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Patient compliance in the treatment of Burkitt\'s lymphoma in rural Zambia: A retrospective study on 80 Burkitt\'s lymphoma patients in Katete, Zambia

JD De Boer
TN Boellaard
S Parkinson
E Blanchard
HA Heij


Background: In African settings the treatment results of Burkitt\'s lymphoma (BL) seem to be less favourable compared with Western settings. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse some factors that affect the treatment of BL. Patients and Methods: Over a 16 year period, data were extracted of 80 patients. Results: Complete remission 5%, very good partial response 35%, partial response 16%, no response 10%, data missing
34%. Of all patients, 56% did have a positive response to treatment. However, 51% of this subgroup of patients did not finish treatment. There was no difference in completion of treatment between patients living in Katete district fi nishing treatment vs. living outside Katete district (respectively 25% vs. 32%, P = 0.7148). Conclusion: There is potential for higher cure rates for BL in tropical settings if full effort is put into compliance since a majority
of patients, even while having a good prognosis, abandon treatment. Large distance to hospital makes no difference in completing the chemotherapy course.

Keywords: Burkitt's lymphoma, chemotherapy, compliance

African Journal of Paediatric Surgery Vol. 6 (1) 2009: pp. 3-6