Selected 2007 Inflammatory Breast Cancer published research.

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Van Laere, S., et al. (2007). Distinct molecular phenotype of inflammatory breast cancer compared to non-inflammatory breast cancer using Affymetrix-based genome-wide gene-expression analysis. British Journal of Cancer, 97(8), 1165-74. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

The present study aims at a platform-independent confirmation of previously obtained cDNA microarray results on inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) using Affymetrix chips. Gene-expression data of 19 IBC and 40 non-IBC specimens were subjected to clustering and principal component analysis. The performance of a previously identified IBC signature was tested using clustering and gene set enrichment analysis. The presence of different cell-of-origin subtypes in IBC was investigated and confirmed using immunohistochemistry on a TMA. Differential gene expression was analysed using SAM and topGO was used to identify the fingerprints of a pro-metastatic-signalling pathway. IBC and non-IBC have distinct gene-expression profiles. The differences in gene expression between IBC and non-IBC are captured within an IBC signature, identified in a platform-independent manner. Part of the gene-expression differences between IBC and non-IBC are attributable to the differential presence of the cell-of-origin subtypes, since IBC primarily segregated into the basal-like or ErbB2-overexpressing group. Strikingly, IBC tumour samples more closely resemble the gene-expression profile of T1/T2 tumours than the gene-expression profile or T3/T4 tumours. We identified the insulin-like growth factor-signalling pathway, potentially contributing to the biology of IBC. Our previous results have been validated in a platform-independent manner. The distinct biological behaviour of IBC is reflected in a distinct gene-expression profile. The fact that IBC tumours are quickly arising tumours might explain the close resemblance of the IBC gene-expression profile to the expression profile of T1/T2 tumours.

Gonzalez-Angulo, AM., et al. (2007). Trends for inflammatory breast cancer: is survival improving?. The Oncologist, 12(8), 904-12. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the survival of women with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) treated at our institution has improved over the past 30 years. Three-hundred ninety-eight patients with IBC were treated between 1974 and 2005. Patient characteristics and outcomes were tabulated and compared among decades of diagnosis. Survival outcomes were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier product limit method and compared among groups with the log-rank statistic. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine the association between year of diagnosis and survival outcomes after adjustment for patient and disease characteristics and treatments received. The median follow-up was 5.8 years (range, 0.3-23.8 years). There were 238 recurrences and 236 deaths. The median recurrence-free survival (RFS) duration was 2.3 years and the median overall survival (OS) time was 4.2 years. In the models for RFS and OS, after adjustment for patient and disease characteristics, increasing year of diagnosis was not associated with a decrease in the risk for recurrence (hazard ratio, [HR], 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97-1.04) or death (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.94-1.01). Our data show that there has not been an important change in the prognosis of patients with IBC in the last 30 years. Clinical trials focusing on the management of this aggressive disease are warranted. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

Cristofanilli, M., et al. (2007). Inflammatory breast cancer (ibc) and patterns of recurrence: understanding the biology of a unique disease. Cancer, 110(7), 1436-44. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

BACKGROUND: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive manifestation of primary breast cancer. The authors compared the prognostic features of IBC and non-IBC locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) to gain insight into the biology of this disease entity. METHODS: This retrospective analysis consisted of 1071 patients, comprising 240 patients with IBC and 831 patients with non-IBC LABC who were enrolled in 10 consecutive clinical trials (5 from each disease group). All patients received similar multidisciplinary treatment. The authors measured time to disease recurrence for each individual site from the start of treatment to the date of disease recurrence or last follow-up (recurrence-free survival) and overall survival rates to the date of last follow-up or death. RESULTS: The median follow-up period was 69 months (range, 1-367 months). Pathologically complete response rates were 13.9% and 11.7% in the IBC and non-IBC LABC groups, respectively (P = .42). The 5-year estimates of cumulative incidence of recurrence were 64.8 % and 43.4% (P < .0001), respectively, for IBC and non-IBC LABC. IBC had significantly higher cumulative incidence of locoregional recurrence and distant soft-tissue and bone disease. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 40.5% for the IBC group (95% CI, 34.5%-47.4%) and 63.2% for the non-IBC LABC group (95% CI, 60.0%-66.6%; P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: IBC was associated with a worse prognosis and a distinctive pattern of early recurrence compared with LABC. These data suggested that investigating factors affecting “homing” of cancer cells may provide novel treatment strategies for IBC.

Moy, B., & Goss, PE. (2007). Lapatinib-associated toxicity and practical management recommendations. The Oncologist, 12(7), 756-65. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

Lapatinib is an oral receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, inhibiting both the ErbB-1 and ErbB-2 receptors. Lapatinib has been shown to have activity in ErbB-2-overexpressing breast cancer in several phase II and III clinical trials. Specifically, lapatinib is effective in patients with metastatic breast cancer, with inflammatory breast cancer, and possibly, with brain metastases. An ongoing clinical trial and another anticipated clinical trial will investigate lapatinib as adjuvant treatment in early-stage disease. Lapatinib has specific toxicities, the most common being diarrhea and rash. Cardiac toxicity is rarely seen with lapatinib. This paper reviews lapatinib-associated toxicities and provides practical management recommendations based on available data.

Cabioglu, N., et al. (2007). Expression of growth factor and chemokine receptors: new insights in the biology of inflammatory breast cancer. Annals of Oncology, 18(6), 1021-9. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

PURPOSE: Recent studies have indicated that expression of chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR7 could be an indicator of the metastatic potential of breast cancer. Expression of CXCR4 and CCR7 along with the biomarkers HER2-neu and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was investigated in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) to evaluate their prognostic implications. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: CXCR4, CCR7, and EGFR were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining (IHC) of paraffin-embedded tissue sections. HER2-neu amplification was assessed by FISH and/or IHC. All patients received chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. RESULTS: Forty-four cases diagnosed with IBC from 1994 to 2002 were included in the study. In all, 18 (40.9%) patients had positive CXCR4, 10 (22.7%) had positive CCR7, 21 (47.7%) had positive HER2-neu, and EGFR was positive in 12 of 40 patients (30%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) was 24.8% for CXCR4-positive disease versus 42.3% for CXCR4-negative patients (P = 0.53) and 20.0% for CCR7-positive disease versus 41.9% for CCR7-negative patients (P = 0.24). EGFR-positive disease had significantly worse OS compared with EGFR-negative disease (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the expression of growth factor and chemokine receptors in IBC. The expression of these receptors is associated with increased risk of recurrence and death, and thus, they may represent potential therapeutic targets in IBC.

Garcia, S., et al. (2007). c-Met overexpression in inflammatory breast carcinomas: automated quantification on tissue microarrays. British Journal of Cancer, 96(2), 329-35. Abstract below, free full text at link above.

Inflammatory breast carcinoma (IBC) is a rare but aggressive tumour associated with poor outcome owing to early metastases. Increased expression of c-Met protein correlates with reduced survival and high metastatic risk in human cancers including breast carcinomas and is targetable by specific drugs, that could potentially improve the prognosis. In the present study, we compared c-Met expression in IBC (n=41) and non-IBC (n=480) immunohistochemically (Ventana Benchmark autostainer) in two tissue microarrays (TMA) along with PI3K and E-cadherin. The results were quantified through an automated image analysis device (SAMBA Technologies). We observed that (i) c-Met was significantly overexpressed in IBC as compared with non-IBC (P<0.001), (ii) PI3K was overexpressed (P<0.001) in IBC, suggesting that the overexpressed c-Met is functionally active at least through the PI3K signal transduction pathway; and (iii) E-cadherin was paradoxically also overexpressed in IBC. We concluded that overexpressed c-Met in IBC constitutes a potential target for specific therapy for the management of patients with poor-outcome tumours such as IBC. Automated image analysis of TMA proved to be a valuable tool for high-throughput immunohistochemical quantification of the expression of intratumorous protein markers.

Mina, L., et al. (2007). Predicting response to primary chemotherapy: gene expression profiling of paraffin-embedded core biopsy tissue. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 103(2), 197-208. Abstract below, free full text not available.

PURPOSE: Primary chemotherapy provides an ideal opportunity to correlate gene expression with response to treatment. We used paraffin-embedded core biopsies from a completed phase II trial to identify genes that correlate with response to primary chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with newly diagnosed stage II or III breast cancer were treated with sequential doxorubicin 75 mg/M2 q2 wks x 3 and docetaxel 40 mg/M2 weekly x 6; treatment order was randomly assigned. Pretreatment core biopsy samples were interrogated for genes that might correlate with pathologic complete response (pCR). In addition to the individual genes, the correlation of the Oncotype DX Recurrence Score with pCR was examined. RESULTS: Of 70 patients enrolled in the parent trial, core biopsies samples with sufficient RNA for gene analyses were available from 45 patients; 9 (20%) had inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Six (14%) patients achieved a pCR. Twenty-two of the 274 candidate genes assessed correlated with pCR (p < 0.05). Genes correlating with pCR could be grouped into three large clusters: angiogenesis-related genes, proliferation related genes, and invasion-related genes. Expression of estrogen receptor (ER)-related genes and Recurrence Score did not correlate with pCR. In an exploratory analysis we compared gene expression in IBC to non-inflammatory breast cancer; twenty-four (9%) of the genes were differentially expressed (p < 0.05), 5 were upregulated and 19 were downregulated in IBC. CONCLUSION: Gene expression analysis on core biopsy samples is feasible and identifies candidate genes that correlate with pCR to primary chemotherapy. Gene expression in IBC differs significantly from noninflammatory breast cancer.

Dong, HM., et al. (2007). Dominant-negative e-cadherin inhibits the invasiveness of inflammatory breast cancer cells in vitro. Journal of Cancer Research and Oncology, 133(2), 83-92. Abstract below, free full text not available.

E-cadherin is a transmembrane glycoprotein which mediates epithelial cell-to-cell adhesion function as a tumor suppressor and frequently loss of expression in a wide spectrum of human cancer. However, recent studies demonstrated that E-cadherin was always over-expressed in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) specimen and cell lines, which is a clinical extreme malignancy of breast cancer. It is hypothesized that the gain and not the loss of the E-cadherin axis contributes to the IBC unique phenotype. To test this assumption, we generated dominant negative mutant E-cadherin high-expression inflammatory breast cancer cells by introduced dominant negative mutant E-cadherin (H-2kd-E-cad) cDNA into human IBC SUM149 cells. Our studies demonstrated that the ability of invasion of SUM149 cells was significantly inhibited by H-2kd-E-cad via down-regulation of MMP-1 and MMP-9 expression. The underlying signal pathway of MAPK phosphorylated Erk 1/2(P44/42) in H-2kd-E-cad-transfected SUM149 cells was significantly down-regulated compared to parental and mock contrast. Our studies provided further functional evidence as the gain of E-cadherin expression dedicated to the IBC malignant phenotype and the blockage of MAPK/Erk activation maybe a promising therapeutic target.