Burkitt Lymphoma


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive neoplasm of mature B-cells.  It is characterized by a short doubling time and quick growth.  FISH is used to identify translocations involving MYC (8q24) which can be rearranged with an immunoglobulin locus (14q32, 22q11, or 2p12). MYC rearrangements are identified in the majority of morphological Burkitt cases, however, cryptic or complex rearrangements of the MYC gene locus may prevent detection using a MYC break-apart probe.


  • Completed CGL Lymphoid Testing requisition form
  • FFPE Tumour specimen (see Specimen GuidelinesCytogenetics FISH FFPE test type)
    • An H&E stained slide with the tumour region circled, and the estimated % tumour content written in the Tumour Content field of the requisition.  NOTE: A minimum of 10% tumour and at least 200 nuclei is required.
    • Specimen block and/or at least one unstained slide for each probe requested.


  • Specimens are reported as Positive for a rearrangement, Negative for a rearrangement, or Negative for a rearrangement – extra signals
  • A negative result for MYC rearrangement neither precludes the existence of such a rearrangement nor does it exclude a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma.
  • MYC rearrangements are common in BL but may be identified in other mature B-cell neoplasms.


Results are reported within fourteen days from receipt of specimen and completed requisition form.


FISH analysis is performed on the provided FFPE using the following three dual-colour, break apart probes (Vysis): MYC (8q24), BCL2 (18q21) and BCL6 (3q27).