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Burkitt-type lymphoma in France among non-Hodgkin malignant lymphomas in Caucasian children


In a retrospective analysis of 87 cases of Caucasian childhood non-Hodgkin malignant lymphoma (NHML) from Lyon, France, all the case were diffuse lymphomas, but 47 were diagnosed as monomorphic small non-cleaved NHML, pathologically indistinguishable from Burkitt's lymphoma (BL). BL could then be the most frequent childhood lymphoma in France. This homogeneous series allows better definition of the characteristics of BL within NHML. Age distribution is similar to that of endemic BL, with a sex ratio of 3.7/1. Abdominal masses are initially present in 68% of the cases, whereas jaw is involved in only 4%. The disease is characterized by its overwhelming evolution in the absence of therapy. However, complete remission (CR) is usually obtained after the first chemtherapy regimen. Most relapses occur at 3-8 months. Death could be related to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) involvement, local recurrence or secondary marrow involvement. Ninety per cent of the patients alive with no evidence of disease (NED) 8 months after CR can be considered as definitely cured. Our study on Caucasian children with NHML indicates that, from histological and clinical criteria, nearly half the cases are very similar to African BL. Even though EBV rarely associated with our cases, BL could be a worldwide lymphoma.


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Philip, T., Lenoir, G., Bryon, P. et al. Burkitt-type lymphoma in France among non-Hodgkin malignant lymphomas in Caucasian children. Br J Cancer 45, 670–678 (1982).

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