CHICAGO, IL (April 4, 2012)Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a very aggressive, often misunderstood type of cancer that is diagnosed more frequently in younger women compared with other types of breast cancer. The five-year survival rate is between 25 and 50 percentsignificantly lower than the survival rate for other types of breast cancer. The reason for the poor prognosis is that IBC usually grows rapidly and often spreads quickly to other parts of the body, including the brain, bone and lymph nodes. In an effort to better understand the biology of IBC, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have developed a new cell and animal model that holds promise for providing a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease and for developing effective interventions.
"In order for us to improve the treatment of these patients, we need to understand the biology of the diseasewhy these cells are so aggressive, invade very early on, and are resistant to standard treatmentsand this starts with having good laboratory and preclinical models," says Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., F.A.C.P., chairman of Fox Chase's department of medical oncology and senior investigator for the research, which will be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 on Wednesday, April 4.
The researchers developed a unique model that recapitulates the aggressive metastasis and cancer stem cell activity associated with poor outcomes in patients with IBC. Understanding of the molecular basis of IBC may help increase the research community's knowledge of the metastatic process of other types of breast cancers.
"Because there are only a few models of inflammatory breast cancer, it's important to develop more models of this disease, and ours represents an ideal model to evaluate stem cell-targeting therapies," says Sandra Fernandez, Ph.D., assistant research professor at Fox Chase and lead author on the study.
To develop the new disease model
|Contact: Diana Quattrone|
Fox Chase Cancer Center