BACKGROUND: The sensitivity of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in staging gastro-oesophageal cancers (GOCs) has been widely studied. However, the economic evidence of EUS staging in the management of patients with GOCs is scarce. This review aimed to examine all economic evidence (not limited to randomised controlled trials) of the use of EUS staging in the management of GOCs patients, and to offer a review of economic evidence on the costs, benefits (in terms of GOCs patients' health-related quality of life), and economic implications of the use of EUS in staging GOCs patients.
METHODS: The protocol was registered prospectively with PROSPERO (CRD42016043700; http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.php?ID=CRD42016043700 ). MEDLINE (ovid), EMBASE (ovid), The Cochrane Collaboration Register and Library (including the British National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database), CINAHL (EBSCOhost) and Web of Science (Core Collection) as well as reference lists were systematically searched for studies conducted between 1996 and 2018 (search update 28/04/2018). Two authors independently screened the identified articles, assessed study quality, and extracted data. Study characteristics of the included articles, including incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, when available, were summarised narratively.
RESULTS: Of the 197 articles retrieved, six studies met the inclusion criteria: three economic studies and three economic modelling studies. Of the three economic studies, one was a cost-effectiveness analysis and two were cost analyses. Of the three economic modelling studies, one was a cost-effectiveness analysis and two were cost-minimisation analyses. Both of the cost-effectiveness analyses reported that use of EUS as an additional staging technique provided, on average, more QALYs (0.0019-0.1969 more QALYs) and saved costs (by £1969-£3364 per patient, 2017 price year) compared to staging strategy without EUS. Of the six studies, only one included GOCs participants and the other five included oesophageal cancer participants.
CONCLUSIONS: The data available suggest use of EUS as a complementary staging technique to other staging techniques for GOCs appears to be cost saving and offers greater QALYs. Nevertheless, future studies are necessary because the economic evidence around this EUS staging intervention for GOCs is far from robust. More health economic research and good quality data are needed to judge the economic benefits of EUS staging for GOCs.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42016043700 .