Long-term outcomes and effects of hypofractionated radiotherapy in microinvasive breast cancer: Analysis from a randomized trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose

    The natural history of microinvasive (T1mi) breast cancer is uncertain. The objective was to evaluate long-term local and distant recurrence rates following breast conserving surgery (BCS) in a prospective cohort of patients with T1mi compared to T1a-2 disease who received whole breast irradiation (WBI) in the context of a randomized trial of hypofractionation.


    1234 patients with T1-2 N0 breast cancer were randomized to receive adjuvant WBI of 42.5Gy in 16 daily fractions, or 50Gy in 25 daily fractions after BCS. An analysis of patients with T1mi tumors compared with T1a-2 disease was performed. Kaplan-Meier estimates of local recurrence (LR), distant recurrence, and overall survival (OS) were compared using the log-rank test.


    Median follow-up was 12 years. T1mi was found in 3% (n = 38) of patients. The 10-year LR rate was 22.6% in T1mi vs. 6.9% in T1a-2 breast cancer [hazard ratio (HR) = 3.73; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93, 7.19; p < 0.001]. The 10-year risk of distant recurrence was 5.1% for T1mi, and 12.1% for T1a-2 disease (HR = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.19, 1.84; p = 0.36). Ten-year OS was 91.5% in T1mi and 84.4% in T1a-2 disease, (HR = 0.48; 95% CI: 0.18, 1.30; p = 0.14). Rates of LR did not differ whether treated by hypofractionation or conventional fractionation (HR = 1.21; 95% CI: 0.35, 4.18; p = 0.77).


    The risk of LR was considerably higher in patients with T1mi compared to T1a-2 tumors, but OS remained very good. Future research should evaluate the utility of wider local excision and boost radiation to optimize local control for microinvasive breast cancer.

publication date

  • April 2023

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