Abstract Regarding The Treatment of Burkitt Lymphoma Accepted
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Since its inception, six African hospitals have participated in an INCTR

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project designed to Improve the survival rate in African Burkitt lymphoma, a very rapidly growing tumor in which chemotherapy is essential for curative therapy, and in which neither surgery nor radiation are effective. An abstract describing the results of treatment in over 100 patients treated at St Mary's Hospital, Lacor was submitted by Dr Valeria Calbi, Project Leader at St Mary's Hospital, Lacor, and accepted for oral presentation at the 13th International Congress on Malignant Lymphoma, which is held every three years in Lugano, Switzerland (picture). In this group of patients, overall survival at 3 years is 72% (relapse is rare after one year free of disease). This is an excellent result for African Burkitt lymphoma since there are few centers capable of treating this very rapidly progressive neoplasm in equatorial Africa, because of limited resources, human and otherwise, for supportive care during chemotherapy. Very often the family cannot afford the cost of care and an unknown number of children may never reach a hospital capable of giving chemotherapy to cancer patients. In the present study, the data provided in the abstract gives the results of a treatment regimen (known as "First Line") consisting of three drugs with intrathecal therapy to prevent or treat central nervous system disease. The regimen, referred to as COM from the initial letters of the three drugs which comprise it has now been used in 6 different hospitals in 4 African countries (although not all at the same time). Results in these hospitals has ranged from 40% to 71% overall survival at three years (average, 62%), an observation that is being further examined, along with the value of early diagnosis and use of a salvage regimen in patients who achieve only partial response or relapse after achieving a complete response. Financial support for the study is provided by the Christopher Niblett Memorial Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development and funds donated to the project via Global Giving. The study coordinator is Melissa Adde, Director of INCTR's Clinical Trials Office. An earlier analysis describing patient characteristics, therapy toxicity and outcome has been published in the British Journal of Haeatology (Br J Haematol . 2013 158:749-762. Click on "files" below to download a copy (filename African BL in BJH.pdf).

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