Canterbury DHB


Burkitt Lymphoma/Leukaemia

The definite identification of this group of NHL is difficult. Morphology either MGG or H and E is not reliable. Typically, the abnormal cells show surface IgM, CD 19, 20, 22, 79a positive, CD10 positive, CD5 and 23 negative. Ki67 should be more than 95%. Cytogenetic analysis usually shows a t(8;14), t(2;8) or t(8;22) and rearrangement of the MYC gene. Additional abnormalities may also be present, resulting in a complex karyotype. The difficulty lies in distinguishing Burkitt Lymphoma from Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, and this is important, as these two entities require different treatment.

See further information with regard to the tests required when diagnosing Burkitt Lymphoma/Leukaemia.

Chemotherapy regimens for BL include CODOX-M IVAC (see LY10 protocol) and R-Hyper-CVAD (see Thomas, D. A., S. Faderl, et al. (2006). "Chemoimmunotherapy with hyper-CVAD plus rituximab for the treatment of adult Burkitt and Burkitt-type lymphoma or acute lymphoblastic leukemia." Cancer 106(7): 1569-1580.). Older patients can be successfully treated with dose-adjusted R EPOCH. See Dunleavy, K., Pittaluga, S. (2013). "Low-Intensity Therapy in Adults with Burkitt's Lymphoma." New England Journal of Medicine 369: 1915-25.

Further reading

Crombie J, LaCasce A. The treatment of Burkitt lymphoma in adults. Blood 2021;137(6):743-750. DOI:

About this Canterbury DHB document (5963):

Document Owner:

Peter Ganly (see Who's Who)

Last Reviewed:

December 2021

Next Review:

December 2024


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Topic Code: 5963