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Implant-Associated ALCL Treatment

MD Anderson offers pioneering treatments for implant-associated ALCL, some of which are available at only a few cancer centers in the nation. When we treat ALCL, we also focus on breast reconstruction, restoration, and quality of life. To do this, we draw upon ALCL treatments that may include specialized and less-invasive surgical methods.

Doctors often suggest a clinical trial (research study), some of which are available only at MD Anderson. This usually is performed with surgery alone but may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted agents.

MD Anderson offers more targeted therapies than many cancer centers. In fact, we are among the leading research sites discovering treatments for implant-associated ALCL.

If you have ALCL around a breast implant, your doctor will discuss the best treatment options with you. The type of treatment depends on several things, including:

  • Type of ALCL
  • Stage of the disease
  • Location of the cancer
  • Your age and general health

Your treatment for implant-associated ALCL will be tailored to your needs. Your doctor may suggest one or more of the therapies below to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.


The main goals of surgery for implant-associated ALCL are to remove the cancer and any inciting antigen that may be present stimulating the cancer to increase the chance for successful treatment. 

In many patients, surgical treatment alone is sufficient to treat implant-associated ALCL. Additional therapy, such as radiation and chemotherapy or targeted agents, may be used in cancers that are more difficult to treat.

Types of surgery for implant-associated ALCL used at MD Anderson:

Implant removal with total capsulectomy (IRTC) is considered the best chance of complete tumor removal. IRTC includes removal of the tissue capsule that surrounds the breast implant, where lymphoma cells may be found.

Lymph node dissection (LND) involves removing involved lymph nodes that are suspicious, or are found to have ALCL cells.

Radiation Therapy

In rare cases, radiation therapy may be combined with surgery, if surgery alone is not expected to fully treat the disease. When given after surgery, radiation may reduce the chance of the cancer coming back in patients with advanced disease. 


In rare cases, some patients may receive chemotherapy in addition to surgical treatment to treat advanced or aggressive disease.  

MD Anderson offers the most up-to-date and advanced chemotherapy options for ALCL. Our dedicated lymphoma medical oncologists have significant expertise in the management of chemotherapy. A team of nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers and physicians who specialize in lymphoma provide comprehensive care for patients who receive chemotherapy.


Treatment at MD Anderson

Implant-associated ALCL is treated at our Reconstructive Surgery Center.

Clinical Trials

MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.

Knowledge Center

Find the latest news and information about implant-associated ALCL in our Knowledge Center, including blog posts, articles, videos, news releases and more.


MD Anderson has licensed social workers to help patients and their loved ones cope with cancer.


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Prevention and Screening

Many cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes and regular screening.