Purpose: Predictive diagnostics play an increasingly important role in personalized medicine for cancer treatment. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) based treatment selection is expected to rapidly increase worldwide. Detailed and comparative cost analyses of diagnostic techniques are an essential element in decision-making. This study aimed to calculate and compare the total cost of currently used diagnostic techniques and of WGS in treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), melanoma, colorectal cancer (CRC) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) in the Netherlands. Methods: The activity-based costing (ABC) method was conducted to calculate the total cost of included diagnostic techniques based on data provided by Dutch pathology laboratories and the Dutch centralized cancer WGS facility. Costs were allocated to four categories: capital costs, maintenance costs, software costs and operational costs. Outcome measures were total cost per cancer patient per included technique, and the total cost per cancer patient per most commonly applied technique (combination) for each cancer type. Results: The total cost per cancer patient per technique varied from € 58 (Sanger sequencing, 3 amplicons) to € 4738 (paired tumor-normal WGS). The operational costs accounted for the vast majority over 90 % of the total per cancer patient technique costs. The most important operational cost drivers were consumables followed by personnel (for sample preparation and primary data analysis). Conclusion: This study outlined in detail all costing aspects and cost prices of current and new diagnostic modalities used in treatment of NSCLC, melanoma, CRC and GIST in the Netherlands. Detailed cost differences and value comparisons between these diagnostic techniques enable future economic evaluations to support decision-making on implementation of WGS and other diagnostic modalities in routine clinical practice.
- Personalized medicine
- Standard diagnostic techniques
- Whole genome sequencing