Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy: A Cross-sectional Survey Study of US Radiation Oncologists

June, 06, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles


For many malignancies, hypofractionated radiotherapy (HFRT) is an accepted standard associated with decreased treatment time and costs. United States provider beliefs regarding HFRT likely impact its adoption but are poorly studied. We surveyed US-based radiation oncologists (ROs) to gauge HFRT utilization rates for prostate (PC), breast (BC), and rectal cancer (RC) and to characterize the beliefs governing these decisions.


From July to October 2021, an anonymized, online survey was electronically distributed to ROs actively practicing in the United States. Demographic and practice characteristic information was collected. Questions assessing rates of offering HFRT for PC, BC, and RC and perceived limitations towards using HFRT were administered.


A total of 203 eligible respondents (72% male, 72% White, 53% nonacademic practice, 69% with 11+ years in practice) were identified. Approximately 50% offered stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for early/favorable intermediate risk PC. Although >90% of ROs offered whole-breast HFRT for early-stage BC, only 33% offered accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI). Overall, 41% of ROs offered short-course neoadjuvant RT for RC. The primary reported barriers to HFRT utilization were lack of data, inexperience, and referring provider concerns.


HFRT is safe, effective, and beneficial, yet underutilized—particularly prostate SBRT, APBI, and short-course RT for RC. Skills retraining and education of ROs and referring providers may increase utilization rates.

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