Development and Validation of Three Regional Microsimulation Models for Predicting Colorectal Cancer Screening Benefits in Europe

Andrea Gini, Maaike Buskermolen, C Senore, A Anttila, D Novak Mlakar, P Veerus, M Csanádi, Erik Jansen, Nadine Zielonke, S Heinävaara, G Széles, N Segnan, Harry de Koning, Iris Lansdorp - Vogelaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Background. Validated microsimulation models have been shown to be useful tools in providing support for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening decisions. Aiming to assist European countries in reducing CRC mortality, we developed and validated three regional models for evaluating CRC screening in Europe. Methods. Microsimulation Screening Analysis–Colon (MISCAN-Colon) model versions for Italy, Slovenia, and Finland were quantified using data from different national institutions. These models were validated against the best available evidence for the effectiveness of screening from their region (when available): the Screening for COlon REctum (SCORE) trial and the Florentine fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening study for Italy; the Norwegian Colorectal Cancer Prevention (NORCCAP) trial and the guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) Finnish population-based study for Finland. When published evidence was not available (Slovenia), the model was validated using cancer registry data. Results. Our three models reproduced age-specific CRC incidence rates and stage distributions in the prescreening period. Moreover, the Italian and Finnish models replicated CRC mortality reductions (reasonably) well against the best available evidence. CRC mortality reductions were predicted slightly larger than those observed (except for the Florentine FIT study), but consistently within the corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Conclusions. Our findings corroborate the MISCAN-Colon reliability in supporting decision making on CRC screening. Furthermore, our study provides the model structure for an additional tool (EU-TOPIA CRC evaluation tool: that aims to help policymakers and researchers monitoring or improving CRC screening in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMDM Policy and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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