Burkitt lymphoma in children: The Israeli experience

Adi Hersalis Eldar, Boris Futerman, Gali Abrahami, Dina Attias, Ayelet Ben Barak, Yoav Burstein, Rina Dvir, Herzl Gabriel, Joseph Horovitz, Joseph Kapelushnik, Haim Kaplinsky, Hagit Miskin, Dahlia Sthoeger, Amos Toren, Shoshana Vilk-Revel, Michael Weintraub, Isaac Yaniv, Shai Linn, Myriam Ben Arush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We analyzed the results of the French-American-British-LMB 96 protocol performed in 9 centers in Israel on 88 patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma treated from 2000 to 2005. Procedure: The majority of the patients was male (63/88, 72%), with a median age of 8.9 years (range, 2.5 to 20 y). Ethnic origin was Jewish in 73% (64/88), and Arabic in 27%. Fifty (57%) patients were classified as Burkitt lymphoma, 5 (5.7%) as Burkittlike lymphoma, 22 (25%) as diffuse large B cell (DLBC), and 9 (10.2%) as Burkitt leukemia with over 25% of their bone marrow (BM) involved. Initial disease sites included the abdomen in 43%, head and neck in 45%, and mediastinum in 7%. Stage I: 9.1%; stage II: 28.4%; stage III: 45.5%, stage IV: 17%. Two patients had BM involvement alone, 5 patients had central nervous system (CNS) involvement alone, and 4 had both CNS and BM. The children were divided into 3 groups according to risk factors, with 5 in group A, 69 in group B, and 14 in group C. Results: With a median follow-up of 3 years (12mo to 7.6 y), the Kaplan-Meier for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) according to whole group treatment was 88.6% and 90.9%, group A was 100% and 100%; group B was 89.9% and 92.8%; and group C was 78.6% and 78.6%. There were no untoward events or deaths in group A, whereas 6 patients relapsed in group B, 4 of whom died (all relapsed during the first year), with tumor lysis syndrome in 3 patients and death of toxicity in 1 patient who had multiorgan failure 2 days after initiation of COP. Three patients in group C relapsed and died (all patients relapsed during the first 6 months), with tumor lysis syndrome in 4 patients but no deaths from toxicity. EFS for LDH less than twice was 96.4%, EFS for LDH more than twice was 73.3% (P=0.002). OS according to primary site: bone and ovary: 100%; head and neck: 95%; abdomen: 92%; mediastinum: 50%. The difference between the mediastinal primary site to all other primary sites was statistically significant with P = 0.003. All the mediastinal tumors were of DLBC origin but no significant differences in outcome were found when DLBC was compared with other histologies (DLBC: 81.8%, other B line: 90.9%). OS for patients of Arabic ethnic origin was 79.2%, for Jewish patients was 95.3%, P =0.02. We could not determine any prognostic factors that were different between the groups, which raises the question of a genetic influence. Conclusions: In nonresected mature B-cell lymphoma of childhood and adolescence with no BM or CNS involvement, a 93% cure rate can be achieved, similar to the French-American-British/LMB 96 trial. Patients with primary DLBC mediastinal mass had a significantly reduced OS, indicating the need for a different therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Burkitt lymphoma in children: The Israeli experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this