Original Research

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

Ernest Musekwa, Zivanai C. Chapanduka, Fatima Bassa, Mariana Kruger
South African Journal of Oncology | Vol 4 | a93 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajo.v4i0.93 | © 2020 Ernest Musekwa, Zivanai C. Chapanduka, Fatima Bassa, Mariana Kruger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2019 | Published: 30 April 2020

About the author(s)

Ernest Musekwa, Division of Haematology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, National Health Laboratory Service, Cape Town, South Africa
Zivanai C. Chapanduka, Division of Haematology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, National Health Laboratory Service, Cape Town, South Africa
Fatima Bassa, Division of Clinical Haematology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Mariana Kruger, Paediatric Oncology Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

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.


Keywords

epidemiology; Burkitt lymphoma; human immunodeficiency virus; tuberculosis; children; adults; treatment; outcome; South Africa

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