An 8-year retrospective study of adult and paediatric Burkitt’s lymphoma at Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa

Musekwa, Ernest ; Chapanduka, Zivanai C. ; Bassa, Fatima ; Kruger, Mariana (2020)

CITATION: Musekwa, E., et al. 2020. An 8-year retrospective study of adult and paediatric Burkitt’s lymphoma at Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa. South African Journal of Oncology, 4:a93, doi:10.4102/sajo.v4i0.93.

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Background: Burkitt lymphoma(BL) is a high grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which may be underdiagnosed in South Africa, due to a high burden of infectious diseases such as HIV and TB which may present with similar clinical features. Aim: To describe demographics and clinico-pathological characteristics of patients diagnosed with BL. Setting: Tygerberg Hospital (TBH), South Africa between 2007-2014. Methods: We performed a retrospective descriptive and survival analysis of patients diagnosed with BL at TBH between 01 January 2007 and 31 December 2014 with at least 24-month follow-up. Data was collected from the Tygerberg Lymphoma Study Group database and the South African Children Cancer Study Group Tumour Registry. Results: There were 73 patients with BL, of whom 68 were admitted to TBH and whose data was further analysed. The majority of patients were adults (74%). There was a female predominance in adults and a male predominance in children (p = 0.002). Various regimens were used in adults while a single treatment protocol was used in children. The proportion of patients with HIV and advanced BL was higher in adults than in children. The 2-year overall survival of the treatment group was 45%. The outcome of patients with BL in adults (34%) was poorer than that of children (69%) (p = 0.022). HIV negative patients had a non-significant survival advantage (57%) over HIV positive patients with 41% 2-year overall survival (p = 0.2876). Conclusion: This study demonstrates a better cure rate in children treated for BL compared to adults, with HIV-infection being a risk factor for poor outcome.

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