This study was aimed at examining the diffusion of diagnostic lung cancer tests in Germany. It was motivated by the high potential of detecting and targeting oncogenic drivers. Recognizing that the diffusion of diagnostic tests is a conditio sine qua non
for the success of personalized lung cancer therapies, this study analyzed the diffusion of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tests in Germany. Qualitative and quantitative research strategies were combined in a mixed-method design. A literature review and subsequent Key Opinion Leader interviews identified a set of qualitative factors driving the diffusion process, which were then translated into an online survey. The survey was conducted among a sample of 961 oncologists (11.34% response rate). The responses were analyzed in a multiple linear regression which identified six statistically significant factors driving the diffusion of molecular diagnostic lung cancer tests: reimbursement, attitude towards R&D, information self-assessment, perceived attitudes of colleagues, age and test-pathway strategies. Besides the important role of adequate reimbursement and relevant guidelines, the results of this study suggest that an increasing usage of test-pathway strategies, especially in an office-based setting, can increase the diffusion of molecular diagnostic lung cancer tests in the future.