First research, treatment clinic for inflammatory breast cancer to open at University of Texas

November 21, 2015

According to the Chronicle, 2% of the 275,000 diagnosed breast cancer cases in the U.S. involve inflammatory breast cancer, and 60% of women diagnosed with the disease die within five years.

Inflammatory breast cancer often is missed during a breast exam because it does not "conform to traditional images of breast cancer," according to the Chronicle.

The disease also is difficult to treat because it is immersed through the lymph system and breast and does not form a lump, the Chronicle reports.

The clinic -- which will include a team of 17 physicians to examine 60 to 80 new cases annually -- aims to increase the amount of research and treatment targeted at inflammatory breast cancer, the Chronicle reports.

"Our primary goal is to finally understand why this disease is different and why it's so resistant to treatment," Massimo Cristofanilli, co-director of the clinic, said, adding, "We'll gather serum and tissue, look at gene expression and analyze other pertinent biological information, in hopes of finally developing treatment guidelines."

Michael Sabel, a professor of surgery at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the clinic is a good idea because it will bring many patients to one location.

He added, "The disease is so rare you'll have one patient here, one patient there, each being treated differently.

Any time you can get a lot of patients in one place and do clinical trials, you can understand the disease and treatment options better" (Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, 10/21).

This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at the The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2006 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.