Patterns and Longitudinal Changes in the Practice of Breast Cancer Radiotherapy in Korea: Korean Radiation Oncology Group 22-01

Division for Breast Cancer Korean Radiation Oncology Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: We aimed to analyze contemporary practice patterns in breast cancer radiotherapy (RT) and assess longitudinal changes over five years in Korea. Methods: In 2022, a nationwide survey was conducted among board-certified radiation oncologists. The survey consisted of 44 questions related to six domains: hypofractionated (HypoFx) whole breast RT, accelerated partial breast RT (APBI), regional nodal irradiation (RNI), RT for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), postmastectomy RT (PMRT), and tumor bed boost. Results: Seventy radiation oncologists from 61 (out of 101; 60%) institutions participated in the survey. HypoFx RT was used by 62 respondents (89%), a significant increase from 36% in 2017. HypoFx RT is commonly administered at 40–42.5 Gy in 15–16 fractions. APBI was used by 12 respondents (17%), an increase from 5% in 2017. The use of RNI did not change significantly: ≥ pN2 (6%), ≥ pN1 (33%), and ≥ pN1 with pathological risk factors (61%). However, indications for internal mammary lymph node (IMN) irradiation have expanded. In particular, the rates of routine treatment of IMN (11% from 6% in 2017) and treatment in cases of ≥ pN2 (27% from 14% in 2017) have doubled; however, the rate of treatment for only IMN involvement, identified on imaging, has decreased from 47% in 2017 to 31%. For DCIS, the use of HypoFx RT increased from 25% in 2017 to 75%, and the rate of RT omissions after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) decreased from 48% in 2017 to 38%. The use of HypoFx RT for PMRT increased from 8% in 2017 to 36%. Conclusion: The adoption of HypoFx RT after BCS for invasive breast cancer and DCIS has increased significantly, whereas the use of HypoFx PMRT has increased moderately since 2017. However, further studies are required to determine the optimal use of RNI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-267
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Korean Breast Cancer Society.


  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Radiotherapy
  • Republic of Korea
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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