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Background: Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) reduces lung cancer mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of lung cancer screening with LDCT in a high-risk population. Methods: The study used an adapted microsimulation model in a cohort of Dutch heavy smokers for a lifetime horizon from a health insurance perspective. The main outcomes included average cost-effectiveness ratio (ACER), incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and lung cancer mortality reduction. The comparator was no screening. Scenarios with different screening intervals and starting and stopping ages were evaluated for 100,000 male heavy smokers and 100,000 female heavy smokers. A cost-effectiveness threshold of 60 k€ per life year gained (LYG) was assumed acceptable. Results: The evaluated screening scenarios yielded ACERs ranging from 17.7 to 32.4 k€/LYG for men and from 17.8 to 32.1 k€/LYG for women. The lung cancer mortality reduction ranged from 9.3% to 16.8% for men and from 7.8% to 13.7% for women. The optimal screening scenario was annual screening from 55 to 80 years for men and biennial screening from 50 to 80 years for women, with an ICER of 51.6 and 45.8 k€ per LYG compared with its previous efficient alternative, respectively. Compared with no screening, the optimal screening scenario yielded an ICER of 27.6 k€/LYG for men and 21.1 k€/LYG for women. The mortality reduction of lung cancer was 15.9% for men and 10.6% for women. Conclusions: Lung cancer LDCT screening is cost-effective in a high-risk population. The optimal screening scenario is dependent on sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Early online date18-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - 18-Aug-2020


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Low-dose computed tomography
  • Lung neoplasm
  • Mass screening
  • Microsimulation model
  • CT

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