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Oncologist. 2003;8(2):141-8.

Update on the management of inflammatory breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive manifestation of primary breast carcinoma, with the clinical and biological characteristics of a rapidly proliferating disease. The multidisciplinary management of IBC has changed in the past 3 decades and is presently clearly outlined in sequence, with preoperative or neoadjuvant chemotherapy representing the mainstay of treatment. Anthracyclines and taxanes are the most effective cytotoxic agents in the management of primary breast cancer and should be the standard of treatment for women with IBC. Locoregional treatment includes radiotherapy with or without surgery and continues to play a major role after appropriate medical treatment. The many investigations into the particular molecular determinants of IBC development have provided several interesting new therapeutic targets. Combination regimens that include angiogenic modulators, farnesyl transferase inhibitors, and p53 modulators hold great promise in the medical management of IBC. Future therapeutic approaches should focus on these discoveries so that we can improve the overall prognosis for women with IBC.

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