Elizabeth Kantor

Inflammatory breast cancer in Casablanca, Morocco

ABSTRACT: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), the most lethal form of breast cancer, appears to account for a greater percentage of breast cancer cases in North Africa than elsewhere in the world. However, this claim has yet to be epidemiologically substantiated in much of North Africa due to the lack of a standardized case definition and unique International Classification of Disease (ICD) code. Using a standardized, pilot-tested case definition, recent research found an 11% relative frequency of IBC in Egypt, which is substantially higher than the 1-2% relative frequency observed in the United States. Furthermore, research has also indicated that IBC cases in Egypt are characterized by a younger age of onset, a more aggressive course of disease, as well as distinctive molecular differences, such as a greater proportion of IBC tumors exhibiting over-expression of RhoC guanosine triphosphatase and an increased number of dermal lymphatic tumor emboli. It has been suggested that both over-expression of RhoC and increased dermal lymphatic tumor emboli may play a role in metastasis and disease severity. While physician reports in Morocco have also suggested an increased relative frequency of IBC, little epidemiologic research has been conducted to substantiate these claims. Thus, we would like to expand recent research conducted in Egypt to Casablanca, Morocco with hopes of achieving the following:


  • To determine the relative frequency of IBC in Casablanca
  • To assess the clinical presentation, histopathological characteristics, and sociodemographic factors characterizing cases of IBC in Casablanca
  • To assess how these clinical, histopathological, and sociodemographic factors among IBC cases differ from non-IBC cases in Casablanca
  • To compare the expression of RhoC GTPase and number of tumor emboli in IBC cases to non-IBC cases in Casablanca
  • To explore potential associations between molecular factors and clinical, pathological, and sociodemographic features
  • To put this research into context, by comparing to previous research conducted in the United States and Egypt