS screening not only improves speed to diagnosis; it also lowers the cost when compared to other genetic testing options in Metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The model included Medicare and commercial health plans with 1 million hypothetical members. In the model, NGS saved as much as $2.1 million for Medicare, and more than $250,000 for commercial insurance providers. The study will be presented at the upcoming 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“The field of lung cancer treatment is moving at a rapid pace, and we need to fully characterize genomic changes to determine the best treatment for patients shortly after they are diagnosed,” said lead study author Nathan A. Pennell, MD, PhD, co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Lung Cancer Program. “Today, many treatment decisions are guided by the presence or absence of certain genetic changes in a patient’s tumor, and I expect that several more genes will be identified in the near future. Therefore, it becomes even more imperative to find a cost-effective gene test that can quickly identify a large number of gene mutations that can be targeted with treatments.”

Genetic testing of the tumor is crucial to guide optimal treatment for NSCLC. Many different tests are available today, but there is no accepted standard for when and how the testing should be performed. The authors designed their model to determine which gene testing approach is most cost-effective and time-efficient. The model uses data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and U.S. commercial health plans to estimate costs for each modality.

Interested in how NGS works in the clinic? Take a look at the Clinical 101 to get all the info you need!