Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is both the least frequent and the most severe form of epithelial breast cancer. The diagnosis is based on clinical inflammatory signs and is reinforced by pathological findings. Significant progress has been made in the management of IBC in the past 20 years. Yet survival among IBC patients is still only one-half that among patients with non-IBC. Identification of the molecular determinants of IBC would probably lead to more specific treatments and to improved survival. In the present article we review recent advances in the molecular pathogenesis of IBC. A more comprehensive view will probably be obtained by pan-genomic analysis of human IBC samples, and by functional in vitro and in vivo assays. These approaches may offer better patient outcome in the near future.