Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) Is an aggressive B-cell neoplasm characterized by destructive fast-growing tumors most often located in and around the jaw and facial bones (Rubin & Reisner, 2013).—The differential diagnosis process for Burkitt lymphoma usually begins with a biopsy of the lymph nodes, neoplasm, or bone marrow. Lymphocytic blasts in the bone marrow of BL patients appear deeply basophilic and often contain multiple small vacuoles filled with lipids (Md, 2017). Though this microscopic appearance may tip off healthcare providers to a possible Burkitt lymphoma case, these vacuoles are not specific for BL and further testing must be performed to rule out other similarly presenting lymphomas. A slide finding distinctive to BL would be the “Starry sky” morphology seen in macrophages of the lymph nodes (Md, 2017). The description refers to the speckled appearance of the macrophage cytoplasm, which has become rich in cellular debris from increased phagocytosis of apoptotic lymphoma cells (Md, 2017).

For my Steam Project I painted important cells for Burkitt Lymphoma diagnosis. The cells labeled A are lymphocytic Blasts with lipid filled vacuoles seen in the bone marrow of BL patients. The cells labeled B are “starry sky” macrophages found in lymph node biopsy specimens.

One Comment

  1. WOW! First of all, Cayley, how can I sign up for an art class with you? Your artwork looks absolutely amazing! Very nice depiction of the macrophages and lymphocytes. I can see the speckled features of the macrophage cytoplasm in the lymph nodes, like you described in your paper.

    From reading your paper, I learned a lot about Burkitt Lymphoma. For starters, I can’t say that I had ever heard of it. I was familiar with the overarching idea of Lymphoma, but not specifically Burkitt. I noticed that the symptoms are “vague and nonspecific” which is similar to one of the disorders I covered in my project. Pre-eclampsia is hard to detect because one of the only noticeable symptoms includes swelling of legs, which is a normal occurrence during pregnancy. So it doesn’t immediately suggest that there is an abnormality going on.

    That is crazy that BL tumors can double in size within hours. You mentioned that it’s a very aggressive cancer, which got me thinking about the survival and mortality rate, which you partially addressed at the end. You mentioned 90% of low-stage patients having positive responsiveness to chemo and remission in 60-80% of high-stage patients. Those sound like really good odds.

    One question I have is what made you choose this topic? I know that oftentimes, people choose topics based on personal relation or experience. Is that the case for you, if you don’t mind me asking?

    Overall, super great job with your project! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Jornie Kinga

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