Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in association with silicone breast implants

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Jun;32(6):939-42. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(95)91328-9.


Background: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a chronic malignancy of helper T cells with the CD4 phenotype. It occurs less frequently in young women but is increasing in incidence for unknown reasons. Silicone breast implants have been associated with T-cell-mediated autoimmune reactions.

Objective: Our purpose was to suggest the hypothesis that CTCL may arise after breast implants and that different patients with CTCL may be stimulated by different antigens.

Methods: Investigators with many patients with CTCL were queried regarding the occurrence of CTCL in women after breast implants.

Results: Three cases of confirmed CTCL after breast implants were identified and are reported. In one patient with Sézary syndrome and CTCL, the disease went into remission after removal of implants, resolution of chronic staphylococcal infection, and initiation of photopheresis and interferon alfa therapy. Another patient had progressive disease.

Conclusion: CTCL may occur in association with breast implants in young female patients, but causality is unknown. If CTCL is antigen driven, then it is likely to result from several different antigens in different groups of patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / etiology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Silicones / adverse effects*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Silicones