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Blood Cancer

Burkitt Lymphoma [USMLE Quick Review] [Video]

Burkitt Lymphoma [USMLE Quick Review]

Burkitt lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which cancer starts in immune cells called B-cells. Recognized as a fast growing human tumor, Burkitt lymphoma is associated with impaired immunity and is rapidly fatal if left untreated. However, intensive chemotherapy can achieve long-term survival in more than half the people with Burkitt lymphoma.

In Africa, Burkitt lymphoma is common in young children who also have malaria and Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis. One mechanism may be that malaria weakens the immune system’s response to Epstein-Barr, allowing it to change infected B-cells into cancerous cells. About 98% of African cases are associated with Epstein-Barr infection.

About one-half of all Burkitt lymphoma (BL) patients are younger than 40 years, and one-third belong to the adolescent and young adult (AYA) subset, defined by an age between 15 and 25–40 years, based on selection criteria used in different reports. Outside of Africa, Burkitt lymphoma is rare. In the U.S., about 1,200 people are diagnosed each year, and about 59% of patients are over age 40.

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Blood Cancer

Benjamin Derman, MD | MCRT Chicago, Illinois April 30, 2022 [Video]

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