Archive for the ‘Inflamatory Breast Cancer’ Category

One more time

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007


Every so often I feel it is necessary to list the symptoms of IBC. And while I realize it is a rare cancer I feel it is very important to get the information out there. So quickly here is what you are looking for.


Rapid, unusual increase in breast size

Redness, rash, blotchiness on breast

Persistent itching of breast or nipple

Lump or thickening of breast tissue

Stabbing pain and/or soreness of breast

Feverish breast

Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm or above the collarbone

Dimpling or ridging of the breast

Flattening or retracting of nipple

Please remember that these symptoms are often assumed to be an infection. If you do not get better after one or two antibiotic courses demand an ultrasound and biopsy.
Please do not ignore these symptoms. Especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant!!!!

Please do not allow a loved one to ignore these symptoms.

Please be proactive about your breast health. Remember that IBC does NOT show up on a mammogram or through self exam. It is painful though so do not ignore the signs!
Inflammatory breast cancer is aggressive and invasive. It has metastasized in women with only a brief period of symptoms.
It has a much lower survival rate.
It has killed sixteen year old girls. Mothers please tell your daughter to look for these symptoms as well.
God bless you all. I hope this helps

    Gold, baby

    Tuesday, July 31st, 2007


    I am posting this article about the use of gold particles and chemotherapy because I thought it was pretty interesting. All this nanotechnology is. The future of medicine. How exciting. So read it if you are so inclined. I will post something more juicy this week. Love to y’all.

    Provided by: M. D. Anderson

    Last Updated: 01 Mar 2006

    Scientists have created a way for viruses and tiny bits of gold to assemble within the body to potentially seek out and destroy diseases, such as cancer, a new study reports.

    The M. D. Anderson study shows that miniscule particles of gold – a metal that is not rejected by the body – can create a microscopic “vehicle” of sorts, called a nanoshuttle, that attaches to viruses that can find and possibly attack diseased cells.

    The viruses possess this tracking ability because they have been specially engineered to display a protein that matches a protein receptor “zip code” on the diseased tissue of interest, according to the study published in a recent issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS).

    Nano devices could be used in various diseases

    This homing technique was pioneered by the study co-leaders Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D., and Wadih Arap, M.D., both professors in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Medicine and Cancer Biology.

    Their previous work revealed that the human vascular system contains unique molecular addresses, depending on the site of an organ or tissue, and that blood vessels also acquire abnormal signatures on diseased organs. They were the first to attach such unique vascular “zip codes” to viruses, so that they could engineer the viruses to go to these target addresses.

    While many researchers have tried to use synthetic materials or polymers to create tiny devices that can be used in medical therapy, they have not been able to find a way to get these devices to specific organs or tissues that need to be treated, Pasqualini says.

    The M. D. Anderson research team, however, discovered that “gold is a perfect metal” to use because it is biologically compatible, and the other key component to produce targetable nanoparticles are the specially engineered viruses.

    Research drives scientists to future studies

    According to the team, nano devices might be able to treat a number of different diseases in similar ways:

    Cancer– Nanoshuttles may be able to locate specific tumors by using an array of imaging techniques. The tumors could then be treated by either heating the gold particles with laser light and/or using the nanoparticles to selectively deliver a drug to destroy the cancer.

    Heart disease– Nanoshuttles could locate damaged areas on arteries that have been caused by heart disease, and then deliver stem cells to the site that can build new blood vessel tissue.

    Although the nanoshuttle has not been tested in animals, the study is the first to show how, in a laboratory, gold and viruses can combine and build a matrix that can support stem cells, which could regenerate diseased tissue.

    “This is our vision of the future, and, of course, it all needs to be further studied and translated into real clinical applications,” Arap says. “But we can now think in those terms because of this pioneering work that merges the fields of vascular targeting and nanotechnology.”

    Nanotechnology and the f***ing cure for cancer

    Monday, July 30th, 2007

    This is an article that may surprise you .It explains the use and results of nanotechnology in curing cancer. This includes metastatic disease.  Please take the time to read it. It is exciting. This is not theory anymore. They are in the human stage of research which is exciting.

    Home About Us Contact Us Link1Targeted Delivery System (TDS)
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    Rexin-Gâ„¢ Fact Sheet.
    If you think there is no hope in cancer you may be surprised by this article.

    About Rexin-Gâ„¢
    Scientists at Epeius Biotechnologies have developed the technologies that can deliver a new class of powerful biological therapy directly to tumors that have spread throughout the body (metastatic cancer). The lead product, Rexin-Gâ„¢ , is a gene delivery vehicle, a tumor-targeted nanoparticle that is designed to deliver a tumor-killing designer gene precisely where it is needed. Rexin-Gâ„¢ has been shown clinically to be highly active against a broad spectrum of chemo-resistant tumor types, causing tumor shrinkage in patients suffering from metastatic cancer, without eliciting harmful systemic side effects.
    Rexin-Gâ„¢ received orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Rexin-Gâ„¢ received accelerated approval in the Philippines for use in all solid tumors
    Rexin-Gâ„¢ is currently in clinical trials internationally, including the U.S., for advanced pancreatic and other metastatic cancer
    How Rexin-Gâ„¢ Works
    Each nanoparticle of Rexin-G™ is only 100 nanometers wide; yet despite its small size, it is a highly complex structure. Each component—the envelope, matrix, capsid, enzymes, and genetic material has its purpose, and in concert they enable each nanoparticle to deliver a lethal payload. The payload is a tumor-killing designer gene, which selectively kills cancer cells and their associated blood supply, while sparing normal cells and healthy tissues.
    The delivery of the lethal payload by the nanoparticles is “pathotropic,” meaning it is specifically targeted to diseased tissues. Rather than targeting the cancer cells themselves, Rexin-G™ efficiently targets a common histopathological property of all invasive tumors. Pathotropic targeting allows Rexin-G™ to seek out and destroy tumors regardless of their location in the body, thereby reducing tumor burden, prolonging survival, and enhancing the patient’s quality-of-life.
    The only targeted cancer gene delivery system that can be effectively administered intravenously
    Designed to seek out and destroy both primary and metastatic tumors
    Highly active as a single agent in a broad spectrum of chemo-resistant cancers
    About Metastatic Cancer
    Cancer is a progressive illness, originating from primary tumors located in specific tissues or organs. Tumor cells detach from the primary tumor and are carried to other sites in the body through the bloodstream to neighboring tissues, creating a secondary or metastatic tumor. Metastatic tumors often present in essential organs, making treatment difficult. Common treatment options for metastatic tumors include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery or combinations of these treatment options, which often have limited success while causing severe side effects that significantly diminish the quality of life for the patient.

    Clinical Experience with Rexin-Gâ„¢
    Early clinical and preclinical data suggest that Rexin-Gâ„¢ is safe and effective when used as a single agent therapeutic for the treatment of chemo-resistant tumors.
    United States
    Rexin-Gâ„¢ is currently in Phase I trials at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer that is refractory to traditional chemotherapy.
    A single-use clinical trial evaluating Rexin-Gâ„¢ for the treatment of metastatic cancer that is refractory to standard chemotherapy has been initiated at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, PA., The Sarcoma Oncology Clinic, Santa Monica, CA. and the Epeius Clinical Research Unit, San Marino, CA.
    Rexin-Gâ„¢ has been granted accelerated approval for the treatment of all solid tumors. Rexin-Gâ„¢ has also been approved for the Expanded Access Program by the Bureau of Food and Drugs in the Philippines. Under these programs in the Philippines, Rexin-Gâ„¢ is approved for use as a first-line and adjuvant therapy for pancreatic and breast cancer and a second-line therapy for all other solid tumors that are refractory to standard chemotherapy.
    Dr. Takaki Imamura has initiated an independent study of Rexin-Gâ„¢ in a variety of metastatic cancers. He completed his first round of trials in December 2006.

    virus kills cancer cells

    Thursday, July 12th, 2007

    Breast cancer gene

    This is a lovely breast cancer cell Kelly thinks it looks like a rose

    Common virus kills cancer cells
    Sunday, July 08, 2007 – 04:58 PM
    By: 680News staff
    Washington – A common virus that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy, US researchers said.
    The virus, called adeno-associated virus type 2, or AAV-2, infects an estimated 80 percent of the population.
    “Our results suggest that adeno-associated virus type 2, which infects the majority of the population but has no known ill effects, kills multiple types of cancer cells yet has no effect on healthy cells,” said Craig Meyers, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania.
    “We believe that AAV-2 recognizes that the cancer cells are abnormal and destroys them. This suggests that AAV-2 has great potential to be developed as an anti-cancer agent,” Meyers said in a statement.
    He said at a meeting of the American Society for Virology that studies have shown women infected with AAV-2 who are also infected with a cancer-causing wart virus called HPV develop cervical cancer less frequently than uninfected women do.
    AAV-2 is a small virus that cannot replicate itself without the help of another virus.
    But with the help of a second virus it kills cells.
    For their study, Meyers and colleagues first infected a batch of human cells with HPV, some strains of which cause cervical cancer. They then infected these cells and normal cells with AAV-2.
    After six days, all the HPV-infected cells died.
    The same thing happened with cervical, breast, prostate and squamous cell tumor cells.
    All are cancers of the epithelial cells, which include skin cells and other cells that line the insides and outsides of organs.
    “One of the most compelling findings is that AAV-2 appears to have no pathologic effects on healthy cells,” Meyers said.
    “So many cancer therapies are as poisonous to healthy cells as they are to cancer cells. A therapy that is able to distinguish between healthy and cancer cells could be less difficult to endure for those with cancer.”
    AAV-2 is being studied intensively as a gene therapy vector — a virus modified to carry disease-correcting genes into the body.
    Gene therapy researchers favor it because it does not seem to cause disease or immune system reactions on its own.

    Andrea Here: I found this of interest. thought you might take a minute to look it over. Interesting given I mentioned not long ago that I really thought future generations would be shocked by the brutality of chemotherapy. Gene research is the future for cancer. Maybe when my friends are old it will be a thing of the past and everyone can live even longer. This is big news even if it takes 30 or 40 years to put into practice. I may not be around to see its benefit but many of you will. As well as my children and their children. That’s exciting.

    Science report on IBC

    Sunday, June 10th, 2007


    From: University of Michigan Health System

    Gene found to contribute to deadly form of breast cancer

    U-M researchers prove ability of

    RhoC GTPase to trigger inflammatory

    form of disease

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan researchers have found

    that a gene recently implicated in liver, skin and pancreas cancer can

    cause an especially deadly kind of breast cancer, and may help explain

    why it grows, spreads and sometimes proves deadly so quickly.

    The finding, published in the Oct. 15 issue of the journal Cancer

    Research, confirms the team’s earlier suspicions that a gene called

    RhoC GTPase is a key factor in inflammatory breast cancer. Just

    over a year ago, they published a study showing that the gene was over-expressed in 90 percent of tumor samples from women with the aggressive disease, several times more often as in women with non-inflammatory forms of the disease. Now, the authors say, they have shown that too much RhoC GTPase production in otherwise normal cells causes the kind of rapid establishment of cell colonies, invasive tendencies and ability to move that characterize

    inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC. They also found that, implanted into healthy mice, normal cells with extra RhoC GTPase activity can prompt breast tumors to form – though not as often as implanted tumor cells. This suggests that the gene, while key to the disease’s progress, has some undetermined partners. “This is the first time that the RhoC gene has been implicated in breast cancer, and we suspect that its importance may go beyond the  inflammatory form of the disease to include other aggressive breast tumors,” says author Sofia Merajver, Ph.D., M.D. associate professor of internal medicine in the U-M Health System and director of the Breast and Ovarian Risk Evaluation Clinic at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Adds Kenneth van Golen, Ph.D., co-lead author with Zhi-Fen Wu, M.D., “This discovery raises the possibility of a future test or therapeutic agent that could help physicians and patients launch a counterattack as aggressive as the disease itself.” Such tests or treatments are probably years off, he added, but their development relies on evidence like that in the new studyInflammatory breast cancer accounts for 6 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses in the U.S. each year, but its speed and ability to metastasize make it much harder to treat. Only 45 percent of women with the disease are alive and disease free after five years and optimal treatment. IBC is known as the most deadly form of locally advanced breast cancer. The disease’s name comes from the red color and other changes it produces in breast skin, including nodules, puckering and nipple retraction. By the time it’s diagnosed, IBC has almost always spread to the lymph nodes and often to other parts of the body – suggesting its cells quickly develop the ability to leave the primary tumor, travel through the body and grow blood vessels elsewhere.

    Despite its deadly nature, little has been known about IBC’s genetic underpinnings. The U-M team has probed that mystery for several years, most recently with studies of which genes were over-active in the tumors of women treated for various forms of the disease at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer.

    They found that the RhoC GTPase gene was over-expressed – or transcribed extra times to produce surplus RhoC GTPase protein – in 90 percent of IBC tumors. This molecular-level difference seemed to help explain why IBC cells and non-IBC cells don’t look different under a microscope, but behave very differently in the body.

    RhoC GTPase protein is known to help cells form and arrange the “skeletal” protein actin, which helps form the infrastructure for cells that are dividing to make new cells, extending themselves in a particular direction, attaching to a surface, and stimulating new blood supply routes. An increased ability to perform all those activities is a hallmark of cells that have been transformed into cancer cells – they tend to reproduce without brakes and form colonies, move around the body, cling to each other and to anchor locations, and form blood vessels to feed themselves.

    Armed with that knowledge, the U-M team set out to study the influence of the over-expressed RhoC gene by itself by inserting the gene from tumor cells into normal breast cells, in a process called transfection. They then compared those cells’ behavior with that of normal cells, as well as cells transfected with a control gene, and cells originally grown from IBC tumor tissue. The transfected cells produced about as much of the RhoC GTPase protein as IBC cells.

    They found that extra RhoC alone was enough to cause the transfected cells to form more colonies of new cells than non-transfected cells, from 6 to 176 times as many colonies depending on how much of the protein and how many copies of the gene were present. Even the lowest colonization rate was almost as high as that of tumor cells.

    More crucial to understanding the problem of IBC, the extra RhoC gave the cells a much greater ability to move, or grow across a barrier, than normal cells – about as much invasive ability as tumor cells. The RhoC-transfected cells were also much more likely to move large distances across a surface than the other transfected cells. The source of that movement, concentrated areas of actin called focal adhesion points and stress fibers, was clearly visible in images of the RhoC cells and tumor line cells, but not the others.

    Finally, the team tested the RhoC cells’ ability to start tumors in the breast areas of female mice, compared with tumor cell lines. A quarter of the mice that got the RhoC cells formed tumors, while none of those implanted with normal breast cells did.

    “Overall, our result suggests that there are other key genetic factors to be found,” explains Merajver. The underexpression of a tumor suppressor gene called LIBC, also found by the U-M team in the prior study, may be one. Already, the team is continuing its study of all the factors.

    The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the U.S. Army Breast Cancer Research Program.

    This article comes from Science Blog. Copyright © 2004

    What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
    1. What is inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)?Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breast often looks swollen and red, or “inflamed.” IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States (1). It tends to be diagnosed in younger women compared to non-IBC breast cancer. It occurs more frequently and at a younger age in African Americans than in Whites. Like other types of breast cancer, IBC can occur in men, but usually at an older age than in women. Some studies have shown an association between family history of breast cancer and IBC, but more studies are needed to draw firm conclusions (2).
    2. What are the symptoms of IBC? Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange), which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema (swelling) in the breast. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward) (3). These symptoms usually develop quickly—over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, above the collarbone, or in both places. However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions such as infection, injury, or other types of cancer (1).
    3. How is IBC diagnosed?Diagnosis of IBC is based primarily on the results of a doctor’s clinical examination (1). Biopsy, mammogram, and breast ultrasound are used to confirm the diagnosis. IBC is classified as either stage IIIB or stage IV breast cancer (2). Stage IIIB breast cancers are locally advanced; stage IV breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other organs. IBC tends to grow rapidly, and the physical appearance of the breast of patients with IBC is different from that of patients with other stage III breast cancers. IBC is an especially aggressive, locally advanced breast cancer.Cancer staging describes the extent or severity of an individual’s cancer. (More information on staging is available in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) fact sheet Staging: Questions and Answers at on the Internet.) Knowing a cancer’s stage helps the doctor develop a treatment plan and estimate prognosis (the likely outcome or course of the disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence).
    4. How is IBC treated?Treatment consisting of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy is used to treat IBC. Patients may also receive supportive care to help manage the side effects of the cancer and its treatment. Chemotherapy (anticancer drugs) is generally the first treatment for patients with IBC, and is called neoadjuvant therapy. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, which means that it affects cells throughout the body. The purpose of chemotherapy is to control or kill cancer cells, including those that may have spread to other parts of the body.After chemotherapy, patients with IBC may undergo surgery and radiation therapy to the chest wall. Both radiation and surgery are local treatments that affect only cells in the tumor and the immediately surrounding area. The purpose of surgery is to remove the tumor from the body, while the purpose of radiation therapy is to destroy remaining cancer cells. Surgery to remove the breast (or as much of the breast tissue as possible) is called a mastectomy. Lymph node dissection (removal of the lymph nodes in the underarm area for examination under a microscope) is also done during this surgery.

      After initial systemic and local treatment, patients with IBC may receive additional systemic treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence (cancer coming back). Such treatments may include additional chemotherapy, hormonal therapy (treatment that interferes with the effects of the female hormone estrogen, which can promote the growth of breast cancer cells), targeted therapy (such as trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin®), or all three. Trastuzumab is administered to patients whose tumors overexpress the HER–2 tumor protein. More information about Herceptin and the HER–2 protein is available in the NCI fact sheet Herceptin® (Trastuzumab): Questions and Answers, which can be found at on the Internet.

      Supportive care is treatment given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. It prevents or treats as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment. For example, compression garments may be used to treat lymphedema (swelling caused by excess fluid buildup) resulting from radiation therapy or the removal of lymph nodes. Additionally, meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful to those who want to talk about their feelings or discuss their concerns. A social worker can often suggest resources for help with recovery, emotional support, financial aid, transportation, or home care.