The implications of Burkett's lymphoma to our understanding of childhood leukemia become more and more apparent. That the two are indeed closely related was first suggested by their geographic, reciprocal relationship, the similarity of the tumor cells, their usual origin in bone marrow, and the minor differences in their natural histories which can best be interpreted in terms of host resistance. The lymphomas of African children occur somewhat later in life, are more localized, and run a more protracted course.1 Both are responsive to a remarkable degree to chemotherapy, the Burkitt variety being the more responsive. Long-term remissions are achieved in 0.5% to 1% of acute leukemia patients; in the African lymphomas, perhaps ten times as frequently.
The antibody reactions recently demonstrated in the Burkitt variety were discussed in a recent editorial2 and seem to be a measure of the postulated host resistance. The presence of antibody and
MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE LEUKEMIA: A CLUE FROM AFRICA. JAMA. 1966;198(10):1116. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230132033