Send to

Choose Destination
Community Genet. 2006;9(2):98-106.

Economic evaluation of the familial cancer programme in Western Australia: predictive genetic testing for familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal carcinoma.

Author information

Department of Health, Government of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.



To evaluate costs and outcomes of genetic testing for familial colorectal cancer through services provided by Genetic Services of Western Australia (GSWA).


Costs and outcomes of predictive DNA-based testing for inherited colorectal cancers (CRC) were assessed, specifically for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis CRC (HNPCC) using a decision-analysis model. Costs were assigned according to standards of care in Western Australia (WA). Cancer risks and the efficacy of surveillance on long-term outcomes were derived from the published literature.


The cost-effectiveness of genetic testing was compared in first-degree relatives of known mutation carriers who have a 50% risk of carrying the mutated gene (intervention group) to individuals with the same risk but who do not undergo a genetic test (control subjects). Compared with control subjects undergoing the same high-level surveillance and surgery, the FAP and HNPCC intervention groups provided total savings of 13,390 US dollars and 14,783-15,460 per person (males-females), respectively. HPNCC mutation carriers also gained 1 CRC-free year. Compared to control subjects having only population surveillance, individuals in the FAP intervention group delayed the onset of CRC by 40 years for a net cost of 9,042 US dollars. Individuals in the HNPCC intervention group delayed the onset of CRC by 8 years at a net cost of 12,141 US dollars for males and 12,596 US dollars for females.


Genetic testing for familial CRC in WA allows targeted surveillance for mutation carriers, which ensures the efficient use of resources and reduces cancer-related morbidity, if clinical recommendations for intervention are adopted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center