Paediatric Burkitt lymphoma patient-derived xenografts capture disease characteristics over time and are a model for therapy


Br J Haematol. 2020 Sep 3. doi: 10.1111/bjh.17043. Online ahead of print.


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) accounts for almost two-thirds of all B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) in children and adolescents and is characterised by a MYC translocation and rapid cell turnover. Intensive chemotherapeutic regimens have been developed in recent decades, including the lymphomes malins B (LMB) protocol, which have resulted in a survival rate in excess of 90%. Recent clinical trials have focused on immunochemotherapy, with the addition of rituximab to chemotherapeutic backbones,

showing encouraging results. Despite these advances, relapse and refractory disease occurs in up to 10% of patients and salvage options for these carry a dismal prognosis. Efforts to better understand the molecular and functional characteristics driving relapse and refractory disease may help improve this prognosis. This study has established a paediatric BL patient-derived xenograft (PDX) resource which captures and maintains tumour heterogeneity, may be used to better characterise tumours and identify cell populations responsible for therapy resistance.