Budiongo AN, Ngiyulu RM, Lebwaze BM, Gini-Ehungu JL, Mafuta EM, Ekulu PM, Kabongo-Mpolesha JM, Aloni MN.
Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2015 Apr 14:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]



Information on presentation and outcome of pediatric non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is limited from Africa. The demographic characteristics, distribution of different subtypes were noted and compared with published reports from other parts of the world.
The study was conducted in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo between January 2002 and December 2012.
A total of 63 cases of pediatric non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were retrospectively analyzed. This cohort represents the largest series of pediatric non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma presented from sub-Saharan Africa. Median age was 8.7±3.6 years. There were 43 (68.3%) males. A mean of 82 ± 59 days passed from detection of the first sign to referral to oncology unit. Morphology distribution showed that 42 cases (66.7%) had a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma, 16 cases (25.4%) had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 5 cases (7.9%) had NHL-not otherwise specified. The majority of patients (82.5%) had advanced stage (stage III and IV). Immunohistochemistry findings were available for 32 biopsy samples. All (100%) cases were B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and immunohistochemistry had identified 18 (56.3%) cases of Burkitt lymphoma. In our cohort, 22 of 32 cases expressed positive bcl-2 and 12 (37.5%) were found to be positive for bcl-6. Thirty-one (96.7%) cases were positive for high Ki-67 antigen expression. Assuming that cases lost to follow-up worsened and died, the mortality would be 98.4%.

In comparison to western data, we observed higher proportion of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Burkitt Lymphoma and patients with bcl-2 expression.