Complete surgical excision of the implant and surrounding capsule is the optimal treatment strategy for the majority of women with breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BI-ALCL), a new study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.1

“Although this disease is rare, it appears to be amenable to treatment and, in the vast majority of patients, the outcome is very good,” said Mark Clemens, MD, assistant professor, Plastic Surgery and lead author of the study. “The disease can be reliably diagnosed, and when treated appropriately it has a good prognosis.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 87 patients with BI-LCL. Results showed that the median overall survival after diagnosis of BI-ALCL was 13 years, and the 3- and 5-year overall survival rate was 93% and 89%, respectively.

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Researchers found that patients who underwent a complete surgical excision that consisted of total capsulectomy with breast implant removal had improved overall survival (P=.022) and event-free survival (P=.014) compared with patients who underwent partial capsulectomy, systemic chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

“We determined that complete surgical excision was essential for the management of this disease,” said Clemens. “Patients did not do as well unless they were treated with full removal of the breast implant and complete excision of the capsule around the implant.”


1. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Complete surgical excision is the most effective treatment for breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. Posted December 1, 2015. Accessed December 2, 2015.