FDA: 246 new reports on breast implant-associated lymphoma


The Food and Drug Administration has identified 457 unique cases of breast implant–associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) and 9 related deaths since 2010, and received 246 new medical device reports (MDRs) regarding BIA-ALCL between September 2017 and September 2018, according to an update from the agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

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That brings the total number of reports to 660; however, that number reflects duplicative cases, Binita Ashar, MD, a general surgeon and the director of the division of surgical devices at the center, said in a statement.

“These types of increases in the MDRs are to be expected and may include past cases that were not previously reported to the FDA,” Dr. Ashar said, addressing the high number of new reports. “The increased number of MDRs contributes to our evolving understanding of BIA-ALCL and represents a more thorough and comprehensive analysis.”

BIA-ALCL is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a known risk from breast implants that was first communicated by the FDA in 2011. Regular updates have been provided with respect to related medical device reports, cases, deaths, and known risks.

“We hope that this information prompts providers and patients to have important, informed conversations about breast implants and the risk of BIA-ALCL. At the same time, we remain committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders to continue to study, understand, and provide updates about this important public health issue,” Dr. Ashar said.

To that end, the center also issued a Letter to Health Care Providers to “encourage those who regularly treat patients, including primary care physicians and gynecologists, to learn about BIA-ALCL in patients with breast implants.”

Patients and providers are encouraged to file MDRs with the FDA via MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program, she said.

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