Context: Lymphomas involving the breast are rare, and most cases are of B-cell lineage; T-cell neoplasms represent less than 10% of all breast lymphomas.
Objective: To define the clinicopathologic spectrum of anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs) involving the breast.
Design: Six cases of ALCL involving the breast were identified at a single institution during 21 years. The clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic features are presented, and the literature is reviewed.
Results: All patients were women, with a median age of 52 years. There were 4 anaplastic lymphoma kinase- negative (ALK(-)) ALCL cases; 3 of these neoplasms developed around breast implants. Two patients with ALK(-) ALCL had a history of cutaneous ALCL. There were 2 ALK(+) ALCLs; both patients had stage IV disease. Histologically, all neoplasms were composed of large anaplastic cells that were uniformly CD30(+) and expressed markers of T-cell lineage. Four patients with adequate follow-up are alive, with a mean of 4.1 years (range, 1.5-9 years) after diagnosis of the breast tumor. Included in this group are 2 patients with ALK(-) ALCL associated with breast implants who were alive 4 years and 9 years after diagnosis.
Conclusions: Including the 6 cases we describe, a total of 21 cases of ALCL involving the breast are reported. Fifteen cases, all ALK(-), were associated with breast implants, suggesting a possible pathogenetic relationship, and associated with an excellent prognosis. Patients with cutaneous ALCL can subsequently develop ALK(-) ALCL involving the breast, and these tumors can be associated with breast implants.