We fund and create alliances for inflammatory breast cancer research because research leads to better treatments and outcomes for patients.
One recent major alliance has been with the Milburn Foundation and Susan G. Komen®. For too long there has been debate about a consistent definition for IBC and whether IBC is a distinct type of breast cancer. IBCRF is a firm believer that IBC is indeed a separate type of breast cancer. Together with the Milburn Foundation and Susan G Komen, we have helped convene a team of international IBC and research experts to address this long standing issue.
The team, called the IBC Focus Group, has proposed a consistent and quantifiable method for defining IBC in a diagnostic setting. Establishing a definition of IBC is critical to reduce the incidence of misdiagnosis currently all too common. Of utmost importance to the medical/research team is making sure biospecimens used in research meet the same criteria. Tissue in some research may not actually be IBC and that is problematic. Our collective work has been presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and should soon be published in a peer review journal.
We have raised well over $1M to define and address the most critical issues facing IBC research. This allows us to position and support the issues most relevant to IBC patients. Our patient-led initiatives are setting the research agenda on behalf of our community.
One part of this partnership was providing Inflammatory Breast Cancer Innovator Grants: Treating IBC requires innovation, so we awarded grants to new investigators. In 2016, we accepted applications from researchers to explore new ideas and novel approaches to combating IBC leading to three Inflammatory Breast Cancer Innovator Grants.
Function of Lymphatic Vessels in Rapid Progression of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Mihaela Skobe PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, received funding in 2017 to understand how the interactions between triple negative IBC and the lymphatic system influence the aggressiveness of the disease, ultimately providing insight on potential new treatment strategies. Dr. Skobe’s grant was renewed for a second year.
Marker discovery and validation in a prospectively collected IBC cohort (INFLAME)
John Martens PhD, Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum, Rotterdam, Netherlands, received funding in 2017 to combine patient information from an established Dutch IBC registry with the latest genomic technology to improve the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of IBC.
Preclinical testing of matriptase as a novel target in inflammatory breast cancer
Karin List PhD, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan received a one year award in 2017. Using pre-clinical models of IBC, this proposal will test a newly developed drug that inhibits matriptase to determine if the drug can inhibit tumor growth and spread. The researchers will also test whether this new drug can be combined with existing FDA-approved therapies to overcome drug resistance.