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Eur J Cancer. 2004 Dec;40(18):2781-7.

Gender and age-related differences in Burkitt lymphoma--epidemiological and clinical data from The Netherlands.

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Department of Haematology, Groningen University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.


Although Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is classified as one entity in the World Health Organisation (WHO) classification, we wondered whether BL should not be considered as a different disease in children compared with adults. Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR) data were obtained from 1994 to 1998 (n=203). Detailed clinical data from two treatment protocols were compared: one for adults up to the age of 65 years (n=27) and one for children (n=80). All slides of the two clinical studies were centrally reviewed which included immunophenotyping and when necessary breakpoint analysis of MYC/8q24. Only cases with an unambiguous diagnosis of BL (classical and atypical BL) were accepted. The age distribution of BL-patients showed a bimodal distribution with a peak at the paediatric age and a steady increase after approximately 60 years of age. Most of the patients were males (89% for children and 78% for adults) and only male patients showed this bimodality. Children more often had extranodal disease (81% vs. 59%), whereas adults more often had nodal disease (89% vs. 53%). Based on epidemiology and clinical presentation, the concept that BL is one disease should be re-challenged.

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