Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma: clinical follow-up and analysis of sequential pathologic specimens of untreated patients shows persistent or progressive disease.

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Modern Pathology


Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a distinctive type of T-cell lymphoma that arises around textured-surface breast implants. In a subset of patients, this disease can involve surrounding tissues, spread to regional lymph nodes, and rarely metastasize to distant sites. The aim of this study was to assess sequential pathologic specimens from patients with breast implant-associated ALCL to better understand the natural history of early-stage disease. To achieve this goal, we searched our files for patients who had breast implant-associated ALCL and who had undergone earlier surgical intervention with assessment of biopsy or cytologic specimens. We then focused on the patient subset in whom a definitive diagnosis was not established, and patients did not receive current standard-of-care therapy at that time. We identified a study group of ten patients with breast implant-associated ALCL in whom pathologic specimens were collected 0.5 to 4 years before a definitive diagnosis was established. A comparison of these serial biopsy specimens showed persistent disease without change in pathologic stage in three patients, progression in five patients, and persistence versus progression in two patients. Eventually, six patients underwent implant removal with complete capsulectomy and four underwent partial capsulectomy. Seven patients also received chemotherapy because of invasive disease, three of whom also received radiation therapy, two brentuximab vedotin after chemotherapy failure, and one allogeneic stem cell transplant. Eight patients achieved complete remission and two had partial remission after definitive therapy. At time of last follow-up, six patients were alive without disease, one had evidence of disease, one died of disease, and two patients died of unrelated cancers. In summary, this analysis of sequential specimens from patients with breast implant-associated ALCL suggests these neoplasms persist or progress over time if not treated with standard-of-care therapy.





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