Background: Although uniform colonoscopy screening reduces colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality, risk-based screening may be more efficient. We investigated whether CRC screening based on polygenic risk is a cost-effective alternative to current uniform screening, and if not, under what conditions it would be. Methods: The MISCAN-Colon model was used to simulate a hypothetical cohort of US 40-year-olds. Uniform screening was modeled as colonoscopy screening at ages 50, 60, and 70 years. For risk-stratified screening, individuals underwent polygenic testing with current and potential future discriminatory performance (area under the receiver-operating curve [AUC] of 0.60 and 0.65-0.80, respectively). Polygenic testing results were used to create risk groups, for which colonoscopy screening was optimized by varying the start age (40-60 years), end age (70-85 years), and interval (1-20 years). Results: With current discriminatory performance, optimal screening ranged from once-only colonoscopy at age 60 years for the lowest-risk group to six colonoscopies at ages 40-80 years for the highest-risk group. While maintaining the same health benefits, risk-stratified screening increased costs by $59 per person. Risk-stratified screening could become cost-effective if the AUC value would increase beyond 0.65, the price per polygenic test would drop to less than $141, or risk-stratified screening would lead to a 5% increase in screening participation. Conclusions: Currently, CRC screening based on polygenic risk is unlikely to be cost-effective compared with uniform screening. This is expected to change with a greater than 0.05 increase in AUC value, a greater than 30% reduction in polygenic testing costs, or a greater than 5% increase in adherence with screening.
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© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press.