When was Burkitt lymphoma (BL) first identified?

Updated: Dec 20, 2019
  • Author: Ali H Kanbar, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Burkitt lymphoma is named after Dr. Dennis Burkitt, an Irish surgeon who worked in Kampala, Uganda, and noted a large number of African children affected with rapidly growing jaw tumors in areas where falciparum malaria was endemic. Dr. Burkitt described those tumors initially as a form of sarcoma. [7] It was not until 3 years later that the tumors were histologically identified by Burkitt and O’Conor as malignant lymphomas. [8] A few years later, Dr. Burkitt met and provided tumor samples to the pathologist Anthony Epstein. Dr. Epstein and his colleagues identified Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) from the lymphoma samples, which established a role for EBV in the pathogenesis of African Burkitt lymphoma. [9, 10, 11]

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