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TGen Gets Funding for Inflammatory Breast Cancer Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Translational Genomics Research Institute has received a $50,000 award to conduct DNA analysis studies focused on identifying the genetic origins of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

The funding from the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation (IBCRF) will support efforts to analyze samples from IBC tumors for genetic similarities that could reveal a therapeutic vulnerability, TGen said today.

IBC is a particularly deadly but rare type of cancer that causes around five percent of breast cancers, and it is often misdiagnosed and swiftly moves to an advanced stage.

This study will focus on the triple-negative form of the disease, which does not express clinically significant levels of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, or human epidermal growth factor.

Research on this type of cancer is difficult because cells within an IBC tumor are diffuse throughout the breast and are mixed with normal cells and a significant number of immune system cells, Heather Cunliffe, head of TGen's Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit, said in a statement.

"This makes isolation of tumor-specific DNA samples for research exceedingly difficult," Cunliffe added.

She explained that this study will use technology developed at TGen that allows researchers to purify and examine triple-negative IBC accurately at high resolution without contamination from healthy cells.

TGen hopes that the study will generate findings that can be translated into new therapeutic approaches for treating IBC patients.

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