Burkitt's lymphoma: The Rosetta Stone deciphering Epstein-Barr virus biology

Martin Rowe, Gemma Kelly, Andrew Bell, Alan Rickinson

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Epstein-Barr virus was originally identified in the tumour cells of a Burkitt's lymphoma, and was the first virus to be associated with the pathogenesis of a human cancer. Studies on the relationship of EBV with Burkitt's lymphoma have revealed important general principles that are relevant to other virus-associated cancers. In addition, the impact of such studies on the knowledge of EBV biology has been enormous. Here, we review some of the key historical observations arising from studies on Burkitt's lymphoma that have informed our understanding of EBV, and we summarise the current hypotheses regarding the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of Burkitt's lymphoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-88
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • c-myc
  • Cancer pathogenesis
  • Burkitt's lymphoma
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Apoptosis


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