A Comparative Review on the Three Variants of Burkitt Lymphoma

Gina Castellano, Addison Marcus


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that begins in the immune cells. This disease is widely recognized for its quick tumor growth rate, rapid fatality when left without treatment, and its rather ambiguous infection mechanism. Despite these challenges, development of BL has been linked to the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and various synergistic disease factors. This review is focused on finding new evidence to differentiate between the characteristics of the three clinical variants of BL: endemic, sporadic and HIV/AIDS associated. Previous reports have shown that the development of endemic BL in African children is likely to be aided by co-infection of cells with Plasmodium falciparum and EBV. While sporadic BL is often believed to be independent of EBV infection, alternative detection modalities have demonstrated that removal of viral DNA occurs after genomic instability and constitutive expression has been activated. Lastly, patients with HIV/AIDS are more prone to lymphoma development because of their immunosuppression, characterized by low levels of CD4 cells and EBV-specific humoral responses. We emphasize the differences among the pathogenic profiles of the three clinical variants of BL to aid in treatment development


Burkitt Lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; Cancer Biology; Pathology

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