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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2013 May;48(5):617-29. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2012.129. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

The role of hematopoietic SCT in adult Burkitt lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.


Adult Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive disease characterized by frequent extranodal presentation, bulky disease and a rapid clinical course. Although intensive chemotherapeutic regimes result in long-term disease-free survival in most patients, a significant proportion of patients will have high-risk disease that may be refractory or that will relapse. In these patients, the role of hematopoietic SCT is not well defined, especially in the era of modern chemoimmunotherapy. Upfront auto-SCT has been reported to be feasible in patients who have high-risk features at presentation, and in whom it is a clinical option. In patients with relapsed disease, auto-SCT can result in a PFS of 30-40%. Allo-SCT is an option in relapsing patients with a sibling or matched related donor who may not be eligible for, or may have previously received, an auto-SCT; the role of RIC and T-cell depletion is not well defined. Disease status at transplant is the most significant predictor of outcome in patients undergoing SCT. Here we review the available evidence pertaining to SCT in patients with BL, including in those who are HIV positive (HIV+) and those with B-cell lymphoma unclassified (BCLU). Prospective studies in the era of modern intensive chemoimmunotherapeutic regimes are required to delineate the precise role of transplantation for BL. Developments in molecular diagnostics, incorporation of FDG-PET and minimal residual disease monitoring along with new therapies may further assist in refining treatment algorithms.

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