MidCentral DHB first in New Zealand to utilise Cxbladder
MidCentral District Health Board, based in Palmerston North, is set to become the first district health board in New Zealand to become a commercial customer for Pacific Edge's diagnostic cancer test Cxbladder. MidCentral will be looking to provide patients with a better clinical outcome as well as make considerable savings and efficiencies from its use.
Beginning in June, MidCentral DHB will begin evaluating 400 patients over a 24-month period to determine the clinical utility of Cxbladder to prioritise at-risk patients, and establish the level of savings that can be achieved from screening out patients who do not need a full and expensive urological work up for bladder cancer. Typically less than five percent of those patients who present to their clinician with micro-haematuria (non-visible blood in urine of clinical significance) will be diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Pacific Edge Chief Executive Officer David Darling says MidCentral DHB's goal is to triage patients early by utilising Cxbladder, a test that enables the detection of bladder cancer from a small volume of urine. Results from peer reviewed multi-centre clinical trials of 485 patients published in the prestigious Journal of Urology in the United States last year showed that Cxbladder outperformed all other benchmark technologies and identified nearly all tumours of interest to clinicians.
A full clinical work-up for bladder cancer is estimated to cost up to $2000. If conservatively, 80 percent of patients presenting with micro-haematuria can avoid the distress and inconvenience of a full bladder cancer evaluation, the cost savings for MidCentral DHB would be significant and would enable the more efficient use of DHB urological, clinical and pathology services.
"Applied across the country at other DHB's, the potential for savings within the public health system would be considerable," David Darling says.
Recently, Health Minister Tony Ryall1 told district health boards that the time taken to deliver the results of diagnostic tests is unacceptably long, with patients in some instances waiting a year. He has set a gold standard of a maximum turnaround of six weeks for diagnostics tests. "Pacific Edge, with its capability to process up to 35,000 Cxbladder tests a year through our Dunedin laboratory, is confident that it can assist district health boards to exceed the Minister's target by a comfortable margin," David Darling says. Cxbladder has a brand commitment to deliver test results to clinicians and their patients within five working days.
Operations Director, Hospital Services at MidCentral Health Lyn Horgan said: "Participation in the Pacific Edge Cxbladder program is seen as an exciting opportunity which will clearly identify benefits for urological patients presenting with micro haematuria. The ability to undertake this diagnostic test will result in patients at risk of urothelial cancer being diagnosed earlier which potentially will improve the patient overall outcome."
Discussions are also underway with another New Zealand district health board to adopt Cxbladder as a diagnostic test for patients presenting with macro-haematuria (visible blood in urine) and microhaematuria. "In light of these developments it is anticipated that other DHBs will be looking to take advantage of this technology to improve patient outcomes and lower costs," David Darling says.
Cxbladder, the first commercial diagnostic cancer test launched by Pacific Edge, has gained recognition for its accuracy from leading urology practices in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Clinicians in all three countries are using Cxbladder as a quick, cost effective and accurate measure to identify those patients presenting with haematuria who have tumours requiring further treatment. Pacific Edge is delighted that MidCentral DHB has taken the lead in identifying the potential of Cxbladder to deliver higher standards of care and service to patients, while also making more efficient use of their resources.
1: Minister of Health Tony Ryall, media release 22 May 2013 http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/focuswait- times-diagnostic-tests« Back