M.D. Anderson Gets Big Research Grant

The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has received the largest grant ever made for research into a rare but especially nasty form of breast cancer. Jim Bell reports.

Inflammatory breast cancer accounts for less than five percent of all breast cancer cases, but it kills three out of every five patients in five years or less. It's not detected by mammograms, so it's often diagnosed only after it has metastasized.  Because there are so few cases, it gets almost no research funding and little progress has been made in fighting it. Now comes American Airlines with a seven and a half million dollar grant through the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fund IBC research at a new clinic inside M.D. Anderson.

Clinic Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli says the grant will allow them to run more clinical trials and test a greater variety of new drugs faster. Cristofanilli hopes this work will attract attention in medical circles.

"We hope that the patients and physician community will be responsive in referring patients to our center, because this is the, probably at this point, the best equipped and the only program that can really offer to patients many opportunities for diagnostic imaging and treatment." 

image of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center signThe Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic at M.D. Anderson is the first in the world to be dedicated exclusively to researching and treating this form of cancer.

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.