Patterns of practice in radiotherapy for breast cancer in Korea

Division for Breast Cancer, Korean Radiation Oncology Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) is a well-established treatment for breast cancer. However, there is a large degree of variation and controversy in practice patterns. A nationwide survey on the patterns of practice in breast RT was designed by the Division for Breast Cancer of the Korean Radiation Oncology Group. All board-certified members of the Korean Society for Radiation Oncology were sent a questionnaire comprising 39 questions on six domains: hypofractionated whole breast RT, accelerated partial breast RT, postmastectomy RT (PMRT), regional nodal RT, RT for ductal carcinoma in situ, and RT toxicity. Sixty-four radiation oncologists from 54 of 86 (62.8%) hospitals responded. Twenty-three respondents (35.9%) used hypofractionated whole breast RT, and the most common schedule was 43.2 Gy in 16 fractions. Only three (4.7%) used accelerated partial breast RT. Five (7.8%) used hypofractionated PMRT, and 40 (62.5%) had never used boost RT after chest wall irradiation. Indications for regional nodal RT varied; ≥ pN2 (n=7) versus ≥ pN1 (n=17) versus ≥ pN1 with pathologic risk factors (n=40). Selection criteria for internal mammary lymph node (IMN) irradiation also varied; only four (6.3%) always treated IMN when regional nodal RT was administered and 30 (46.9%) treated IMN only if IMN involvement was identified through imaging. Thirty-one (48.4%) considered omission of whole breast RT after breast-conserving surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ based on clinical and pathologic risk factors. Fifty-two (81.3%) used heart-sparing techniques. Overall, there were wide variations in the patterns of practice in breast RT in Korea. Standard guidelines are needed, especially for regional nodal RT and omission of RT for ductal carcinoma in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-250
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Korean Breast Cancer Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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