Lack of Uniform Diagnostic Criteria for Inflammatory Breast Cancer Limits Interpretation of Treatment Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Tufts University, Бостон, Georgia, United States
Clinical Breast Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.11). 01/2007; 7(5):386-95. DOI: 10.3816/CBC.2006.n.055
Source: PubMed


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer. No randomized controlled trial or systematic review with an IBC-only cohort that evaluates interventions has been published. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to characterize the reporting of clinical criteria and response to neoadjuvant therapy for IBC.
We searched MEDLINE and other sources for the following: previously untreated patients with IBC without metastasis in cohort studies; utilized chemotherapy; and reported clinical outcomes. The following 4 groups were analyzed: no anthracycline induction, low-dose anthracycline induction, moderate-dose anthracycline induction, and high-dose chemotherapy requiring stem cell support. Weighted averages for the overall response rates were calculated using a random effects model.
Twenty-seven studies met all criteria, totaling 1232 patients. Clinical description of IBC eligibility criteria and reported response assessments varied significantly among studies. The response rates and 3- and 5-year overall survival for all 27 studies ranged from 14% to 100%, 22% to 84%, and 32% to 75%, respectively. Pathologic complete response rates after no anthracycline induction, low-dose anthracycline induction, moderate-dose anthracycline induction, and neoadjuvant high-dose chemotherapy subgroups were 4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1%-18%), 11% (95% CI, 7%-17%), 14% (95% CI, 8%-22%), and 32% (95% CI, 24%-41%), respectively.
The criteria and reporting of IBC and treatment response was notably variable, with significant potential for subject heterogeneity. Pathologic complete response rates appear to be related to intensity of neoadjuvant treatment; however, this analysis is not based on randomized data. Future clinical trials should define and report the criteria for IBC diagnosis and response assessment to enhance interstudy comparisons.

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    • "Primary inflammatory mammary carcinoma occurs suddenly in dogs without previous detection of lesions of mammary tumors while the secondary inflammatory mammary carcinoma accompanies mammary tumors [8]. Secondary inflammatory mammary carcinoma is further classified into two types: postsurgical whenever it develops after surgical excision of a previous mammary tumors, and non-postsurgical when developing from a previous mammary tumor not surgically treated that leaded to inflamma‐ tory mammary carcinoma [9] [18] [19]. "
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    • "The understanding of the etiology and biology of IBC is greatly hampered by the multitude of definitions and names that have been applied to this disease. These conflicting case definitions have impeded attempts to review the effect of different therapeutic approaches to IBC [6]. An example of the importance of clarifying the case definition is that according to SEER data, the incidence of IBC is increasing while the incidence of breast cancer in general is not [2,7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The case definition for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is controversial. The American Joint Committee on Cancer defines IBC as redness, warmth and edema involving at least half the breast. The SEER program relies on a pathologic finding of dermal lymphatic invasion and recently added those with clinical involvement of more than 3/4 of the breast. We established a registry to collect information and specimens from IBC patients to clarify the epidemiology and biology of these tumors. The goals of this report are to suggest improvements regarding case definitions and provide data on the variety of presentations relevant to early diagnosis.
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) has been of great interest to a number of investigators, but epidemiological research has been hampered by the lack of an agreed upon case definition and the relatively small number of patients available to any single investigator or institution. Several features of IBC have become apparent through population-based studies, which, although varying somewhat in case definition, generally agree on some key features of the disease. These include the incidence of the disease, apparently less than 3% of breast cancer cases in the United States, the younger age of onset compared to non-inflammatory breast cancer, the much higher incidence in Black women compared to White, the generally poor outcome of this disease compared to non-inflammatory breast cancer, and the continued increase in reported incidence, particularly as compared with non-inflammatory breast cancer in general and locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) in particular. There is an apparent striking geographic pattern, with a higher percentage of cases reported from North Africa, best documented in Tunisia. The risk factors for developing IBC are suggested by smaller studies with concordant conclusions, and some appear to be different than the risk factors for developing breast cancer in general. For example, obesity appears to be a risk factor for premenopausal IBC but is not for premenopausal non-inflammatory breast cancer. In addition, there is evidence that a young age at first birth predisposes to IBC but is protective against developing non-inflammatory breast cancer. In some malignancies, the use of molecular markers is helpful in defining subgroups that could assist in improving case definition as well as predicting prognosis. The increasing combination of improved epidemiologic and laboratory methods will hopefully accelerate our understanding of this challenging disease.
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