LOS ANGELES (April 20, 2011)—A study has shown a link between breast implants and a rare type of lymphoma, though the study's authors said there is as yet no evidence to show that implants cause lymphoma.
Researchers for Rand Health, a division of the nonprofit research organization Rand Corp., published their findings online in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, according to Rand.
Soeren Mattke, the study's senior author, identified 36 published cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among women with breast implants, 29 of them anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The new study is useful to both physicians and patients in the near term, but much more research is needed to explore the link between breast implants and ALCL, Mattke said.
Doctors have suspected a link between breast implants and ALCL since 1996, when a report was published describing a woman with implants who developed the cancer in tissue next to one of her implants, Rand said.
Last February, the Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer advisory, saying that women with silicone-gel or saline implants may face a small but increased risk of ALCL.
The FDA banned silicone-gel implants in 1992 because of potential ruptures and possible links between silicone gel and autoimmune disease. In 2000, the agency approved the use of saline-filled implants manufactured by Allergan Corp. and Mentor Corp., and later allowed the use of silicone-gel implants by the same companies.