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Semin Oncol. 2008 Feb;35(1):41-50. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2007.11.015.

Defining the molecular biology of inflammatory breast cancer.

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  • 1D├ępartement d'Oncologie Mol├ęculaire, Institut Paoli-Calmettes and UMR599 INSERM, IFR137, 232 Boulevard Sainte-Marguerite, Marseille Cedex 09, France.


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare, but aggressive form of breast cancer. Despite the progress related to the introduction of primary combination chemotherapy (CT) to the multimodality treatment regimen, the prognosis of IBC remains poor with long-term survival inferior to 50%. Until recently, IBC remained understudied at the molecular level. In the past 10 years, advances have been made in the molecular characterization of the disease. Recently, the use of experimental models and new high-throughput molecular profiling technologies have led to the identification of genes or pathways potentially involved in disease development, which might represent new clinically relevant targets. The aim of this review is to present and discuss what is known about the biology of this particularly aggressive form of breast cancer and to discuss how this knowledge could improve its management.

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