With the use of a needle aspiration technique for obtaining tumor material, the direct karyotype of Burkitt’s lymphoma cells was examined from 14 Ghanaian patients. The 14q+ chromosome (in addition to other chromosomal abnormalities) was present in 8 (57%) of the 14 patients; 6 of these 8 patients had t(8;14) (q24;q32). One of the remaining 2 patients had a #8 chromosome deleted, whereas the second had 2 normal-appearing #8 chromosomes. Other numerical and structural abnormalities were frequent. No correlation between type or frequency of abnormality and clinical status or survival was found. Within cells of the same tumor aspirate, the karyotype abnormalities were generally similar. In 3 patients, karyotypes from two separate tumor sites (abdomen-bone marrow, 2 cases; right maxilla-left mandible, 1 case) showed identical markers. The same marker was seen in specimens from the initial and second relapse abdominal tumors of 1 patient. The similarity of chromosomal markers from two sites or in serial studies further supports the concept that African Burkitt's lymphoma is a disease of monoclonal origin.
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