Primary anaplastic large-cell lymphoma associated with breast implants

Leslie Popplewell, Sandra H Thomas, Qin Huang, Karen L Chang, Stephen J Forman
Leukemia & Lymphoma 2011, 52 (8): 1481-7
Primary T-cell anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) of the breast is a rare entity, which has been reported in association with breast implants. In a retrospective analysis of the City of Hope pathology database, we uncovered nine such patients, eight of whom had breast implants proximal to primary ALCL. The diagnosis of ALCL in the implant capsule occurred at a median of 7 years (range 5-30) following implant surgery, and median patient age was 45.5 years (range 32-62). Malignancy was effusion-associated in two cases and tissue-associated in six. Seven patients were negative for anaplastic large-cell kinase (ALK) and one patient was positive. Treatment and follow-up data were available for four patients, all tissue-associated cases: two patients were lost to follow-up after failing to mobilize stem cells and two patients were in remission, 6 years and 7.5 years post-autologous transplant. These cases represent 24% of reported primary ALCL cases associated with breast implants. Our review of these cases and the literature suggest that (1) there is a strong skew in primary breast lymphomas associated with implant capsules toward T-cell, ALCL ALK-, and (2) the disease course for tissue-associated cases is not always indolent, with four patients requiring multiple treatment regimens.

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