Burkitt leukaemia/lymphoma: R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC remains gold standard treatment in BL

Ir J Med Sci. 2016 Nov;185(4):773-777. doi: 10.1007/s11845-015-1288-3. Epub 2015 Apr 7.


Background: Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma (BL), characterised by translocation-associated C-MYC upregulation is a rare, aggressive lymphoma with a cure rate up to 90 % using the R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC (RCRI) protocol. RCRI is active in HIV-associated BL in combination with HAART. The WHO classification system defines lymphomas intermediate between DLBCL and BL, in which lymphomas with t(14;18)(q32;q21) and C-MYC-carrying translocation, i.e. 'double-hit' are included (BL-DH), and these patients are conventionally treated with RCRI.

Result: We describe the SJH experience of 25 patients with BL, BL + HIV and BL-DH treated with RCRI between 2002 and 2011. Twelve BL patients (8M/4F), median age 49.1 years (range 20-73 years); of whom 9 had extensive disease, including 8 with marrow and 2 with CNS involvement. Eleven patients remain in remission at 80.5 months (range 37-147 months) from completion of treatment and one died of progressive BL giving an OS of 91.6 % at 1 year with no late relapses. Eight patients with BL + HIV were treated (6M/2F) with a median age 40.25 years (range 24-64). Five remain in complete remission (CR) at 65 months (range 13-109 months), three patients died, two of progressive disease and one of treatment-associated hepatotoxicity in CR. Five patients with BL-DH were included; (3M/2F), age 47.8 years (range 42-55 years); and all patients died of progressive disease, 4 on RCRI therapy and a further patient despite an allogeneic transplantation.

Conclusion: These results confirm that RCRI is an effective treatment in adults with BL and BL + HIV and remains the gold standard against which other regimens should be compared. We confirm the poor prognosis found in BL-DH, indicating new treatment approaches are needed for this sub-group which should be identified at diagnosis by FISH analysis.

Keywords: Burkitt leukaemia/lymphoma; Classic Burkitt lymphoma; Double hit; HIV-associated lymphoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / methods
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult