Burkitt's lymphoma


In most casesBurkitt's lymphomais diagnosed in South Africa in children (mostly boys) aged 4-7 years. Occasionally, the disease can occur in Western Europe and the United States in people of 30 years of age.

Often, the disease develops against the background of severe immunodeficiency (AIDS) or infection with the Epstein-Barr virus. In Russia and Ukraine, this disease is almost not found.


By origin, Burkitt's lymphoma has a malignant character, is a type of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

It is distinguished by its aggressiveness, rapid growth and pronounced metastasis. Spreading outside the lymphatic system, pathological foci are localized in internal organs, bones, bone marrow and CNS.


Until now, the true reasons for the development of this education have not yet been clarified. There are suggestions that the ailment may result from insufficient immune protection, the effects of radiation or other carcinogens.

Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is observed in 95% of cases. He, settling on B-lymphocytes, activates their proliferation and promotes mutations.


The first sign of Burkitt's lymphoma is the appearance of nodular formations in the jaw region, which intensively increase, grow into surrounding tissues and deform the face.

Further damage to the thyroid gland, facial skeleton leads to loss of teeth, difficulty breathing and swallowing. Of the general symptoms, there is a rise in temperature, the appearance of weakness and a decrease in appetite.

Metastasizes the tumor in the bone, CNS, which causes pathological fractures, bone deformations and symptoms of neurologic genesis (paresis, paralysis, pelvic dysfunction).


Separately it is necessary to allocate the abdominal form of an ailment at which malignant foci in internal organs are formed. It is characterized by rapid progression and difficult diagnosis, as the clinical signs can not immediately be collected into one disease.

Symptomatically, this type of lymphomas is manifested by pain syndrome in the abdomen, dyspeptic disorders (nausea, intestinal dysfunction, gravity in the stomach), jaundice and fever.

It should be noted that when metastasizing to distantly located lymph nodes, pharyngeal, lingual, palatine tonsils and lymph nodes of the mediastinum remain intact.

Infrequently (in 2% of cases), lymphoma is manifested by leukemia, in which the cells of the bone marrow are malignant.

The disease can lead to serious complications:

  • massive bleeding;
  • violation of the integrity of the wall of hollow organs;
  • compression of the ureters, which disrupts renal function and urinary process;
  • compression of veins;
  • thromboembolism;
  • intestinal obstruction;
  • damage to the spinal cord (with the spread of the malignant conglomeration of the retroperitoneal space to the spine).

The stages of Burkitt's lymphoma

Given the severity and prevalence of a malignant tumor, it is common to distinguish the stages of Burkitt's lymphoma:

  • Stage 1 - defeat of one anatomical area;
  • 2 - propagation into two adjacent regions or more, but localized on one side of the diaphragm;
  • 3 - the tumor extends to the areas on both sides of the diaphragm;
  • 4 - CNS damage.


Diagnosis of the disease is based on the analysis of complaints, the results of objective examination and data instrumental examination (ultrasound, computer or magnetic resonance imaging, chest X-ray cavity).

Consultation of an ENT doctor is required to assess the degree of organ damage. An informative method is biopsy with obligatory histological examination. If necessary, bone marrow analysis is prescribed for the sternum puncture.


The main therapeutic method is chemotherapy courses using various drugs. "Methotrexate" and "Citarabin" are effective for the prevention of nervous system damage, except for the 1st stage of the process.

Additionally, immunomodulators and antiviral medications (Interferon, Ganciclovir) are prescribed. The effectiveness of radiation therapy has not been proven, even in combination with chemotherapy.

With regard to operations with the localization of the conglomerate in the abdominal cavity or retroperitoneal, it improves the quality of life, but does not affect the prognosis.

Surgical interventions for neoplasm on the jaw are not performed due to the pronounced blood supply of this area, since the risk of massive blood loss is high.

Recovery is possible only at an early stage of the process. However, by launching the disease, the prognosis is extremely unfavorable, and death occurs in a few months.


Depending on the prevalence of the process and complications, life expectancy varies. Without adequate therapy, the lethal outcome occurs in 1-3 months. With a recurring course and resistance to "chemistry life expectancy is about 8 months.

An unfavorable prognosis is observed in the spread of cancer to the central nervous system, bone marrow and internal organs. The cause of death is complications of the disease. However, ifBurkitt's lymphomawas diagnosed at stage 1, the prognosis is quite favorable.