Funding Advances Understanding, Treatment for Breast Cancer Type with
A partnership between Susan G. Komen®, the Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Research Foundation and the Milburn Foundation® has raised nearly $1 million for more research into inflammatory breast cancer – an aggressive subtype of breast cancer that is challenging to diagnose and treat – and other important programs.
IBC can be missed on a mammogram because it usually doesn’t present as a lump in the breast. Instead, this less common type of breast cancer typically presents as swelling or redness of the breast and can spread quickly. IBC may first be mistaken for an infection or mastitis because of symptoms such as redness and swelling and the frequent lack of a breast lump – all of which can lead to a delay in diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with IBC are diagnosed with later stages of the disease, in part because IBC presents in a different way and is harder to detect. About 30 percent of patients are initially diagnosed with Stage IV, or metastatic disease, which means their breast cancer has already spread to other parts of their body.
Current knowledge about IBC is limited because clinical trials for new breast cancer therapies often restrict the participation of IBC patients, and for those that do allow enrollment, patients’ outcomes are combined with non-IBC patients’ outcomes.
The three organizations have focused on addressing key needs in this understudied form of breast cancer to advance treatments. Their efforts to identify the path to move the field of IBC research forward confirmed researchers and clinicians have a need for a clearer diagnosis and definition of IBC. The current diagnostic criteria have not made significant progress since the 1950s and the current definition of the disease causes patients and research to suffer, resulting in subjective diagnoses and varying treatments.
As part of the work, more than 30 IBC experts across the country have been collaborating on a formal definition of IBC and presented their approach during the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting and San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Their work and definition are expected to be published soon in a major oncology journal.
The three organizations have raised $3.4 million to date, which has supported critical programs and research into better understanding IBC. The ongoing work is part of Komen’s mission to save more lives by understanding and treating less common forms of breast cancer.
“We’ve made great progress in identifying and treating breast cancers over the years, but there is still work to do to fully understand and treat aggressive cancers including IBC and metastatic breast cancer, the most advanced stage of breast cancer,” said Paula Schneider, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “With aggressive breast cancers, patients need more treatment options and they need them quickly. This ongoing partnership is helping us get closer to finding more effective treatments for types of breast cancer that are difficult to treat.”
“Since our start over two decades ago, ‘patient-centered’ research has been the buzz word. Our ground-breaking partnership has redefined and initiated true ‘patient-driven’ research to address diagnosis and treatment of Inflammatory Breast Cancer,” said Ginny Mason, Executive Director of the IBC Research Foundation. “It’s past time to do more about a disease that continues to steal so many lives.”
“It takes true leadership to see beyond the status quo and take bold action to resolve a decades-long issue in IBC diagnosis,” said Bryon Davis, CEO of the Milburn Foundation. “This work is pioneering a ‘power to the patient’ movement that connects the dots between worthwhile existing research and a roadmap to successfully coordinated future initiatives.”
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. Komen advocates for patients, drives research breakthroughs, improves access to high-quality care, offers direct patient support and empowers people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.
About Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Research Foundation
Since 1999 the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation (IBCRF) has been leading the way in improving the lives of those touched by inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) through the power of action and advocacy. This is accomplished by tenaciously fostering innovative research, creatively educating stakeholders, and tirelessly advocating for both current patients and IBC survivors.
As a web-based non-profit, IBCRF relies on its dedicated volunteers across the country. Guided by the Medical Advisory Board, a group of extraordinary oncology professionals, IBCRF has funded patient-focused IBC research resulting in new discoveries as well as clinical trials. Learn more at www.ibcresearch.org or call 1-877-stop ibc. On social media? Join us on Facebook and Twitter (@IBCResearch).
About Milburn Foundation®
The Milburn Foundation is a private foundation that structures creative strategic partnerships with both public charities and for-profit companies to drive philanthropic innovation for breast cancer research and more. The Milburn Foundation was born out of a father’s love for his daughter when she was diagnosed with Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Milburn is the proud recipient of the 2016 Susan G. Komen Reach Award (for fundraising innovation). Organizations interested in inventive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Venture Philanthropy, Impact Investing or Activist Philanthropy initiatives should contact us to learn more about how our donations can be coupled with a strategic partners’ objectives to amplify impact. Find out more or contact us by visiting TheMilburnFoundation.org.