Which medications are used in the treatment of Burkitt lymphoma/Burkitt-like lymphoma (BL/BLL)?

Updated: Dec 20, 2019
  • Author: Ali H Kanbar, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for Burkitt lymphoma. Administer IV antibiotics for neutropenic fevers, and growth factors (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF] or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]) to help decrease the duration of neutropenia. Surgery or radiation therapy has no role in the treatment of Burkitt lymphoma.

In general, 3 chemotherapy approaches are available for Burkitt lymphoma, as follows:

  • Intensive, short-duration regimens such as CODOX-M/IVAC (Magrath regimen) (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate / ifosfamide, etoposide, high-dose cytarabine) and the CALGB 9251 protocol

  • Long-duration chemotherapy similar to acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment, such as hyper-CVAD (modified fractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, dexamethasone) and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 8811 protocol

  • Combination regimens followed by autologous stem cell transplantation

  • Most current regimens add rituximab to previously established chemotherapy regimens

Other medications that may be used in patients with Burkitt lymphoma include the following:

  • Glucocorticoids (eg, prednisone)
  • Urate-oxidase enzymes (eg, rasburicase)

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