Burkitt Lymphoma Treatment Programme
Survival of children with cancer in developing countries is far lower than in higher income countries – often less than 50% compared to 70% to 80% in western European countries. One common childhood cancer in equatorial Africa, Burkitt Lymphoma can be cured at low cost - even when disease is advanced. Tragically, many families of children with this cancer cannot afford treatment.
Mahija, an 8 year old Tanzanian girl, was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma. She was treated with chemotherapy over a 12 week period at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar-Es-Salaam. In the first picture, she has a very large jaw tumor which affected her ability to breathe and swallow. Because Burkitt Lymphoma rapidly responds to chemotherapy, there was significant improvement in her symptoms and a reduction in the size of her tumor within one week of starting treatment (Picture 2). Three and a half weeks later, there was even more improvement (Picture 3). The total cost of her chemotherapy was £100. Mahija is cured and enjoying life free of cancer.
Donations made to the INCTR Challenge Fund have been used to purchase the chemotherapy drugs for patients enrolled in the INCTR Burkitt lymphoma Treatment Programme. Donations have also been used to provide the costs of supportive care medications, including antibiotics and those required to provide symptom and pain relief. Donate Now.
What is Burkitt Lymphoma?
Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a very rapidly growing tumour that is the most common childhood cancers in Equatorial Africa. Denis Burkitt, an Irish surgeon working in Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, saw his first case of multiple jaw tumors in a 5 year old boy in 1957. Although pathologists working in Africa had observed the high incidence of jaw tumours and lymphomas in children with cancer in Africa, Burkitt was the first to describe the clinical syndrome associated with the lymphoma now named after him. He further demonstrated that BL was highly responsive to chemotherapy, and it was subsequently shown that up to 20% of BL patients achieved long term survival when treated with basic chemotherapy.
To read more about African Burkitt Lymphoma, please click here.