Selected 2010 Inflammatory Breast Cancer published research.

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Mahooti, S., et al. (2010). Breast carcinomatous tumoral emboli can result from encircling lymphovasculogenesis rather than lymphovascular invasion. Oncotarget, 1(2), 131-47. Abstract below, free full text may be found at link above.

The canonical view of the origin of tumor lymphovascular emboli is that they usually originate from lymphovascular invasion as part of a multistep metastatic process. Recent experimental evidence has suggested that metastasis can occur earlier than previously thought and we found evidence that tumor emboli formation can result from the short-circuiting step of encircling lymphovasculogenesis. Experimentally, we used a xenograft of human inflammatory breast cancer (MARY-X), a model that exhibited florid tumor emboli, to generate tumoral spheroids in vitro. In observational studies, we chose human breast carcinoma cases where there appeared to be a possible transition of in situ carcinoma to lymphovascular emboli without intervening stromal invasion. These cases were studied by morphometry as well as IHC with tumor proliferation (Ki-67) and adhesion (E-cadherin) markers, myoepithelial (p63), as well as endothelial (podoplanin [D2-40], CD31, VEGFR-3, Prox-1) markers. Unlabelled spheroids coinjected with either GFP or RFP-human myoepithelial cells or murine embryonal fibroblasts (MEFs) gave rise to tumors which exhibited GFP/RFP immunoreactivity within the cells lining the emboli-containing lymphovascular channels. In vitro studies demonstrated that the tumoral spheroids induced endothelial differentiation of cocultured myoepithelial cells and MEFs, measured by real time PCR and immunofluorescence. In humans, the in situ clusters exhibited similar proliferation, E-cadherin immunoreactivity and size as the tumor emboli (p =.5), suggesting the possibility that the latter originated from the former. The in situclusters exhibited a loss (50%-100%) of p63 myoepithelial immunoreactivity but not E-cadherin epithelial immunoreactivity. The tumor emboli were mainly present within lymphatic channels whose dual p63/CD31, p63/D2-40 and p63/VEGFR-3 and overall weak patterns of D2-40/CD31/VEGFR-3 immunoreactivities suggested that they represented immature and newly created vasculature derived from originally myoepithelial-lined ducts. Collectively both experimental as well as observational studies suggested the possibility that these breast cancer emboli resulted from encircling lymphovasculogenesis rather than conventional lymphovascular invasion.

Torrisi, R., et al. (2010). Phase II trial of combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, cisplatin, and infusional 5-fluorouracil (CCF plus trastuzumab as preoperative treatment for locally advanced and inflammatory breast cancer. Clinical Breast Cancer, 10(6), 483-8. Abstract below, free full text not available.

Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) was shown as active but less toxic compared to doxorubicin in advanced breast cancer. Given its low cardiotoxicity, the combination of PLD and trastuzumab appears most attractive in the treatment of human epidermal factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated the activity of 8 courses of PLD in combination with cisplatin and infusional 5-fluorouracil (CCF) plus 3-week trastuzumab in patients with primary or recurrent cT2-T4 a-d, N0-3, M0 any estrogen receptor (ER), HER2-positive breast cancer. Patients with ER and/or progesterone receptor (PgR) ? 10% tumors received also letrozole (plus triptorelin if premenopausal). The principal endpoint was clinical response rate; secondary endpoints were the pathologic complete response rate (pCR) and the cardiac safety of the combination. RESULTs: Thirty-two patients were enrolled in the study and all are evaluable for response and toxicity. Fifteen patients (47%) had ER-positive tumors, 15 patients and 2 patients had ER absent and ER poor tumors, respectively. Thirteen patients (41%) had inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and 84% of patients had clinically positive nodes. A clinical response rate of 94% (95% CI, 79%-99%) and a pCR rate of 41% (95% CI, 24%-59%) were observed. Fifty-four percent of patients with IBC obtained a pCR. Eleven patients discontinued treatment before completing 8 courses as planned. No patient developed relevant cardiac toxicity. CONCLUSION: In this series of very locally advanced breast cancer, the combination of CCF and trastuzumab was very active obtaining an impressive rate of pCR, particularly in IBC, which merits further investigation in larger series.

Ye, Y., et al. (2010). E-cadherin accumulation within the lymphovascular embolus of inflammatory breast cancer is due to altered trafficking. Anticancer Research, 30(10), 3903-10. Abstract below, free full text not available.

E-Cadherin functions as a tumor suppressor in some invasive breast carcinomas and metastasis is promoted when its expression is lost. It has been observed, however, that in one of the most aggressive human breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), E-cadherin is overexpressed and this accounts for the formation of the lymphovascular embolus, a structure efficient at metastasis and resistant to chemotherapy through unknown cytoprotective mechanisms. Studies using a human xenograft model of IBC, MARY-X, indicate that the mechanism of E-cadherin overexpression is not transcriptional but related to altered protein trafficking. By real-time RT-PCR, E-cadherin transcript levels in MARY-X were 3- to 11-fold less than in other E-cadherin positive human breast carcinoma lines but the protein levels were 5- to 10-fold greater. In addition, several smaller E-cadherin protein fragments, e.g. 95 kDa, were present. To explain these observations, it was hypothesized that there may be altered protein trafficking. A real-time RT-PCR screen of candidate molecules generally known to regulate protein trafficking was conducted. The screen revealed 3.5- to 7-fold increased ExoC5 level and 10 to 20 fold decreased HRS and RAB7 levels, which was confirmed in human microdissected lymphovascular emboli. Since these alterations may only be correlative with E-cadherin overexpression, one of the molecules, Rab7, was selectively knocked down in MCF-7 cells. An increase in the full length 120 kDa E-cadherin and the de novo appearance of the 95 KD band were observed. These findings suggest that it is the altered E-cadherin trafficking that contributes to its oncogenic rather than suppressive role in IBC.

Robertson, FM., et al. (2010). Inflammatory breast cancer: the disease, the biology, the treatment. CA: a Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 60(6), 351-75. Abstract below, free full text may be found at link above.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of invasive breast cancer accounting for 2.5% of all breast cancer cases. It is characterized by rapid progression, local and distant metastases, younger age of onset, and lower overall survival compared with other breast cancers. Historically, IBC is a lethal disease with less than a 5% survival rate beyond 5 years when treated with surgery or radiation therapy. Because of its rarity, IBC is often misdiagnosed as mastitis or generalized dermatitis. This review examines IBC’s unique clinical presentation, pathology, epidemiology, imaging, and biology and details current multidisciplinary management of the disease, which comprises systemic therapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.

Duke, TJ., et al. (2010). A cluster of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in an office setting: additional evidence of the importance of environmental factors in IBC etiology. Oncology Reports, 24(5), 1277-84. Abstract below, free full text not available.

We investigated a cluster of three cases of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) diagnosed within 10 months in an office setting of 24 people. Information about medical history, pregnancy history, family history of breast cancer, oral contraceptive use/hormone replacement therapy, exposure to possible oncogenic agents and tumor promoters were obtained to determine whether there were differences in risk factors for IBC between cases and controls. The physical environment and location of the cases’ office raised concern about air and water quality as well as radiation as being contributory risk factors for developing IBC. Of the three women with IBC, two had high exposures to pesticides/herbicides, all three used oral contraceptives and two used hormone replacement therapy at the time of diagnosis, two had a family history of breast cancer, and two were obese. Among fifteen controls four had pesticide/herbicide exposure, one had a family history of breast cancer, nine used oral contraceptives, seven used hormone replacement therapy, and five were obese. No specific environmental causes were established for this cluster. Several promoting factors have been suggested that could result in subclinical breast cancer emerging as IBC. Among them are exogenous hormones and exposure to herbicides/pesticides.

Van der Auwera, I., et al. (2010). Integrated miRNA and mRNA expression profiling of the inflammatory breast cancer subtype. British Journal of Cancer, 103(4), 532-41. Abstract below, free full text not available.

BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression. In this study, we explored whether altered miRNA expression has a prominent role in defining the inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) phenotype. METHODS: We used quantitative PCR technology to evaluate the expression of 384 miRNAs in 20 IBC and 50 non-IBC samples. To gain understanding on the biological functions deregulated by aberrant miRNA expression, we looked for direct miRNA targets by performing pair-wise correlation coefficient analysis on expression levels of 10 962 messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and by comparing these results with predicted miRNA targets from TargetScan5.1. RESULTS: We identified 13 miRNAs for which expression levels were able to correctly predict the nature of the sample analysed (IBC vs non-IBC). For these miRNAs, we detected a total of 17,295 correlated miRNA-mRNA pairs, of which 7012 and 10 283 pairs showed negative and positive correlations, respectively. For four miRNAs (miR-29a, miR-30b, miR-342-3p and miR-520a-5p), correlated genes were concordant with predicted targets. A gene set enrichment analysis on these genes demonstrated significant enrichment in biological processes related to cell proliferation and signal transduction. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents, to the best of our knowledge, the first integrated analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression in IBC. We identified a set of 13 miRNAs of which expression differed between IBC and non-IBC, making these miRNAs candidate markers for the IBC subtype.

Dawood, S., et al. (2010). Trastuzumab in primary inflammatory breast cancer (ibc): high pathological response rates and improved outcome. The Breast Journal. Abstract below, free full text not available.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) represents a rare but aggressive and lethal form of locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) and frequently with HER-2 neu overexpressed or amplified. We retrospectively identified 16 newly diagnosed HER-2/neu-positive IBC patients who were treated with preoperative trastuzumab. We determined the pathological complete response rate (pCR) when trastuzumab was added to preoperative chemotherapy in patients with HER2/neu-positive IBC. Furthermore, we assessed the expression of CXCR4 in metastatic recurrence sites. Ten patients (62.5%) achieved a pCR. Six patients (37.5%) achieved a partial response. Median follow-up of all patients was 24.2 months. Four (25%) patients have experienced a progression, of which three were in the brain. Two-year progression-free survival was 59.4% (95% CI 35-100). High expression of CXCR4 was detected in the brain metastases. We conclude that in spite of high pCR rates among women with HER-2/neu-positive IBC treated with neoadjuvant trastuzumab-based regimens the outcome remains dismal and brain recurrences are frequent. CXCR4 may represent a novel therapeutic target.

Pogo, PG., Holland, JF., & Levine, PH. (2010). Human mammary tumor virus in inflammatory breast cancer. Cancer, 116(11 Suppl), 2741-4. Abstract below, free full text not available.

The authors have found that retroviral sequences with 85% to 95% homology to the mouse mammary tumor virus were present in 40% of the sporadic breast cancers of American women. These sequences were not found in normal breasts or other tumors. A whole proviral structure was detected in 2 tumors. Breast cancer cells in culture were shown to contain and shed betaretroviral particles. This virus was designated human mammary tumor virus (HMTV). The authors have investigated the presence of HMTV sequences in a variety of breast conditions and geographic locations. Here they report that inflammatory breast cancer from American women shows a higher incidence of viral sequences (71%) than sporadic breast cancers. Similar incidence has been found in inflammatory breast cancers from Tunisia, and in gestational breast cancers. Because these conditions represent highly invasive malignancies, it is concluded that HMTV is sometimes associated with a particularly malignant phenotype.

Boussen, H., et al. (2010). Phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of neoadjuvant lapatinib plus paclitaxel in patients with inflammatory breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(20), 3248-55. Abstract below, free full text not available.

PURPOSE: We conducted a phase II, open-label, multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of daily lapatinib plus weekly paclitaxel in treatment-naïve patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: The primary end point was pathologic complete response (pCR). Secondary end points included combined clinical response rate (based on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria and clinically evaluable skin disease criteria). Patients were assigned to either cohort A (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2] 2+ or 3+ by immunohistochemistry [IHC] or fluorescent in situ hybridization [FISH] -amplified +/- epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFR] expression) or cohort B (HER2-negative/EGFR-positive). A subpopulation of cohort A considered HER2-positive by the current definition of overexpression (3+ by IHC or FISH-amplified) was also analyzed. Patients received lapatinib at 1,500 mg/d for 14 days, then lapatinib at 1,500 mg/d plus weekly paclitaxel (80 mg/m(2)) for 12 weeks, followed by surgical resection or additional chemotherapy. RESULTS: Forty-nine women were enrolled (cohort A, n = 42; cohort B, n = 7). Cohort B was terminated because of slow accrual and lack of efficacy observed in IBC patients with HER2-negative/EGFR-positive tumors enrolled onto the parallel study, EGF103009. pCR occurred in 18.2% (95% CI, 5.2% to 40.3%) of cohort A patients. Combined clinical response rate was 78.6% (95% CI, 63.2% to 89.7%) in all cohort A patients and 78.1% (95% CI, 60.0% to 90.7%) in the HER2-positive subset. Common adverse events included diarrhea, rash, alopecia, and nausea (> 50% of patients in both cohorts). The incidence of grade 3 diarrhea was 55%. CONCLUSION: Lapatinib monotherapy for 14 days followed by lapatinib plus paclitaxel for 12 weeks provided clinical benefit in IBC patients with HER2-overexpressing tumors without unexpected toxicity.

Overmoyer, BA. (2010). Inflammatory breast cancer: novel preoperative therapies. Clinical Breast Cancer, 10(1), 27-32. Abstract below, free full text not available.

The treatment of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) has been hampered by the diagnostic rarity of the disease and its consequent inclusion in clinical trials of preoperative treatment for the more indolent locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). Patients with IBC have a 2-fold greater probability of dying of their disease compared with patients diagnosed with LABC. The aggressive clinical portrait of IBC supports the recent investigative focus on determining molecular changes specific to IBC and developing novel systemic therapies that will favorably affect its poor disease prognosis. A significant amount of laboratory research has been involved in defining a specific “inflammatory signature” for IBC, denoting molecular changes consistently found in IBC. This work has involved human IBC tissue and cell lines and has demonstrated overexpression of several molecules governing metastatic dissemination, such as overexpression of E-cadherin concurrent with a dysfunctional mucin 1. An increased prevalence of mutant TP53, overexpression of RhoC, and vascular endothelial growth factor-A has been found to contribute to the dominant influence of angiogenesis in this disease. A greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing the pathophysiology of IBC has led to the development and clinical application of novel targeting agents for preoperative therapy. This study reviews the advances in molecular understanding of IBC and focuses on the efficacy of therapies that target the epidermal growth factor pathway and angiogenesis as well as early investigational therapies involving RhoC and TP53.

Charafe-Jauffret, E., et al. (2010). Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1-positive cancer stem cells mediate metastasis and poor clinical outcome in inflammatory breast cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 16(1), 45-55. Abstract below, free full text may be found at link above.

PURPOSE: To examine the role of cancer stem cells (CSC) in mediating metastasis in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and the association of these cells with patient outcome in this aggressive type of breast cancer. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: CSCs were isolated from SUM149 and MARY-X, an IBC cell line and primary xenograft, by virtue of increased aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity as assessed by the ALDEFLUOR assay. Invasion and metastasis of CSC populations were assessed by in vitro and mouse xenograft assays. Expression of ALDH1 was determined on a retrospective series of 109 IBC patients and this was correlated with histoclinical data. All statistical tests were two sided. Log-rank tests using Kaplan-Meier analysis were used to determine the correlation of ALDH1 expression with development of metastasis and patient outcome. RESULTS: Both in vitro and xenograft assays showed that invasion and metastasis in IBC are mediated by a cellular component that displays ALDH activity. Furthermore, expression of ALDH1 in IBC was an independent predictive factor for early metastasis and decreased survival in this patient population. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the metastatic, aggressive behavior of IBC may be mediated by a CSC component that displays ALDH enzymatic activity. ALDH1 expression represents the first independent prognostic marker to predict metastasis and poor patient outcome in IBC. The results illustrate how stem cell research can translate into clinical practice in the IBC field.

Arias-Pulido, H., et al. (2010). GPR30 and estrogen receptor expression: new insights into hormone dependence of inflammatory breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 123(1), 51-8. Abstract below, free full text not available.

GPR30 is a novel G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (ER) associated with metastases in breast cancer (BC) and poor survival in endometrial and ovarian tumors. The association of GPR30 expression with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), an aggressive and commonly hormone-independent form of BC, has not been studied. GPR30, ER, progesterone receptor (PR), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and HER-2 expression were assessed by immunohistochemistry (and FISH for HER-2) in 88 primary IBCs. GPR30 expression was correlated with patient overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), pathologic variables, and other biomarkers. GPR30 expression was found in 69% of IBC cases. ER, PR, HER-2, and EGFR were found in 43, 35, 39, and 34% of IBC cases, respectively. GPR30 expression correlated inversely with ER expression (P = 0.02). Co-expression of ER and GPR30 was found in 24% of IBC samples; 19% expressed only ER and 46% expressed only GPR30. Univariate analysis showed no association between GPR30 expression and OS or DFS. However, co-expression of ER and GPR30 was associated with improved OS (P < 0.03) and marginally with DFS (P < 0.06); the absence of both ER and GPR30 was associated with worse OS and DFS (P = 0.03 for both). Multivariate analysis identified ER as an independent prognostic factor of OS (P = 0.008) and DFS (P = 0.02). The majority of IBC tumors are GPR30-positive, suggesting that estrogen signaling may be active in ER-negative IBC patients. These findings suggest potential new therapeutic targets for IBC such as novel endocrine agents or direct modulation of GPR30.

Masannat, YA., et al. (2010). Case report of bilateral inflammatory breast cancer. European Journal of Cancer Care, 19(4), 558-60. Abstract below, free full text may be found at link above.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare entity that makes up 1-3% of breast cancers. As the diagnosis of IBC is mainly clinical, for the inexperienced the clinical appearance can mimic mastitis leading to diagnostic delay and it is often associated with a poor prognosis. Very few cases of bilateral IBC are reported in the literature, all of which have been synchronous. We report an unusual case of bilateral metachronous IBC each with complete clinico-pathological response after treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery on both occasions.