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Am J Surg Pathol. 2012 Jul;36(7):1000-8. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31825749b1.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants: a report of 13 cases.

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Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


We report 13 cases of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) associated with breast implants. Patient age ranged from 39 to 68 years, and the interval from implant to ALCL was 4 to 29 years. All tumors were composed of large, pleomorphic cells that were CD30 and ALK1, and all 7 cases assessed had monoclonal T-cell receptor γ-chain rearrangements. Two patient subgroups were identified. Ten patients presented with effusion surrounded by fibrous capsule without a grossly identifiable tumor mass. Nine patients had stage I and 1 had stage II disease. Eight patients underwent implant removal and capsulectomy. Four patients received chemotherapy and 4 radiation therapy. All patients were alive without disease at last follow-up. A second subgroup of 3 patients had effusion and a distinct mass adjacent to the implant. One patient had stage I and 2 stage II disease. One patient had a 3-year history of lymphomatoid papulosis, and 1 patient had a 1-year history of CD30 T-cell lymphoma adjacent to the breast before the diagnosis of ALCL associated with breast implant. Two patients received chemotherapy and 1 radiation therapy. Two patients died 2 and 12 years after diagnosis, respectively. We conclude that the clinical behavior of ALCL associated with breast implants is heterogeneous. Patients who present with effusion without a distinct mass have an indolent disease course, similar to CD30 lymphoproliferative disorder of skin. In contrast, patients who present with a distinct mass may have advanced stage or possibly systemic disease and have a poorer prognosis.

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