Anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with a breast implant (BIA-ALCL) Report

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma(BIA-ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can appear as a mass adjacent to the breast implant or a delayed periprosthetic seroma. Studies done so far, suggest that women with breast implants may have a very low but increased risk of developing this type of lymphoma. The current estimate is that there are approximately 600 reported cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide.

The Superior Health Council (SHC) in collaboration with the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) has issued an advisory report on BIA-ALCL. This report presents suggestions for healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis, registration and clinical follow-up of BIA-ALCL, but also general information for the public about this disease.

Emphasis is placed on the importance of patient education. Even though the absolute risk of BIA-ALCL is very small, informed consent in breast augmentation and reconstruction with implants should, amongst others, include a discussion of the risk of BIA-ALCL for all implants.

As such, patients should be educated to detect signs that could be indicative for BIA-ALCL for aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. For instance, when a patient presents herself with late onset (> 1 year post-implantation), persistent peri-implant seroma or masses adjacent to the breast implant, the possibility of BIA-ALCL should be considered.

On the other side, health professionals should notify the FAMHP of all the suspected cases through a specifically developed notification form. Collecting this type of data will make it possible for the FAMHP to draw conclusions in the interests of patient safety.

Nonetheless, it is vitally important to collect all information on BIA-ALCL cases to be able to study both epidemiology as well as proper diagnosis and clinical management.

For more information, please consult the full report here.

Bianca Sofian
March 11th, 2019

in News