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Current Situation of Diagnosis and Treatment of HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients in China: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey of Doctors.

BACKGROUND: The Advanced Breast Cancer Alliance conducted a nationwide investigation to understand the current situation of the diagnosis and treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients.

METHODS: In 2019, electronic questionnaires including basic information about respondents, characteristics of patients, and the present status of diagnosis and treatment were sent to 495 doctors from 203 medical centers covering 28 provinces.

RESULTS: The factors that influenced treatment plans included the disease process, the performance status, and the economic status of patients. Regimens and response to neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy were important factors in the decision of the first-line treatment. Overall, 54% of doctors retained trastuzumab and replaced chemotherapy drugs in second-line treatment regimens for patients with progression-free survival (PFS) ≥ 6 months in the first-line setting, while 52% of participants chose pyrotinib plus capecitabine for patients with PFS < 6 months. Economic factors played an important role in doctors' decision-making and the varying treatment options for respondents in first-tier, second-tier, and other cities.

CONCLUSIONS: This large-scale survey regarding the diagnosis and treatment of HER2-positive MBC patients revealed that clinical decisions made by Chinese doctors followed the guidelines, but their choices were constrained by economic factors.

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