On November 19th 2018, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment organised an international expert meeting on a rare type of lymphoma that is associated with breast implants. The meeting focused on sharing knowledge internationally, formulating research questions with high priority at this moment and exploring how to bring this research forward. RIVM published a summary of the meeting.

In January 2018, Dutch research was published that found an increased risk for ALCL in women with breast implants. ALCL is short for Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma. When associated with breast implants, it is called Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). It is a very rare type of cancer of the immune system.

The first part of the meeting focused on sharing knowledge. The second part focused on identification of research questions, requirements for performing such research, types of studies suitable to answer the research questions, and how to organize future research in terms of parties involved, roles of each party, funding, and time frame.

 

Given the relatively low number of BIA-ALCL cases seen per country and the variety of factors to take into account, a coordinated international and multidisciplinary approach is necessary. Regulators, public health authorities, medical specialists, epidemiologists, experts on implant registries and laboratory scientists who attended the meeting agreed to set up an international consortium with the task to prepare research proposals.