Burkitt's Lymphoma Cancer

Burkitt's Lymphoma Cancer Cells

Picture of Burkitt's Lymphoma Cancer Cells under a microscope

Burkitt’s lymphoma affects around 200 people in the UK each year and is the most commonly diagnosed in teenagers and young adults. Around a third of these cases are in children.

Burkitt’s lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. How the disease develops remains unclear but research has shown that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may be involved. It is thought that the Epstein-Barr virus “transforms” immune cells called B-lymphocytes into cancerous cells. But in Burkitt’s lymphoma seen in the UK, the way normal B-lymphocytes change to cancer cell doesn't always involve the Epstein-Barr virus: Cancer Research UK.

Since Scott died in November 2005, we have been in contact with eminent Professors in the field of Research, seeking their advice and keeping up to date with any new developments through correspondence via emails.
The contacts were started by Scott himself, who connected with Professor John Sweetenham, (British)- now Professor of Medicine and Director of Research at the Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA (http://my.clevelandclinic.org) - who answered some questions Scott wanted to know regarding Chemotherapy Protocols he was receiving after his cancer returned the beginning of September 2005.
We met Professor Sweetenham 6 months after Scott died and he has continually advised us to use our funds for research into Burkitt’s cancer-which we hope we can achieve but it is taking longer to arrive at that position.
Our other great sources of help and support are: Professor Beverly Griffin, of the Imperial Medical School (London), who specialises in African Burkitt’s, and who proposed making a video documentary with us to link Scott’s experience with the disease and the African Burkitt’s, Professor Ben Mead-now semi- retired from Southampton University’s School of Medicine as Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology:
Professor Mead writes:
“This [Burkitt’s Lymphoma] is an exceptionally rare condition, hence no specific charities-apart from yours-exist at present.” and Professor Andrew Jack at the St James’s Institute of Oncology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. Professors Mead and Jack published the MRC/NCRI LY10 data in Blood at the end of 2008.
Professor Jack writes:
“The results of the study show that when the diagnosis of Burkitt Lymphoma is made using very strict criteria the outcome with intensive chemotherapy is now good. This may seem like a rather technical point but the problem is that cases that do not meet these strict criteria have a very poor outcome so making this distinction is critical. Unfortunately, the diagnostic services that are needed to make these distinctions are not available everywhere and it is very likely that a considerable number of patients who could benefit from the type of therapy described in LY10 and not being recognised and treated accordingly. Although there is quite strong guidance from the Department of Health on how these services should be provided progress is slow in many areas.”
Their immediate responses have kept us moving forward with Scott’s Charity.

More information on Burkitt's Cancer on the Links below:
http://www.burkitts.org
http://health.enotes.com/cancer-encyclopedia/burkitts-lymphoma
www.lymphoma.org
www.cancerhelp.org.uk