The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Research table: Treatment for inflammatory breast cancer and overall survival

This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.

Introduction: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an aggressive breast cancer. It’s treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Treatment may also include hormone therapy and/or HER2-targeted therapy.

With modern treatments, survival for women with IBC appears to be improving. One study found 3-year overall survival was 63 percent for women diagnosed before 2006, and 82 percent for women diagnosed after 2006 [1].

Learn more about treatment for IBC.

Study selection criteria: Clinical trials with 50 or more participants and at least 5 years of follow-up.


Study Population (number of participants)

Treatments Studied

5-year Overall Survival Rate

Clinical trials

Untch et al. [2]


Chemotherapy>>lumpectomy>>chemotherapy>>radiation therapy


Chemotherapy>>mastectomy, with or without radiation therapy>>chemotherapy


Harris et al. [3]


Chemotherapy>>radiation therapy, with or without mastectomy>>chemotherapy


Chemotherapy>>mastectomy>>radiation therapy>>chemotherapy


Mastectomy>>chemotherapy>>radiation therapy>>chemotherapy


* Estimated from a figure in the study


  1. Tsai CJ, Li J, Gonzalez-Angulo AM, et al. Outcomes after multidisciplinary treatment of inflammatory breast cancer in the era of neoadjuvant HER2-directed therapy. Am J Clin Oncol. 38(3):242-7, 2015.
  2. Untch M, Möbus V, Kuhn W, et al. Intensive dose-dense compared with conventionally scheduled preoperative chemotherapy for high-risk primary breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 27(18):2938-45, 2009.
  3. Harris EER, Schultz D, Bertsch H, et al. Ten-year outcome after combined modality therapy for inflammatory breast cancer. Int J. Radiation Oncology Biol Phys. 55:1200-1208, 2003. 

Updated 12/03/21