Using the aggregated results of a questionnaire developed and distributed to clinicians by IQVIA, including treatment details and investigations undertaken for patients, we compared proportions of patients receiving molecular testing and targeted treatment by cancer type for the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan, and China. We used multivariable logistic regression methods to understand the effect of country on the odds of receiving a molecular test.
There was a total of 61,491 cases. Across countries and cancer types, uptake rates for molecular testing ranged between 2% and 98%, with the greatest differences seen in gastric cancers (range, 23% to 70%), and significant variations were observed for both European and Asian countries. China consistently demonstrated a significantly reduced uptake for all molecular tests assessed; however; uptake of drug treatment in gastric cancers after testing positive for the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene was higher than in some European countries (China, 85%; European range, 8% to 66%). The uptake of epidermal growth factor receptor gene testing was greater in some Asian countries relative to the United Kingdom, where incidence of lung cancer is higher (Japan: odds ratio, 3.1 [95% CI, 2.6 to 3.8]; South Korea: odds ratio, 2.7 [95% CI, 2 to 3.4]).
We have highlighted inequity in access to molecular testing and subsequent treatments across countries, which warrants improvements.