Unlucky women with BIA-ALCL: An update

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February 17, 2019 – The unfortunate recognition of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a very rare form of a T-cell lymphoma, gains more momentum by the day. This is actually very positive a development, because it helps women who are getting breast implants for whatever reasons to better known associated health risks, some of which, such as BIA-ALCL, may turn out to be fatal for some unlucky women patients. It also alerts and rises readiness for action with regulatory authorities worldwide.  

Starting around two years ago in March 2017, an update was issued by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which paid new attention to the occurrence of BIA-ALCL in woman with breast implants. It is thought that BIA-ALCL may  develop around a silicone gel-or saline-filled implant, with some lag time until it is detected which may be as long as about 9.2 years as judged from the today’s known and reported cases. 

As of February 2019, the FDA has gotten a total of 660 reports of BIA-ALCL cases in the US since 2010 with around 246 new reports of BIA-ALCL in the previous year alone. Closer examination of the reports indicate that out these cases there have been nine fatal cases where the patients passed away.

Also in Canada, Health Canada will refresh its security audits with respect to BIA-ALCL. In fact, as of January 2019, Health Canada has gotten reports of 22 affirmed and 22 associated Canadian cases with BIA-ALCL. In its underlying health survey in 2017, Health Canada found that the rate of BIA-ALCL cases was low, with 5 affirmed Canadian instances of BIA-ALCL detailed by Canadian producers over the most recent 10 years. Expanded mindfulness by social insurance experts and people in general about BIA-ALCL is accepted to be the biggest contributing variable to the expanded recognition of instances of BIA-ALCL by Health Canada. 

These data are largely in line with findings in Europe. In fact, in France, there have been 53 cases of BIA-ALCL registered by the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) out of about 500’00 women who got breast implants in a period since 2011. Moreover, the ANSM recalled the textured breast implants from Allergan from the French market because there seem to exist data showing that textured breast implants may have a higher risk for the development of BIA-ALCL than smooth implants. Thasso reported on the issue.

In a newest development in this issue, Health Canada, as of May 2019, has now has completed an update to their 2017 safety review on breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) and has found that the rate of BIA-ALCL in Canada is significantly higher in patients with macro-textured breast implants compared to other implants. As a result, because the potential risks associated with the implants outweigh their benefits, including the rare but serious risk of BIA-ALCL, Health Canada has suspended the licences for Allergan’s Biocell breast implants (the only macro-textured implants available in Canada).

 

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About the Author
thassodotcom Ph.D.; Professor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Senior expert in theragenomic and personalized medicine and individualized drug safety. Senior expert in pharmaco- and toxicogenetics. Senior expert in human safety of drugs, chemicals, environmental pollutants, and dietary ingredients.
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