Burkitt’s lymphoma is a rare but very aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma characterised by an isolated translocation t(8;14)(q24;q32). The sporadic form is the sub-entity most frequently encountered in Belgium. Diagnosis and initial work-up must be completed rapidly to start treatment as soon as possible. Positron emission tomography scan is useful for initial staging and to evaluate the chemosensitivity of the tumour during and after treatment. After debulking, it is recommended to add rituximab to chemotherapy. Currently intensive short-cycle and low intensity chemotherapies are two valuable options. Radiotherapy is not indicated except in case of central nervous system involvement. Patients achieving complete remission must be followed carefully during the first year to detect recurrence of the disease. More than 80% of patients sustain their remission one year following initial treatment and are considered cured. For patients in partial remission or with chemosensitive relapse, autologous stem cell transplantation is recommended following re-induction with non-cross-resistant polychemotherapy. Monitoring complete blood counts and cognitive functions is important to detect late toxicity of the applied therapies.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2015;6(2):61–9)