Health economics is focused on the allocation of limited resources in the health sector, so that one can achieve both a fair distribution while maximizing health.
Our research on cancer genomics aims to answer two important research questions:
1) Is individualized cancer treatment based on genetic testing cost effective by Norwegian guidelines?
2) How does society value the benefits one gets from individualized treatment based on genetic testing in relation to other types of diagnostics and treatment for cancer?
The project team consists of researchers from the Department of Health Management and Health Economics, at the University of Oslo, and the research groups for Translational Cancer Genomics and Cancer Treatment at OUS.
The group is currently working on a health economic model for late stage lung cancer (stage IIIb / IV adenocarcinoma). This is an area where mutation testing and individualized treatment based on mutation status is already applicable in Norway.
The model will be based on Norwegian clinical practice. Currently, patients are first tested for one mutation (EGFR+) and subsequently for other mutations if the test for EGFR is negative. Recent advances make it possible to test for multiple mutations simultaneously, which can provide patients and physicians with responses earlier in the diagnosis phase. This could save time and possibly costs. The model provides an opportunity to assess both the costs and consequences for patients associated with the different methods used in Norway.
In the next stage of the project we will examine the population’s preferences related to cancer genomics and individualized treatment, so that we can assess how these types of measures are valued compared to other types of health improvements.