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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cost-effectiveness of preventive strategies for women with a BRCA1 or a BRCA2 mutation.

BACKGROUND: For BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers, decision analysis indicates that prophylactic surgery or chemoprevention leads to better survival than surveillance alone. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the preventive strategies that are available to unaffected women carrying a single BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation with high cancer penetrance. DESIGN: Markov modeling with Monte Carlo simulations and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. DATA SOURCES: Breast and ovarian cancer incidence and mortality rates, preference ratings, and costs derived from the literature; the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program; and the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). TARGET POPULATION: Unaffected carriers of a single BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation 35 to 50 years of age. TIME HORIZON: Lifetime. PERSPECTIVE: Health policy, societal. INTERVENTIONS: Tamoxifen, oral contraceptives, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, mastectomy, both surgeries, or surveillance. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost-effectiveness. RESULTS OF BASE-CASE ANALYSIS: For mutation carriers 35 years of age, both surgeries (prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and oophorectomy) had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio over oophorectomy alone of 2352 dollars per life-year for BRCA1 and 100 dollars per life-year for BRCA2. With quality adjustment, oophorectomy dominated all other strategies for BRCA1 and had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 2281 dollars per life-year for BRCA2. RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS: Older age at intervention increased the cost-effectiveness of prophylactic mastectomy for BRCA1 mutation carriers to 73,755 dollars per life-year. Varying the penetrance, mortality rates, costs, discount rates, and preferences had minimal effects on outcomes. LIMITATIONS: Results are dependent on the accuracy of model assumptions. CONCLUSION: On the basis of this model, the most cost-effective strategies for BRCA mutation carriers, with and without quality adjustment, were oophorectomy alone and oophorectomy and mastectomy, respectively.[1]


  1. Cost-effectiveness of preventive strategies for women with a BRCA1 or a BRCA2 mutation. Anderson, K., Jacobson, J.S., Heitjan, D.F., Zivin, J.G., Hershman, D., Neugut, A.I., Grann, V.R. Ann. Intern. Med. (2006) [Pubmed]
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