Perspectives on Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Research, Clinical Management and Community Engagement from the Duke IBC Consortium.


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an understudied and aggressive form of breast cancer with a poor prognosis, accounting for 2-6% of new breast cancer diagnoses but 10% of all breast cancer-related deaths in the United States. Currently there are no therapeutic regimens developed specifically for IBC, and it is critical to recognize that all aspects of treating IBC - including staging, diagnosis, and therapy - are vastly different than other breast cancers. In December 2014, under the umbrella of an interdisciplinary initiative supported by the Duke School of Medicine, researchers, clinicians, research administrators, and patient advocates formed the Duke Consortium for IBC to address the needs of patients in North Carolina (an ethnically and economically diverse state with 100 counties) and across the Southeastern United States. The primary goal of this group is to translate research into action and improve both awareness and patient care through collaborations with local, national and international IBC programs. The consortium held its inaugural meeting on Feb 28, 2018, which also marked Rare Disease Day and convened national research experts, clinicians, patients, advocates, government representatives, foundation leaders, staff, and trainees. The meeting focused on new developments and challenges in the clinical management of IBC, research challenges and opportunities, and an interactive session to garner input from patients, advocates, and community partners that would inform a strategic plan toward continuing improvements in IBC patient care, research, and education.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Devi, Gayathri R, Holly Hough, Nadine Barrett, Massimo Cristofanilli, Beth Overmoyer, Neil Spector, Naoto T Ueno, Wendy Woodward, et al. (2019). Perspectives on Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Research, Clinical Management and Community Engagement from the Duke IBC Consortium. Journal of Cancer, 10(15). pp. 3344–3351. 10.7150/jca.31176 Retrieved from

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Holly Hough

Dir, Office for Physician Scientist Dev

John P. Kirkpatrick

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Malignant and benign tumors of the brain, spine and base of skull. Mathematical modelling of tumor metabolism, mass transfer and the response to ionizing radiation. Enhancing clinical outcome in stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy.


Shannon Jones McCall

Associate Professor of Pathology

As Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Pathology, I am involved in numerous translational cancer research projects that rely on the study of human biological samples.  I am the director of the Duke BioRepository & Precision Pathology Center (Duke BRPC), a shared resource of the School of Medicine and the Duke Cancer Institute.  I serve as the PI for the National Cancer Institute's Cooperative Human Tissue Network Southern Division (a five-year UM1 grant), which lives in the Duke BRPC.  My own area of research interest is gastrointestinal tract metaplasias and their relationship to carcinogenesis, particularly in the upper GI tract.


Gregory M. Palmer

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Greg Palmer obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University in 2000, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in BME from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology Division at Duke University Medical Center. His primary research focus has been identifying and exploiting the changes in absorption, scattering, and fluorescence properties of tissue associated with cancer progression and therapeutic response. To this end he has implemented a model-based approach for extracting absorber and scatterer properties from diffuse reflectance and fluorescence measurements. More recently he has developed quantitative imaging methodologies for intravital microscopy to characterize tumor functional and molecular response to radiation and chemotherapy. His awards have included the Jack Fowler Award from the Radiation Research Society.

Laboratory Website:


Susan Faye Dent

Professor of Medicine

Medical Oncologist with a focus on breast cancer
Associate Director of Breast Cancer Clinical Research
Co-Director Duke Cardio-Oncology Program


Eun-Sil Shelley Hwang

Mary and Deryl Hart Distinguished Professor of Surgery, in the School of Medicine

Steven Patierno

Charles D. Watts Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Patierno's current translational research interests are focused on the genomics molecular biology of cancer disparities, cancer biology, molecular pharmacology and targeted experimental therapeutics to control prostate, breast and lung tumor aggressiveness. He is an internationally recognized expert in cancer control, cancer causation and molecular carcinogenesis, which includes a broad spectrum of laboratory and population level research.   Patierno is also actively engaged in cancer health disparities and healthcare delivery research focused on patient navigation, survivorship, community-based interventions, mHealth, implementation sciences, cancer care economics, and policy.


Paul Kelly Marcom

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

Basic Science:
-Germline and somatic genetic changes in breast cancer.

-Identification and management of individuals and families with hereditary cancer risk.
-Communication of cancer risk information to individuals and families.
-Breast cancer prevention.
-Optimizing management of early breast cancer.
-Treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Clinically, Dr. Marcom works as a medical oncologist in the multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic. He participates in clinical trials investigating new chemotherapeutic and biologic treatments. 

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