Universal Versus Targeted Screening for Lynch Syndrome: Comparing Ascertainment and Costs Based on Clinical Experience.

Digestive diseases and sciences

PubMedID: 27384051

Erten MZ, Fernandez LP, Ng HK, McKinnon WC, Heald B, Koliba CJ, Greenblatt MS. Universal Versus Targeted Screening for Lynch Syndrome: Comparing Ascertainment and Costs Based on Clinical Experience. Dig Dis Sci. 2016;.
BACKGROUND
Strategies to screen colorectal cancers (CRCs) for Lynch syndrome are evolving rapidly; the optimal strategy remains uncertain.

AIM
We compared targeted versus universal screening of CRCs for Lynch syndrome.

METHODS
In 2010-2011, we employed targeted screening (age < 60 and/or Bethesda criteria). From 2012 to 2014, we screened all CRCs. Immunohistochemistry for the four mismatch repair proteins was done in all cases, followed by other diagnostic studies as indicated. We modeled the diagnostic costs of detecting Lynch syndrome and estimated the 5-year costs of preventing CRC by colonoscopy screening, using a system dynamics model.

RESULTS
Using targeted screening, 51/175 (29 %) cancers fit criteria and were tested by immunohistochemistry; 15/51 (29 %, or 8.6 % of all CRCs) showed suspicious loss of =1 mismatch repair protein. Germline mismatch repair gene mutations were found in 4/4 cases sequenced (11 suspected cases did not have germline testing). Using universal screening, 17/292 (5.8 %) screened cancers had abnormal immunohistochemistry suspicious for Lynch syndrome. Germline mismatch repair mutations were found in only 3/10 cases sequenced (7 suspected cases did not have germline testing). The mean cost to identify Lynch syndrome probands was ~$23,333/case for targeted screening and ~$175,916/case for universal screening at our institution. Estimated costs to identify and screen probands and relatives were: targeted, $9798/case and universal, $38,452/case.

CONCLUSIONS
In real-world Lynch syndrome management, incomplete clinical follow-up was the major barrier to do genetic testing. Targeted screening costs 2- to 7.5-fold less than universal and rarely misses Lynch syndrome cases. Future changes in testing costs will likely change the optimal algorithm.