Current Treatment of Burkitt Lymphoma and High-Grade B-Cell Lymphomas

Oncology (Williston Park). 2022 Aug 10;36(8):499-505. doi: 10.46883/2022.25920970.


Purpose of review: This article reviews the current data and future directions in the management of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL).

Recent findings: BL is a rare, mature B-cell lymphoma molecularly defined by translocation of the proto-oncogene MYC. Multiple intensive combination chemoimmunotherapy regimens have demonstrated excellent efficacy in this disease, although treatment toxicity remains a challenge in many patients. Double-hit lymphoma (DHL) represents HGBL with translocations of the oncogene MYC along with either BCL2 or BCL6, or both. In 2016, the World Health Organization update of this classification was revised to a new entity defined by cytogenetics: HGBL with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements. Recent prospective data using dose-adjusted etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and rituximab has demonstrated encouraging treatment efficacy in these patients. HGBL, not otherwise specified (NOS) is a heterogeneous, aggressive, mature B-cell lymphoma that does not meet criteria for BL, DHL, or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma NOS. Therapy for this entity is not well established.

Summary: The aggressive B-cell lymphomas BL, DHL, and HGBL, NOS are unique diseases with specific pathogenesis and biology. Insights into the molecular biology of these diseases have enabled new classifications and personalization of therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / drug therapy
  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / drug therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / therapeutic use
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc