Study Confirms Risk of Breast Implant-Associated ALCL

After investigating 359 reports linking silicone and saline breast implants with the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), the FDA found that women with breast implants have a “very low but increased risk of developing ALCL, compared with women who do not have breast implants.” A study published in JAMA Oncology confirmed this increased risk, although the absolute risk remains small.

Researchers used data from the Nationwide Network and Registry of Histo- and Cytopathology in the Netherlands to identify 782 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) of the breast between 1990 and 2016. The pool was narrowed to include 43 women with primary breast-ALCL (median age = 59 years; range not provided).

Thirty-two women also had ipsilateral breast implants, compared with just one among 146 patients with other primary breast lymphomas (odds ratio = 421.8; 95% CI 52.6-3385.2; p<0.001).

In 28 patients, the type of implant was known: Macro-textured breast implants accounted for just 45 percent of all sales, but 82 percent (n=23) of breast-ALCL occurrences in this patient population.

The cumulative risks of breast-ALCL among women with breast implants were 29 per million at 50 years and 82 per million at 70 years.

The results “emphasize the need for increased awareness among the public, medical professionals, and regulatory bodies; promotion of alternative cosmetic procedures; and alertness to signs and symptoms of breast-ALCL in women with implants,” the authors concluded.

Source: de Boer M, van Leeuwen FE, Hauptmann M, et al. Breast implants and the risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma in the breast. JAMA Oncol. 2018 January 4. [Epub ahead of print]