What is the prognosis of Burkitt lymphoma/Burkitt-like lymphoma (BL/BLL) in adults?

Updated: Dec 20, 2019
  • Author: Ali H Kanbar, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Adults with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), particularly those with advanced stage disease, do more poorly than children with the disease. [6, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34] In addition, bone marrow involvement with complex cytogenetics has been noted to carry a worse prognosis in a retrospective observation [35] ; such complex cytogenetics have been reported to be more common among elderly patients. [36]

A prognostic scoring system developed in 2013 helps quantify the potential for cure in newly diagnosed adult patients with Burkitt lymphoma and helps stratify participants in future clinical trials. [37] Points are assigned as follows:

  • Age 40-59 years or black race/ethnicity: 1 point
  • Age 60-79 years or stage III/IV disease: 2 points
  • Age 80 years and older: 4 points

The 4 risk groups based on the scoring system are as follows [37] :

  • Low-risk (5-year relative survival [RS]: 71%): 0-1 points
  • Low-intermediate (5-year RS: 55%): 2 points
  • High-intermediate (5-year RS: 41%): 3 points
  • High-risk (5-year RS: 29%): 4 or more points

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