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Oncology (Williston Park). 2008 Nov 30;22(13):1508-17.

Adult Burkitt lymphoma: advances in diagnosis and treatment.

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  • 1Creighton University Medical Center, NE 68131-2197, USA.


Burkitt lymphoma is a unique B-cell malignancy with a high proliferation rate and characteristic genetic changes involving the c-myc oncogene. Burkitt lymphoma is common in children but also occurs in adults, where distinction from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma may pose a problem. The development of brief, very intensive chemotherapy regimens has led to a very high cure rate in children with Burkitt lymphoma. The use of these regimens in adults, often in combination with the antibody rituximab (Rituxan), has also made the cure of a majority of adults possible. Burkitt lymphoma in adults cannot be treated effectively with the common regimens used for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma such as CHOP-R (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone, rituximab). Prompt diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy with attention to the possibility of tumor lysis syndrome are necessary for optimal results.

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