American's Promise to Fight IBC
American Airlines Celebrity Golf and Tennis event, plus AA's Miles for the Cure program are funding a unique Komen for the Cure Promise Grant at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for new treatments for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). American has pledged $8 million over eight years to fund a $7.5 million Promise Grant at M.D. Anderson's Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic, the only clinic of its kind devoted to IBC which affects only one to five percent of women with breast cancer.
It is extremely aggressive, rapidly spreading from a small "bug bite" to involve the surface of the entire breast in a matter of weeks. The five-year survival rate is only 40 percent, less than half the rate for other breast cancers. Because it typically does not present like other breast cancers, women often are not diagnosed with IBC until it has spread to other organs. More baffling, the disease affects a disproportionate number of younger, premenopausal women who are typically not considered at risk for breast cancer.
Making Progress"M.D. Anderson is making extraordinary progress because of the generosity of these contributions, which fuel our drive and dedication towards a cure for women afflicted with this disease. This Promise Grant is paving the way for us to move very quickly to glean new information from laboratory models that will lead to better detection and long-term treatments for IBC," said Fredika Robertson, Ph.D., professor of experimental therapeutics at M.D. Anderson.
M.D. Anderson's IBC Clinic has four treatment trials using standard breast cancer therapies. To date, there is no treatment available that was developed to target inflammatory breast cancer. "The clinical trial developed from Dr. Robertson's laboratory work will be the first line of treatment specifically targeting IBC and offering great promise for our patients," says Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., IBC clinic director.