How do i treat inflammatory breast cancer?

Della Makower, Joseph A. Sparano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Opinion statement: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an uncommon and aggressive presentation of locally advanced breast cancer that is potentially curable when localized but may be associated with distant metastasis in up to one-third of patients at presentation. The diagnosis of IBC is made based on clinical features, including the presence of skin edema and erythema involving at least one-third of the breast, with or without a mass, and usually associated with dermal lymphatic invasion (DLI) on skin biopsy. Management requires combined modality therapy, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy with an anthracycline and taxane-based regimen, followed by surgery and radiotherapy, plus concurrent anti-HER2 therapy for HER2-positive disease, and endocrine therapy for at least 5 years after surgery for estrogen-receptor-positive disease (Fig. 1). There have been few large clinical trials focused on IBC; therefore, most data regarding treatment are derived from retrospective analyses, small studies, and extrapolation of results from trials of noninflammatory locally advanced breast cancer. Patients with IBC should be encouraged to enroll in clinical trials whenever possible. In addition, further research into the biology of IBC may help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying its aggressive clinical behavior and to assist in the development of therapies targeted for this specific population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Anthracycline
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Taxane
  • Trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'How do i treat inflammatory breast cancer?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this