Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma: A comprehensive review

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Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a recently recognized non-Hodgkin lymphoma of T-cell origin. Despite the low incidence of this new disease, the increasing use of breast implants for cosmetic or post-mastectomy reconstruction purposes places BIA-ALC as an emerging and compelling medical challenge. The real BIA-ALCL pathogenesis has not been fully uncovered so far, while different putative causal factors have been proposed. Breast implants with textured surfaces seem to be associated with nearly all cases of BIA-ALCL, while the real the risk of disease development has not been well estimated so far. Late onset, persistent seroma around breast implant represents the classical clinical presentation. Most of the BIA-ALCL patients presents with localized disease, which confers an excellent prognosis. Unlike other non-Hodgkin lymphomas, surgical excision of the mass has a key role in the treatment. For patients with advanced and disseminated diseases, the treatment did not differ from other types of T-cell lymphoma. For these reasons, BIA-ALCL represents an emerging disease which requires multidisciplinary team approach to well define diagnostic workup and treatment for each patient. This review article aims to summarize available data on BIA-ALCL. First, we will outline available data on BIA-ALCL epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic work-up, and treatment. Second, we will point out the potential psychological implications as well as the risk of perception distortion for women with breast implants, especially for those with previous breast cancer. Lastly, we will summarize the current national recommendations regarding textured breast implants and discuss the diagnostic-therapeutic algorithm for BIA-ALCL management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101963
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Breast implants
  • Lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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