Burkitt's lymphoma

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Burkitt's lymphoma is a small, noncleaved cell lymphoma, described initially in Africa, where it is endemic in some parts, but occurring sporadically in nonendemic areas such as the United States.

In the African Burkitt's lymphoma there is a strong association with Epstein-Barr virus infection. Other associations include malarial infection and translocation involving chromosome 8 and 14.

Both the African and the non-African cases are found largely in children or young adults. In both forms, the disease rarely arises in the lymph nodes. In African cases, involvement of the maxilla or mandible is the common mode of presentation, whereas abdominal tumours - bowel, retroperitoneum, ovaries - are common in cases seen elsewhere. Leukaemic transformation of Burkitt's lymphoma is uncommon.

Management of Burkitt lymphoma

  • intensive immunochemotherapy should be offered to people with Burkitt lymphoma who are fit enough to tolerate it (1)


Last reviewed 01/2018