JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants: breaking down the evidence

Xuan Ye, Kayvan Shokrollahi, Warren M Rozen, Rachel Conyers, Penny Wright, Lukas Kenner, Suzanne D Turner, Iain S Whitaker
Mutation Research. Reviews in Mutation Research 2014, 762: 123-32
25475421
Systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a distinct disease classification provisionally sub-divided into ALCL, Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)(+) and ALCL, ALK(-) entities. More recently, another category of ALCL has been increasingly reported in the literature and is associated with the presence of breast implants. A comprehensive review of the 71 reported cases of breast implant associated ALCL (iALCL) is presented indicating the apparent risk factors and main characteristics of this rare cancer. The average patient is 50 years of age and most cases present in the capsule surrounding the implant as part of the periprosthetic fluid or the capsule itself on average at 10 years post-surgery suggesting that iALCL is a late complication. The absolute risk is low ranging from 1:500,000 to 1:3,000,000 patients with breast implants per year. The majority of cases are ALK-negative, yet are associated with silicone-coated implants suggestive of the mechanism of tumorigenesis which is discussed in relation to chronic inflammation, immunogenicity of the implants and sub-clinical infection. In particular, capsulotomy alone seems to be sufficient for the treatment of many cases suggesting the implants provide the biological stimulus whereas others require further treatment including chemo- and radiotherapy although reported cases remain too low to recommend a therapeutic approach. However, CD30-based therapeutics might be a future option.

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