The mission of the IBC Network Foundation is to fund research.  We are a grass roots, volunteer lead charity, working hard to put Inflammatory Breast Cancer in the spotlight.  We feel that hope for fighting this disease is largely rooted in research.  The donation season is here and we are ready with projects to fund and want to share them with you, our supporters.

The IBC Network has made two commitments for this fall. The first research project will be under the direction of Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The second project will be under the direction of Dr. Carlos Arteaga and Dr. Justin Balko at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

We would like to share a brief outline of each research project with you, our supporters to give you ownership in our shared mission.

Jefferson University Hospital

Jefferson University Hospital – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A brief overview of the project at Jefferson Hospital:

The IBC Network Foundation is supporting Jefferson University Hospital and Dr. Cristofanilli’s research through a discovery grant—seed funding for what is commonly referred to as a “blood biopsy

The study is titled “Novel non-invasive markers for the early detection of inflammatory breast cancer through comprehensive genomic profiling”. Currently, IBC lacks a molecular definition and known genetic markers, making early diagnosis difficult. The goal of this study is to identify genomic markers using the latest DNA sequencing technologies (next-generation sequencing/NGS) that are specific for IBC, so that they might be used in the future to non-invasively identify IBC prior to symptoms developing. Earlier diagnosis of IBC will allow earlier treatment which will improve patient outcomes in this aggressive disease.

To do this, we plan to comprehensively profile IBC tissues and paired normal breast samples to identify tumor-specific changes. This molecular signature will be validated and refined using blood samples from IBC and non-IBC patients collected at the Breast Care Center of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. When completed, the results will be ideal for prospective validation in larger-scale studies elsewhere, and studied in a clinical trial to detect IBC non-invasively via analysis of circulating DNA found in the blood. In addition, novel genetic changes found may improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms of IBC development and provide new therapeutic targets that are clinically relevant.

Funding: Total project is $70,00   We have arranged to co-fund this project with the Karen Oldmam Foundation.  The Oldman Foundation will contribute $25,000 and The IBC Network Foundation will contribute $45,000 for a total grant of $70,000. Funds are to be released November 11, 2014.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center – Nashville, Tennessee

A brief overview of the project at Vanderbilt:

The IBC Network Foundation is supporting Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Dr. Arteaga and Dr. Balko’s research through a discovery grant—seed funding for scientists to pursue bold research ideas that can lead to breakthrough discoveries.

The research, led initially by Dr. Arteaga and Dr. Balko, will examine genetic alternations in patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Inflammatory Breast Cancer to help guide a more precise treatment.

Vanderbilt investigators were the first to identify and explore a particular variance – amplification of the JAK2 gene – which may lead to rapid disease progression and possibly resistance to chemotherapy. Improving our understanding of this alteration and associated therapies could ultimately reduce disease recurrence and mortality.

Funding:  The total required for this project is $100,000.   The IBC Network Foundation as committed to this project and will fund $50,000 on December 12, 2014 and the remaining $50,000 by December 2015.

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Thank you for taking the time to read over our plans for fall funding. We are excited to share our plans and grateful for your support to make our plans a reality.

Please support our mission by attending one of our events or if you are unable to attend, tell a friend about us, donate, and remember us in your thoughts and prayers.

Hope always,

Terry Arnold

Founder, The IBC Network Foundation