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Training Years: 2015-2016

Training Site: UNC Project-Malawi

Country: Malawi

Mentor: Satish Gopal, MD, MPH; Patrick Kazembe

Title: Can plasma Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) DNA be used as a prognostic biomarker among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected children with endemic Burkitt Lymphoma (eBL) in Malawi?

Project Objectives:  For this study, EBV DNA is assessed in plasma at baseline and treatment completion using a multiplexed assay developed by the UNC Vironomics core (, in collaboration with Dr. Dirk Dittmer. Dr. Westmoreland will be responsible for leading analyses of these data, as well as leading ongoing enrollment and clinical care for eBL children enrolled in Lilongwe.

Aim 1: To determine the proportion of CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) treated children with eBL in Lilongwe with detectable plasma EBV DNA at baseline and treatment completion, and to quantify plasma EBV DNA among these children.

Aim 2: To investigate associations between quantitative plasma EBV DNA and overall survival for children with eBL treated with CHOP in Lilongwe, adjusted for other baseline prognostic features (age, stage, lactate dehdryogenase, etc.).

NIH Support: Fogarty fellowship postdoctoral training award

Career Development Award: K01TW011191 (2019-2024) Understanding Methotrexate Dosing, Pharmaco-kinetics, and Toxicities for Burkitt Lymphoma In Malawi

Kate Westmoreland Headshot