Text Box: CHARACTERISTICS AND TREATMENT OUTCOME OF CHILDHOOD BURKITT LYMPHOMAS IN HONG KONG CHINESE CHILDREN
Chiang AKS, Chan GCF, Ha SY, Ho HK, Lee TL and Lau YL
Department of Paediatrics, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, China

Objective:  To study the characteristics and clinical outcome of Burkitt lymphomas in Hong Kong Chinese children.
Methods:  A retrospective review of consecutive cases of histologically proven Burkitt lymphomas in a single institution over a 15 year period from January 1986 to January 2001 was performed. Patients were staged according to the St. Jude staging classification of childhood non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Patients were stratified into different treatment groups and received combination chemotherapy protocols. 
Results:  11 children were diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma over the review period, consisting of 8 boys and 3 girls with a median age of 6.1 (range 3.3 to 15.5) years. The primary sites of disease were as follows: abdomen (5), jaw (1), lymph nodes (3) and bone marrow (2). One of the 2 patients with marrow disease (Stage IV) also had CNS disease at presentation. 5 patients had Stage III diseases with either extensive primary intra-abdominal diseases or nodal diseases above and below diaphragm.  The rest (4 cases) had Stage I and II diseases. The primary gastrointestinal tumours frequently presented as intussusception and intestinal obstruction. Only 1 case of primary jaw (endemic form) disease was encountered. At a median follow up of 2.25 (range 0.3-13.9) years, the overall survival and disease free survival rates were both 100%. 2 of the earliest patients had anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy.
Conclusions:  Burkitt lymphoma in the Hong Kong Chinese children has a favorable response to chemotherapy and an excellent prognosis.  There is a preponderance of primary abdominal disease in our population.  The future goal should aim at minimizing long term treatment-induced toxicity. 
2392