Focus on IBC

August 2012    


The newsletter from the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation 

Upcoming Events 


August 3-4

Best of ASCO Boston Meeting; Boston, MA

More Information 


August 10-11

Best of ASCO San Diego Meeting; San Diego, CA

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September 7, 2012

Cancer Rights Conference; Marriott O'Hare, Chicago, IL; 

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Sept. 13-15, 2012

ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium; San Francisco, CA.

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Sept. 14-14, 2012

Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies Conference; Annie Appleseed Project; The Event Center, San Francisco, CA;   

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Oct. 12-13, 2012

Metastatic Breast Cancer Network 6th Annual Conference: Moving Forward with Metastatic Breast Cancer; Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; 

More Information 

Traveling By Air?

Traveling can be a stressful time for someone with a medical condition. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a new toll-free hotline, 855-787-2227, to provide information for passengers with disabilities and medical conditions and their families before they fly.

They recommend calling 72 hours in advance to learn what to expect at security checkpoints. They will also be able to coordinate your security screening ahead of time when they know about your disability. Plan in advance, and know exactly what to expect at specific airports.

Hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. EST and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST.

For more information, see the TSA Cares site.
Did You Know?

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation's web site provides a continuously updated list of breast cancer clinical trials updated or announced within the last 30 days?

Find it on the Foundation's home page, in the right column. If there is one of interest to you, click on it see that trial on the web site. Study status (recruiting, open, closed, updated), principal investigator, primary outcomes, eligibility criteria (inclusion and exclusion), location and contact information are provided.

One recent example:
Study of Erlotinib and Metformin in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (July 24, 2012). This is a phase I study, and a quick review shows that IBC is not excluded.

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Dr. Milan Radovich 2012 Grant Recipient  by Ginny Mason, RN, BSN  

photo of Milan Radovich and Ginny Mason Milan Radovich, PhD, Assistant Research Professor of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine has been chosen to receive grant funding from the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Dr. Radovich, and his lab, have been working with Dr. Bryan Schneider on a next-generation sequencing project funded in 2009 by the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Milburn Foundation.  Since the start of that project Dr. Radovich has completed his PhD and has a faculty position with the university and a lab next door to Dr. Schneider.
Dr. Radovich's lab is focusing on the use of next-generation sequencing to identify new therapeutic targets for the treatment of inflammatory and triple negative breast cancers.  Having access to the Komen Tissue Bank at Indiana University allows Dr. Radovich to compare next-generation sequencing findings in cancers with those data from sequencing normal breast tissue.  Little is known about "true normal" breast tissue making it important to compare potential therapeutic targets found in cancerous breast tissue to those found in normal breast tissue.  It's important to identify appropriate biomarkers for treatment that can be measured.  Clinical trials that match patients to treatment based on expressed biomarkers will allow translational research advances more quickly and benefit patients.
This grant is made available through a collaboration of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Milburn Foundation to fund on-going research of triple negative inflammatory breast cancer.
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation is excited to continue to partner with Dr. Radovich in his work.  We appreciate his dedication to the inflammatory breast cancer community to provide better more personalized therapies.
Learn more about Dr. Radovich and his research interests: and click on the Research Tab on that page. 
ASCO 2012: My Take-Home Message
by Ginny Mason RN, BSN


This is Part 2 of an article that began in the July 2012 issue of Focus on IBC. Read Part 1.

Dr. Michael Link highlighted the theme of the meeting in his President's Address.  Building on last year's President's Address cataloging the "omics" revolution in cancer by Dr. George Sledge, Dr. Link stressed that those advances are only useful if we work together, across disciplines with the "ultimate outcome being improved patient care."  Talking about the diverse group represented at the meeting, Dr. Link said, "what we've learned from the age of genomics is that some of the pathways that are driving certain cancers don't understand the description of an organ.  A pathway that is active in lung cancer may be important in lymphoma, in a rare subset of childhood neuroblastoma, in a rare sarcoma, and in inflammatory breast cancer.  Here we have the beginnings of a collaboration in which pediatricians, lymphoma specialists, lung cancer specialists, and breast cancer specialists are all going to be interested in the same pathway, drugs that target that pathway, and how those drugs should be administered."  Dr. Link urged attendees to look for opportunities to collaborate in ways that will improve patient care and survival.  

In addition to the educational sessions there were also poster discussions, general posters, the oncology professionals hall, and networking time filling each day.  It can be important to step outside your area of interest (in my case inflammatory breast cancer and advanced breast cancer) and learn about other aspects of cancer.  For me that meant spending some time learning more about immunotherapy as it related to cancer treatment and prevention. There were many sessions on this topic and some outstanding posters.  This is clearly a growing field and holds promise as we learn how to harness the immune system to tackle cancer.  Unfortunately it is a slow process and our current clinical trials system isn't designed to study methods of metastasis or primary prevention.

It would have been easy to overlook the session, "When Cancer Becomes Personal: The Physician's View of Patient Care", in the far off East hall, in a hard to locate room.  Those of us who managed to find the room were treated to one of the most meaningful sessions of the meeting.  As each presenter shared their personal experience with cancer (themselves or a loved one) we were given a glimpse into their difficult and often very painful journey.  As one speaker said, "I saw it as my job to find the best doctor/treatment possible, then step aside and be the son."  No doubt their individual experiences influence the way they provide care to their patients, in a positive way.  Clearly these were difficult talks to prepare and deliver, yet touched those in attendance powerfully.

By lunchtime on Tuesday I was glad to pack up and head home.  I appreciated the opportunity, thanks to the Research Advocacy Network's Focus on Research Scholar Program, to attend yet another ASCO Annual Meeting.  Experiences like ASCO leave me physically exhausted but mentally exhilarated.  The bus ride home provided time to begin processing what I'd learned.  Collaboration really is the key and advocates are an essential part of that collaborative effort if we are to conquer cancer.

*For ASCO Annual Meeting information designed for patients and their families go to: