Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, reported the findings of the international Phase II trial today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
IBC is rare, representing just 1- 2 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed. Unlike other breast cancers that present as a lump, IBCs symptoms include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, skin that is reddish, purple or bruised, has ridges and/or appears pitted like an orange. Other symptoms can include burning, aching or tenderness, an increase in breast size, and/or an inverted nipple.
A fast growing and aggressive cancer, IBC is more likely than other breast cancers to be misdiagnosed, often diagnosed after the disease has metastasized, says Cristofanilli. According to Cristofanilli, 40 percent of women with IBC will survive five years. Until now, no therapies specific to IBC have been studied in multi-center trials. As a consequence, no effective therapies standard or experimental - exist for women with IBC.
We initiated this Phase II study because lapatinib is one of the few drugs that had shown any activity in Phase I studies in patients with recurrent IBC. It appeared that this agent could be the first to offer hope for women newly diagnosed with the disease, says Cristofanilli, the studys principal investigator.
Lapatinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor and HER2neu tyrosine kinase inhibitor. An experimental drug that has shown promise in patients with metastatic HER2-positive cancer in whom Herceptin has failed, the oral agent blocks
Contact: Julie Penne
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center