The use of anthracyclines in the treatment of endemic Burkitt lymphoma

Elizabeth Molyneux, Ed Schwalbe, George Chagaluka, Kondwani Banda, Trijn Israels, Sarita Depani, Kirstin Mittermayer-Vassallo, Kevin Windebank, Jessie Mvula, Jenala Njiram'madzi, Stephen O'Brien, Peter Carey, Simon Bailey

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Burkitt lymphoma is the most common malignancy in children in Malawi, the world's poorest country, where there is a long history of treating this disease using a 28-day cyclophosphamide-based protocol. Stage III/IV disease has had poor outcomes. In an attempt to improve the outcome for higher stage disease, anthracyclines were added to the existing protocol. The disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of 58 children with cytologically confirmed Burkitt lymphoma admitted during 2012–2014 and treated using this protocol were calculated. Six (10%) children had stage I disease, ten (17%) stage II and 42 stage III or IV (73%). Overall 12-month DFS (OS) was 68·5% (72·9%); for stage I disease 100% (100%), stage II 56·2% (60%), stage III/IV 66·3% (72·2%). The DFS was significantly improved from the previous protocol (P = 8 × 10−4). The addition of doxorubicin to stage III and IV disease resulted in a markedly improved DFS. Anthracyclines are deliverable in resource-poor settings and possibly improve the survival of children with Burkitt lymphoma.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Early online date28 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2016


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