Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is primarily a childhood cancer in parts of Africa and Brazil. Classic studies describe eBL as a homogeneous entity based on t(8;14) IgH-Myc translocation and clinical response to cytotoxic therapy. By contrast, sporadic BL (sBL) in Western countries is considered more heterogeneous, and affects both children and adults. It is overrepresented in AIDS patients. Unlike diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), molecular subtypes within BL have not been well defined. We find that differential IgM positivity can be used to describe two subtypes of pediatric Burkitt lymphoma both in a high incidence region (Brazil), as well as in a sporadic region (US), suggesting the phenotype is not necessarily geographically isolated. Moreover, we find that IgM positivity also distinguishes between early and late onset BL in the standard Eμ-Myc mouse model of BL. This suggests that the t(8;14) translocation not only can take place before, but also after isotype switch recombination, and that IgM-negative, t(8;14) positive lymphomas in children should nevertheless be considered BL.
Eason, A. B., Sin, S. H., Lin, C., Damania, B., Park, S., Fedoriw, Y., … Dittmer, D. P. (2016). Differential IgM expression distinguishes two types of pediatric Burkitt lymphoma in mouse and human. Oncotarget, 7(39), 63504–63513. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11531