Implementation Meeting for BL Project

The inaugural meeting of phase II of INCTR's Burkitt lymphoma project, entitled "Developing A Total Model of Care for Burkitt Lymphoma," which is partly supported by the OPEC Fund for International development (see November NewsFlash for more information), will take place in Arusha, Tanzania on 16th and 17th Feb immediately after the Pathology Workshop (13th, 14th and 15th of February. Preparations for this project are already underway (data entry for the present study is being finalized) but major decisions regarding the appointment and training of new staff will be made at the implementation meeting. The new protocol will be based on INCTR 03-06, the protocol presenty in use. In particular, the new drug combination shown to be active in relapsed patients will be incorporated into the new protocol either for high risk patients only, or for all patients, but with varying numbers of cycles depending upon the stage of disease. This decision will be made at the implementation meeting by the project steering committee which makes all such decisions. In adidition, education of the public and primary care providers will be undertaken in an attempt to initiate therapy earlier in the patient's course, i.e., within a month of the initiation of symptoms. This is likely to be possible when the child presents with a characteristic jaw tumor, but such tumors occur only in young children, although they comprise 50-60% of all patients. In the first analysis of the data collected from 4 African countries, the overall survival rate after several years (almost all relapses occur in the first year) was approximately 60%. With earlier detection and the addition of the additional drug combination, it is hoped that the survival rate will increase to 70% or more.

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