This study, conducted by the NCI and the George Washington University Medical Center
(GWUMC), will examine breast tissue from patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) for
tumor markers and factors associated with angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of
new blood vessels that is essential for tumor growth and spread. IBC is an extremely rare,
aggressive form of breast cancer that disproportionately affects young women. The risk
factors for IBC, its cause, and how it develops are unknown, but the disease appears to
involve a high degree of angiogenesis.
Tissue specimens for this study will be obtained from GWUMC's Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Registry and Biospecimen Repository. The registry was established to develop a national
registry of patients with IBC that includes standardized clinical, epidemiological, and
pathological information, along with disease recurrence and survival data.
For this study, tissue specimens from the repository will be tested for biological markers
and angiogenesis parameters to help in the classification of the tumors. Biological markers
(such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, the p53 gene, and others) and
angiogenesis parameters (such as various proteins involved in vessel formation) will be
examined to determine their prevalence in tissue specimens and their relationship to patient
survival. When possible, the findings will be compared with non-IBC tissue samples.
Inflammatory breast carcinoma (IBC) is an extremely rare, aggressive form of breast cancer
that disproportionately affects young women. The risk factors and pathogenesis of these
tumors are unknown and it is unclear whether tumors showing various clinical, pathological
or molecular features behave differently. IBC appears to be a highly angiogenic tumor. In
this study, tumor markers and parameters of angiogenesis will be further investigated in
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Registry and Biospecimen Repository is a project funded by a
grant from the Department of Defense to Paul H. Levine at GWUMC. The purpose of the
registry is to develop a national registry of patients with IBC that will contain
standardized clinical, epidemiological, and pathological information, along with recurrence
and survival data. The goal is to obtain specimens from approximately 150 patients with
IBC. The data in the registry and repository will be made available to researchers to aid
in the development of a clinicopathological diagnosis of IBC. Investigators at GWUMC will
consent recruited patients and collect clinical data. Subjects will not be recruited,
evaluated, or monitored at the NCI. The GWUMC IRB will oversee human subjects protection
In collaboration with George Washington University Medical Center (GWUMC) we plan to test
tissue specimens collected in the IBC registry and biospecimen repository. We will obtain
frozen tissue (tissue and/or normal) and paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from each case.
Genetic testing will not be performed on any of the samples. Specimens will be tested for
biological markers associated with IBC to help in classification of these tumors. These
include ER, PR, p53, c-erb-2, microvessel density (MVD), and E-cadherin. Angiogenesis
parameters will also be evaluated. These include hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1
alpha), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) protein expression, VEGF-C protein
expression, VEGF-receptor 1 (VEGFR-1), VEGF-receptor 2 (VEGFR02, Kdr) and VEGF-receptor 3
- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
Patients with inflammatory breast cancer.
Age greater than or equal to 18 years.