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Blood. 2018 Jul 19;132(3):254-263. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-04-844472. Epub 2018 May 16.

How I treat Burkitt lymphoma in children, adolescents, and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gopal S1,2,3,4,5, Gross TG6.

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Department of Medicine and.
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
Malawi Cancer Consortium and.
Regional Center of Research Excellence for Non-Communicable Diseases, Lilongwe, Malawi; and.
Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD.


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is the most common pediatric cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and also occurs frequently among adolescents and young adults (AYAs), often associated with HIV. Treating BL in SSA poses particular challenges. Although highly effective, high-intensity cytotoxic treatments used in resource-rich settings are usually not feasible, and lower-intensity continuous infusion approaches are impractical. In this article, based on evidence from the region, we review management strategies for SSA focused on diagnosis and use of prephase and definitive treatment. Additionally, potentially better approaches for risk stratification and individualized therapy are elaborated. Compared with historical very low-intensity approaches, the relative safety, feasibility, and outcomes of regimens incorporating anthracyclines and/or high-dose systemic methotrexate for this population are discussed, along with requirements to administer such regimens safely. Finally, research priorities for BL in SSA are outlined including novel therapies, to reduce the unacceptable gap in outcomes for patients in SSA vs high-income countries (HICs). Sustained commitment to incremental advances and innovation, as in cooperative pediatric oncology groups in HICs, is required to transform care and outcomes for BL in SSA through international collaboration.

[Available on 2019-07-19]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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