Pediatric, elderly, and emerging adult-onset peaks in Burkitt lymphoma incidence diagnosed in four continents, excluding Africa

Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health/DHHS, Rockville, MD 20892, USA.
American Journal of Hematology (Impact Factor: 3.8). 06/2012; 87(6):573-8. DOI: 10.1002/ajh.23187
Source: PubMed


Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) in the general population and immunosuppressed persons with AIDS in the United States was characterized by three age-specific incidence peaks near 10, 40, and 70 years. We hypothesized that BL from different geographical areas may exhibit pediatric, adult, and elderly age incidence peaks. We investigated this hypothesis using data on 3,403 cases obtained from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (1963-2002). Data from Africa were sparse or incomplete, and thus were excluded. Age-standardized rates (ASRs) and age-specific incidence rates were calculated, supplemented with the calculations performed using age-period-cohort (APC) models. The ASR rose 5.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0-5.6) per year in males and 4.6% (95% CI, 4.5-4.8) in females. The ASR increased gradually in children, steeply in adults and most rapidly in the elderly both in males and in females. Overall, BL male/female ASR ratio was 2.5, but it declined from 3.1 (95% CI, 3.0-3.3) for pediatric BL to 2.3 (95% CI, 2.2-2.4) for adult BL and 1.5 (95% CI, 1.4-1.6) for elderly BL. Age-specific incidence peaks occurred near 10 and 70 years in all regions and periods. A peak near 40 years of age emerged in the mid-1990s, particularly in men. Findings using APC models confirmed those based on the standard analyses. Our findings, based on the international BL cases, support our hypothesis that BL is multimodal and that BL peaks at different ages may be clues to differences in the etiology and/or biology of BL at those ages.

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