How I treat Burkitt lymphoma in adults

Caron Jacobson and Ann LaCasce


Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is almost uniformly associated with translocations involving the gene for MYC on chromosome 8. The three subtypes of BL, endemic, sporadic, and immunodeficiency-associated, differ from epidemiologic and clinical perspectives but may be genetically similar. Prompt administration of multi-agent immunochemotherapy regimens is associated with favorable outcomes for the majority of patients. Survival is inferior in older patients, likely reflecting increased therapy related toxicity, possibly resulting in decreased treatment intensity. Central nervous system prophylaxis, tumor lysis prevention and treatment, and management of infectious complications from myelosuppressive regimens are critical. Prognosis of refractory or relapsed disease is poor and patients are best treated on clinical trials when available.

  • Submitted June 24, 2014.
  • Accepted September 11, 2014.