Current Oncology Reports

, 21:86 | Cite as

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: a Separate Entity

  • Jennifer M. Rosenbluth
  • Beth A. OvermoyerEmail author
Breast Cancer (B Overmoyer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer


Purpose of Review

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an uncommon but highly aggressive subtype of breast cancer that contributes significantly to breast cancer–related mortality. In this review, we provide an overview of the clinical and molecular characteristics of IBC, and highlight some areas of need for ongoing research.

Recent Findings

The disease is characterized by florid tumor emboli that obstruct dermal lymphatics, leading to swelling and inflammation of the affected breast. Recent studies have focused on tumor cell intrinsic features, such as signaling through pathways involved in growth and stem-like behavior, as well as extrinsic features, such as the immune system, that can be leveraged to develop new potential therapies.


Key efforts have led to an increase in awareness of the disease as well as new insights into IBC pathogenesis. However, there is a strong need for new therapies designed specifically for IBC, and many unanswered questions remain.


Inflammatory breast cancer Locally advanced breast cancer Tumor emboli Dermal lymphatic invasion Clinical trials 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jennifer M. Rosenbluth declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Beth A. Overmoyer has received clinical trial support from Incyte, Eisai, and Genentech.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors. If this does pertain to clinical trials for IBC, Dr. Overmoyer has designed these studies which are mentioned in the aticle.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, Department of Medical OncologyDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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