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Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 1;18(17):4549-59. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0101. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Survival signals and targets for therapy in breast implant-associated ALK--anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

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Departments of Pathology, Medicine, and Plastic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA90033, USA.



Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-negative, T-cell, anaplastic, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (T-ALCL) in patients with textured saline and silicone breast implants is a recently recognized clinical entity for which the etiology and optimal treatment remain unknown.


Using three newly established model cell lines from patient biopsy specimens, designated T-cell breast lymphoma (TLBR)-1 to -3, we characterized the phenotype and function of these tumors to identify mechanisms of cell survival and potential therapeutic targets.


Cytogenetics revealed chromosomal atypia with partial or complete trisomy and absence of the NPM-ALK (2;5) translocation. Phenotypic characterization showed strong positivity for CD30, CD71, T-cell CD2/5/7, and antigen presentation (HLA-DR, CD80, CD86) markers, and interleukin (IL)-2 (CD25, CD122) and IL-6 receptors. Studies of these model cell lines showed strong activation of STAT3 signaling, likely related to autocrine production of IL-6 and decreased SHP-1. STAT3 inhibition, directly or by recovery of SHP-1, and cyclophosphamide-Adriamycin-vincristine-prednisone (CHOP) chemotherapy reagents, effectively kill cells of all three TLBR models in vitro and may be pursued as therapies for patients with breast implant-associated T-ALCLs.


The TLBR cell lines closely resemble the primary breast implant-associated lymphomas from which they were derived and as such provide valuable preclinical models to study their unique biology.

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