J Korean Med Sci.  2022 Feb;37(8):e64. 10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e64.

Hypofractionated Radiotherapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Propensity Score Matched Analysis

  • 1Department of Surgery, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea


In patients with early-stage breast cancer, the treatment results of hypofractionated radiation therapy (RT) and conventional RT are evaluated in efficacy and cost.
We retrospectively evaluated 280 patients with early-stage (Tis-2N0M0) breast cancer (including 100 hypofractionated RT patients) with regards to treatment outcomes according to the RT schedule. The median whole-breast RT dose was 42.56 Gy/16 fractions for hypofractionated RT and 50.4 Gy/28 fractions for conventional RT. Most patients (n = 260, 92.9%) additionally received a tumor bed boost RT. We used propensity score matching (PSM) analysis to balance the baseline risk factors for recurrence. The co-primary endpoints of this study were disease-free survival (DFS) and ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR). DFS or IBTR was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier survival curve and log-rank test.
Total 89 pairs of matched patients (1:1 matching, n = 178) were finally evaluated. The median follow-up was 23.6 months. After matching, the 3-year DFS was 100% in the hypofractionated RT group and 98.4% in the conventional RT group; there was no significant difference in DFS between the groups (P = 0.374). Furthermore, the IBTR did not differ between the hypofractionated RT and conventional RT groups (P = 0.374) after matching. The 3-year overall survival was not different between two groups (both 100%). Hypofractionated RT saved 26.6% of the total cost of RT compared to conventional RT. Additionally, the acute skin toxicity rate (≥ grade 2) was also not significantly different between the groups (hypofractionated RT: 10.1% vs. conventional RT: 2.2%).
Hypofractionated RT showed good IBTR and DFS, which were compatible to those in conventional RT in breast cancer. Hypofractionated RT is expected to be used more widely because of its low cost and convenience.


Hypofractionation; Radiotherapy; Breast Cancer; Recurrence; Propensity Score
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