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1.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with high-risk medulloblastoma 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;15(3):352-359.
We assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of reduced-dose craniospinal (CS) radiotherapy (RT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) in reducing late adverse effects without jeopardizing survival among children with high-risk medulloblastoma (MB).
From October 2005 through September 2010, twenty consecutive children aged >3 years with high-risk MB (presence of metastasis and/or postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2) were assigned to receive 2 cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy, CSRT (23.4 or 30.6 Gy) combined with local RT to the primary site (total 54.0 Gy), and 4 cycles of post-RT chemotherapy followed by tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Carboplatin-thiotepa-etoposide and cyclophosphamide-melphalan regimens were used for the first and second HDCT, respectively.
Of 20 patients with high-risk MB, 17 had metastatic disease and 3 had a postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2 without metastasis. The tumor relapsed/progressed in 4 patients, and 2 patients died of toxicities during the second HDCT/autoSCT. Therefore, 14 patients remained event-free at a median follow-up of 46 months (range, 23−82) from diagnosis. The probability of 5-year event-free survival was 70.0% ± 10.3% for all patients and 70.6% ± 11.1% for patients with metastases. Late adverse effects evaluated at a median of 36 months (range, 12−68) after tandem HDCT/autoSCT were acceptable.
In children with high-risk MB, CSRT dose might be reduced when accompanied by tandem HDCT/autoSCT without jeopardizing survival. However, longer follow-up is needed to evaluate whether the benefits of reduced-dose CSRT outweigh the long-term risks of tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
PMCID: PMC3578484  PMID: 23258845
autologous stem cell transplantation; high-dose chemotherapy; late effect; medulloblastoma; radiotherapy
2.  High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue in Patients with High-risk Stage 3 Neuroblastoma: 10-Year Experience at a Single Center 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(4):660-667.
High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was applied to improve the prognosis of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma. From January 1997 to December 2006, 28 patients were newly diagnosed as stage 3 neuroblastoma. Nine of 11 patients with N-myc amplification and 5 of 17 patients without N-myc amplification (poor response in 2 patients, persistent residual tumor in 2 and relapse in 1) underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Patients without high-risk features received conventional treatment modalities only. While 8 of 9 patients underwent single HDCT/ASCR and the remaining one patient underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the early study period, all 5 patients underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the late period. Toxicities associated with HDCT/ASCR were tolerable and there was no treatment-related mortality. While the tumor relapsed in two of eight patients in single HDCT/ASCR group, all six patients in tandem HDCT/ASCR group remained relapse free. The 5-yr event-free survival (EFS) from diagnosis, in patients with N-myc amplification, was 71.6±14.0%. In addition, 12 of 14 patients who underwent HDCT/ASCR remained event free resulting in an 85.1±9.7% 5-yr EFS after the first HDCT/ASCR. The present study demonstrates that HDCT/ASCR may improve the survival of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2719186  PMID: 19654949
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
3.  Consolidative high-dose chemotherapy after conventional-dose chemotherapy as first salvage treatment for male patients with metastatic germ cell tumours 
Some men with metastatic germ cell tumours that have progressed after response to initial cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy are cured with conventional dose first salvage chemotherapy (CDCT) – however, many are not. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT) may be of value in these patients. Prognosis has recently been better defined by International Prognostic Factor Study Group (IPFSG) prognostic factors. HDCT after response to CDCT has been offered at our institution over the past two decades. We retrospectively assessed the validity of the IPFSG prognostic factors in our patients and evaluated the value of HDCT.
We identified eligible men with metastatic germ cell tumour progressed after at least 3 cycles of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and treated with cisplatin-based CDCT alone or with carboplatin-based HDCT. We also collected their clinical data. Patients were classified into risk groups using IPFSG factors, and progression-free and overall survival factors were analyzed and compared in patients treated with CDCT alone and with HDCT.
We identified 38 eligible first salvage patients who had received a median of 4 cycles (range, 1 to 7 cycles) of CDCT. Twenty patients received CDCT alone and 18 patients received CDCT plus HDCT. The overall median progression- free survival was 24.6 months (95%CI, 7.3 to 28.7 months) and overall median overall survival was 34.6 months (95%CI, 17.2 to 51.3 months). Distribution by IPFSG category and 2-year progression- free survival and 3-year overall survival rates within each risk category were very similar to the IPFSG results. There were two toxic deaths with CDCT and none with HDCT. Overall, patients treated with CDCT plus HDCT had improved progression- free survival and overall survival.
The IPFSG prognostic risk factors appeared valid in our patient population. The safety of HDCT with etoposide and carboplatin was confirmed. HDCT was associated with improved progression- free survival and overall survival outcomes, consistent with observations of the IPFSG group. Ideally, the value of optimal HDCT should be determined in comparison to optimal CDCT as first salvage therapy in men with metastatic germ cell tumour with a randomized trial.
PMCID: PMC3328550  PMID: 22511417
4.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for children with newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):120-126.
In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
PMCID: PMC2983022  PMID: 21120191
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
5.  Efficacy of Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue in Patients Over 1 Year of Age with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma: The Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Experience Over 6 Years (2000-2005) 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(5):691-697.
The efficacy of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was investigated in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Patients over 1 yr of age who were newly diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma from January 2000 to December 2005 were enrolled in The Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology registry. All patients who were assigned to receive HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis were retrospectively analyzed to investigate the efficacy of single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Seventy and 71 patients were assigned to receive single or tandem HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis. Fifty-seven and 59 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR as scheduled. Twenty-four and 38 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group remained event free with a median follow-up of 56 (24-88) months. When the survival rate was analyzed according to intent-to-treat at diagnosis, the probability of the 5-yr event-free survival±95% confidence intervals was higher in the tandem HDCT group than in the single HDCT group (51.2±12.4% vs. 31.3±11.5%, P=0.030). The results of the present study demonstrate that the tandem HDCT/ASCR strategy is significantly better than the single HDCT/ASCR strategy for improved survival in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients.
PMCID: PMC2858826  PMID: 20436703
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
6.  Treatment of young children with CNS-primitive neuroectodermal tumors/pineoblastomas in the prospective multicenter trial HIT 2000 using different chemotherapy regimens and radiotherapy 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;15(2):224-234.
Especially in young children, primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS-PNET) and pineoblastomas are associated with an unfavorable outcome, and only a few prospective trials have been conducted thus far.
From January 2001 through January 2005, 17 eligible children aged <4 years with CNS-PNET not otherwise specified (n = 8), ependymoblastoma (n = 1), or pineoblastoma (n = 8) confirmed by central review were prospectively treated in the trial HIT 2000. In nonmetastatic disease (n = 11), up to 5 postoperative cycles of HIT-SKK systemic multiagent chemotherapy (8 months duration), followed by craniospinal radiotherapy (CSI), were given. In metastatic disease (M1-M3, n = 6), treatment consisted of a shorter induction chemotherapy (2–3 months) with carboplatin and etoposide, followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) in case of good response to induction. During induction and HDCT, patients received intraventricular methotrexate. CSI was applied to all patients with poor response to induction or residual disease after HDCT and was optional for patients with residual disease before HDCT.
Five-year event-free survival and overall survival rates ± standard error for all eligible patients were 24% ± 10% and 40% ± 12%, respectively (median follow-up of survivors: 8.3 years). Only one patient with nonmetastatic disease remained free of relapse/progressive disease during induction. Three of 6 patients with metastatic disease responded to induction and received tandem-HDCT, followed by preventive CSI, and remain in continuous complete remission.
Short intensive induction chemotherapy followed by tandem-HDCT in young children with CNS-PNET/pineoblastomas seems to be superior to the prolonged and less intensive induction regimen.
PMCID: PMC3548584  PMID: 23223339
brain tumors, chemotherapy; pineoblastoma; primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET); radiotherapy; young children
7.  Efficacy of High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Relapsed Medulloblastoma: A Report on The Korean Society for Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (KSPNO)-S-053 Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(8):1160-1166.
The efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/ASCT) were investigated for improving the outcomes of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma. A total of 15 patients with relapsed medulloblastoma were enrolled in the KSPNO-S-053 study from May 2005 to May 2007. All patients received approximately 4 cycles of salvage chemotherapy after relapse. Thirteen underwent HDCT/ASCT; CTE and CM regimen were employed for the first HDCT (HDCT1) and second HDCT (HDCT2), respectively, and 7 underwent HDCT2. One transplant related mortality (TRM) due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred during HDCT1 but HDCT2 was tolerable with no further TRM. The 3-yr overall survival probability and event-free survival rates ±95% confidence intervals (CI) were 33.3±12.2% and 26.7% ±11.4%, respectively. When analysis was confined to only patients who had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) prior to HDCT, the probability of 3-yr overall survival rates ±95% CI was 40.0±15.5%. No patients with stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD) survived. Survival rates from protocol KSPNO-S-053 are encouraging and show that tumor status prior to HDCT/ASCT is an important factor to consider for improving survival rates of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2908784  PMID: 20676326
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
8.  Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Young Children with Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor of the Central Nervous System 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(2):135-140.
The feasibility and effectiveness of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) were evaluated in children younger than 3 yr of age with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Tandem HDCT/autoSCT was administered following six cycles of induction chemotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was administered if the tumor relapsed or progressed, otherwise, it was administered after 3 yr of age. Tumors relapsed or progressed during induction chemotherapy in 5 of 9 patients enrolled; 3 of these 5 received tandem HDCT/autoSCT as a salvage treatment. One patient died from sepsis during induction chemotherapy. The remaining 3 patients proceeded to tandem HDCT/autoSCT; however, 2 of these patients showed tumor relapse/progression after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. All 7 relapses/progressions occurred at primary sites even in patients with leptomeningeal seeding. Toxicities during tandem HDCT/autoSCT were manageable. A total of 5 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 20 (range 16-70) months from diagnosis. Four of 5 patients who received RT after relapse/progression are alive. The probability of overall survival at 3 yr from diagnosis was 53.3% ± 17.3%. Our tandem HDCT/autoSCT is feasible; however, early administration of RT prior to tandem HDCT/autoSCT should be considered to improve the outcome after tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
PMCID: PMC3271285  PMID: 22323859
Rhabdoid Tumor; Central Nervous System; Drug Therapy; Stem Cell Transplantation; Radiotherapy; Child
9.  Double high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma: a pilot study in a single center. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2002;17(4):537-543.
Double high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) was applied to 18 patients with highrisk neuroblastoma including 14 patients who could not achieve complete response (CR) even after the first HDCT. In 12 patients, successive double HDCT was rescued with peripheral blood stem cells collected during a single round of leukaphereses and in 6 patients, second or more rounds of leukaphereses were necessary after the first HDCT to rescue the second HDCT. The median interval between the first and second HDCT (76 days; range, 47-112) in the single harvest group was shorter than that (274.5 days; range, 83-329) in the double harvest group (p<0.01). Hematologic recovery was slow in the second HDCT. Six (33.3%) treatment-related mortalities (TRM) occurred during the second HDCT but were not related to the shorter interval. Disease-free survival rates at 2 years with a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 6-46) in the single and double harvest group were 57.1% and 33.3%, respectively. These results suggest that successive double HDCT using the single harvest approach may improve the survival of high-risk patients, especially who could not achieve CR after the first HDCT despite delayed hematologic recovery and high rate of TRM during the second HDCT.
PMCID: PMC3054907  PMID: 12172052
10.  Long-term Outcome of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Treated with High-Dose Chemotherapy and Transplantation of Purified Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cells 
Metastatic breast cancer remains a major treatment challenge. The use of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with rescue by autologous mobilized peripheral blood (MPB) is controversial, in part due to contamination of MPB by circulating tumor cells. CD34+Thy- 1+ selected hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) represent a graft source with a greater than 250,000-fold reduction in cancer cells. Here, we present the long-term outcome of a pilot study determining feasibility and engraftment using HDCT and purified HSC in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Twenty-two patients who had been treated with standard chemotherapy were enrolled into a phase I/II trial between 12/1996 to 02/1998, and underwent HDCT followed by rescue with CD34+Thy-1+ HSC isolated from autologous MPB. More than 12 years after the end of the study 23% (5/22) of HSC recipients are alive, 18% (4/22) free of recurrence with normal hematopoietic function. Median PFS was 16 months and median OS was 60 months. Retrospective comparison with 74 patients transplanted between 02/1995 and 06/1999 with the identical HDCT regimen but rescue with unmanipulated MPB show that 9% of patients are alive, and 7% without disease. Median PFS was 10 months and median OS was 28 months. In conclusion, cancer-depleted HSC following HDCT resulted in better than expected 12- 14 year PFS and OS in a cohort of metastatic breast cancer patients. These data prompt us to look once again at purified HSC transplantation in a protocol powered to test for efficacy in advanced stage breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4113088  PMID: 21767515
11.  Hematologic Recovery after Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with High-Risk Solid Tumors 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(2):220-226.
Although the number of studies using tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) for the treatment of high-risk pediatric solid tumors has been increasing, documentation of hematologic recovery after tandem HDCT/autoSCT is very limited. For this reason, we retrospectively analyzed the hematologic recovery of 236 children with high-risk solid tumors who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. The median numbers of CD34+ cells transplanted during the first and second HDCT/autoSCT were 4.3 × 106/kg (range 0.6-220.2) and 4.1 × 106/kg (range 0.9-157.6), respectively (P = 0.664). While there was no difference in neutrophil recovery between the first and second HDCT/autoSCT, platelet and RBC recoveries were significantly delayed in the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Delayed recovery in the second HDCT/autoSCT was more prominent when the number of transplanted CD34+ cells was lower, especially if it was < 2 × 106/kg. A lower CD34+ cell count was also associated with increased RBC transfusion requirements and a higher serum ferritin level after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. More CD34+ cells need to be transplanted during the second HDCT/autoSCT in order to achieve the same hematologic recovery as the first HDCT/autoSCT.
PMCID: PMC3565133  PMID: 23400387
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; CD34+ Cells; Hematologic Recovery; Iron Overload
12.  High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation for advanced testicular cancer 
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy  2011;11(7):1091-1103.
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
PMCID: PMC3253700  PMID: 21806332
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
13.  High-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in the treatment of children and adolescents with Ewing sarcoma family of tumors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(9):401-406.
We performed a pilot study to determine the benefit of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoPBSCT) for patients with Ewing sarcoma family of tumors.
We retrospectively analyzed the data of patients who received HDCT/autoPBSCT at Korea Cancer Center Hospital. Patients with relapsed, metastatic, or centrally located tumors were eligible for the study.
A total of 9 patients (3 male, 6 female), with a median age at HDCT/autoPBSCT of 13.4 years (range, 7.1 to 28.2 years), were included in this study. Patients underwent conventional chemotherapy and local control either by surgery or radiation therapy, and had achieved complete response (CR, n=7), partial response (n=1), or stable disease (n=1) prior to HDCT/autoPBSCT. There was no transplant-related mortality. However, the median duration of overall survival and event-free survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT were 13.3 months (range, 5.3 to 44.5 months) and 6.2 months (range, 2.1 to 44.5 months), respectively. At present, 4 patients are alive and 5 patients who experienced adverse events (2 metastasis, 2 local recur, and 1 progressive disease) survived for a median time of 2.8 months (range, 0.1 to 10.7 months). The 2-year survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT was 44.4%±16.6% and disease status at the time of HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival (57.1%±18.7% of cases with CR vs. 0% of cases with non-CR, P=0.07).
Disease status at HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival. Further studies are necessary to define the role of HDCT/autoPBSCT and to identify subgroup of patients who might benefit from this investigational treatment.
PMCID: PMC3819677  PMID: 24223602
Ewing sarcoma; High-dose chemotherapy; Stem cell transplantation
14.  Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation following high-dose chemotherapy for non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas: a Cochrane systematic review* 
BMJ Open  2014;4(7):e005033.
We conducted a systematic review to compare the efficacy and adverse events of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) following high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) versus standard-dose chemotherapy (SDCT) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS).
Patients were observed in hospital units specialised for cancer therapy.
The review evaluated 294 patients with 19 different subtypes of malignant NRSTS. The patients had a median age between 10 and 46 years (range 2–65) and were mostly men.
Primary and secondary outcome measure
The planned and measured primary outcomes were overall survival and treatment-related mortality. The planned and measured secondary outcomes were progression-free survival, grade 3–4 non-haematological toxicity and secondary neoplasia. Other secondary outcomes including disease-free survival, event-free survival and health-related quality of life were not reported.
We included 62 studies reporting on 294 transplanted patients. We identified 1 randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 38 transplanted and 45 non-transplanted patients and judged a low risk of bias. We further identified 61 single-arm studies with 256 transplanted patients. Overall survival in the RCT was reported not statistically significantly different between autologous HSCT following HDCT versus SDCT. The HR was 1.26 (95% CI 0.70 to 2.29; p=0.44) and the point estimates at 3 years were 32.7% vs 49.4%. Data from single-arm studies were used to extract data on adverse events. Treatment-related mortality was reported in 5.1% (15 of 294) transplanted patients.
Overall survival in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NRSTS was not statistically different after autologous HSCT following HDCT compared with SDCT in a single RCT with a total of 83 patients. No other comparative study was available. The proportion of adverse events among the transplanted patients is not clear.
PMCID: PMC4120440  PMID: 25079925
15.  Prognostic Value of EMT-Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing High-Dose Chemotherapy with Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Journal of Cancer  2012;3:369-380.
Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated by conventional dose chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the role of CTCs and CTCs undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in metastatic breast cancer. We used the platform of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) to study the CTCs and CTCs with EMT.
Patients and methods: CTCs were enumerated in 21 MBC patients before apheresis and 1 month after AHSCT. CD34-depleted apheresis products were analyzed for CD326+ epithelial and Aldefluor+ cancer stem cells (CSC) by flow cytometry and were depleted of CD45+ cells and assessed for EMT-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TF) by quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: Patients with ≥ 5 CTCs/7.5 mL of peripheral blood 1 month after AHSCT had shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (P=0.02) and overall survival (OS) (P=0.02). Patients with apheresis products containing high percentages of CD326+ epithelial cells or overexpressing EMT-TF had shorter PFS. In multivariate analysis, low percentage of CD326+ epithelial cells and response to HDCT with AHSCT were associated with longer PFS, whereas lower CTCs after AHSCT was associated with longer OS. High CTCs, 1 month after AHSCT correlated with shorter PFS and OS in MBC patients undergoing HDCT and AHSCT, while CTCs with EMT and CSCs phenotype in apheresis products are associated with relapse.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that CTC and CTCs with EMT are prognostic in MBC patients undergoing HDCT followed by AHSCT.
PMCID: PMC3471078  PMID: 23074378
metastatic breast cancer; circulating tumor cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; high-dose chemotherapy; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
16.  High-Dose Chemotherapy Followed by Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation as a First-Line Therapy for High-Risk Primary Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33388.
Background and Objectives
Several trials have generated conflicting results about the results of high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT) for primary breast cancer. This meta-analysis summarizes the available evidence from all suitable studies.
Design and Methods
Prospective, randomized trials with HDCT as a first-line therapy for primary breast cancer were included in this meta-analysis. The primary outcome of interest for our analysis was survival (disease-free survival and overall survival); secondary endpoints included treatment-related mortality (TRM) and second (non-breast) cancers. We used a median age of 47, a PR positive rate of 50% and a premenopausal rate of 70% as cutoff values to complete the subgroup analyses, which were pre-planned according to the prepared protocol.
Fourteen trials with 5747 patients were eligible for the meta-analysis. Compared with non-HDCT, non-significant second (non-breast) cancers (RR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.82–1.98) and higher TRM (RR = 3.42; 95% CI = 1.32–8.86) were associated with HDCT for primary breast cancer. A significant DFS benefit of HDCT was documented (HR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.79–0.99). No difference in OS (overall survival) was found when the studies were pooled (HR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.82–1.00, p = 0.062). In subgroup analysis, age and hormone receptor status had a significant interaction with prolonged DFS and OS.
HDCT has a benefit on DFS and OS compared to SDC in some special patients with high-risk primary breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3299795  PMID: 22428041
17.  A randomized trial of amifostine in patients with high-dose VIC chemotherapy plus autologous blood stem cell transplanation 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(3):313-320.
This pilot study evaluates the degree of side effects during high-dose chemotherapy (HD-VIC) plus autologous bone marrow transplant (HDCT) and its possible prevention by the cytoprotective thiol-derivate amifostine. Additionally, the in-patient medical costs of both treatment arms were compared. 40 patients with solid tumours were randomized to receive HD-VIC chemotherapy with or without amifostine (910 mg/m2 at day 1–3) given as a short infusion prior to carboplatin and ifosfamide. Patients were stratified according to pretreatment. HDCT consisted of an 18 h infusion of carboplatin (500 mg/m2/d over 18 h), ifosfamide (4 g/m2/d over 4 h) and etoposide (500 mg/m2/d) all given for 3 consecutive days. All patients received prophylactic application of G-CSF (5 μg kg−1 subcutaneously) to ameliorate neutropenia after treatment. Patients were monitored for nephrotoxicity, gastrointestinal side effects, haematopoietic recovery, as well as frequency of fever and infections. The median fall of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 10% from baseline in the amifostine group (105 to 95 ml min−1) and 37% in the control patient group (107 to 67 ml min−1) (P< 0.01). Amifostine-treated patients revealed a less pronounced increase in albumine and low molecular weight protein urinary excretion. Stomatitis grade III/IV occurred in 25% without versus 0% of patients with amifostine (P = 0.01). Acute nausea/vomiting was frequently observed immediately during or after the application of amifostine despite intensive antiemetic prophylaxis consisting of 5-HT3-receptor antagonists/dexamethasone/trifluorpromazine. However, delayed emesis occurred more often in the control patients. Engraftment of neutrophil (> 500 μl−1) and thrombocytes (> 25 000 μl−1)were observed at days 9 versus 10 and 10 versus 12, respectively, both slightly in favour of the amifostine arm. In addition, a lower number of days with fever and a shortened duration of hospital stay were observed in the amifostine arm. The reduction of acute toxicity observed in the amifostine arm resulted in 30% savings in costs for supportive care (Euro 4396 versus Euro 3153 per patient). Taking into account the drug costs of amifostine, calculation of in-patient treatment costs from the start of chemotherapy to discharge revealed additional costs of Euro 540 per patient in the amifostine arm. This randomized pilot study indicates that both organ and haematotoxicity of HD-VIC chemotherapy can be ameliorated by the use of amifostine. Additionally, a nearly complete preservation of GFR was observed in amifostine-treated patients which may be advantageous if repetitive cycles of HDCT are planned. Larger randomized trials evaluating amifostine cytoprotection during high-dose chemotherapy are warranted. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363753  PMID: 11161394
toxicity; high-dose chemotherapy; PBSC transplantation; cytoprotection; amifostine; pharmacoeconomics
18.  Clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of children with anaplastic large cell lymphoma: a single center experience 
Blood research  2014;49(4):246-252.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is uncommon in children, accounting for approximately 15% of all cases of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite many studies attempting new treatment strategies, treatment outcomes have not significantly improved, and the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL has not been established.
The records of newly diagnosed ALCL patients at our institute between July 1998 and April 2013 were reviewed. We evaluated the general characteristics of the patients, chemotherapy regimens, overall survival (OS) rates, and event-free survival (EFS) rates.
Twenty-eight ALCL patients were eligible. The median age at diagnosis was 10.8 years. Lymph node involvement was the most common presentation (79%). CCG-5941, a multi-agent T-cell lineage chemotherapy, was the predominant treatment regimen (57%). The five-year OS and EFS rates were 88% and 69%, respectively. Stage, the presence of B symptoms, lung involvement, and bone marrow involvement were significant prognostic factors for EFS (P=0.02, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.02, respectively). Eight patients relapsed, and three died during the study period. Four of the eight patients who relapsed were treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT-ASCT). Two of the four who had undergone HDCT-ASCT developed secondary relapses and were subsequently treated with allogeneic SCT or brentuximab.
We found that treatment outcomes with multi-agent chemotherapy in children with ALCL were similar to those of previous reports, and that relapsed patients could be salvaged with HDCT-ASCT or allogeneic SCT. A prospective, larger cohort study is warranted to define the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL.
PMCID: PMC4278006  PMID: 25548758
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Childhood; Prognosis; Relpase
19.  Paclitaxel-based high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue for relapsed germ cell tumor: Clinical outcome and quality of life in long-term survivors 
Clinical genitourinary cancer  2012;11(2):121-127.
High dose chemotherapy (HDCT) is a viable and potentially curative approach for patients with relapsed or refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs). However, no comparative data exist to define the optimal chemotherapeutic strategy, and little is known about the quality of life (QOL) of long-term survivors. Herein, we attempt to characterize the QOL in long-term survivors in patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel, etoposide, carboplatin and ifosfamide (TECTIC).
Details of the TECTIC regimen and clinical outcomes for the initial 33 patients have been reported. In the present study, we report the clinical data for 15 additional patients. Using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the FACT-T questionnaires, we surveyed all patients who survived at least 4 years after HDCT.
Forty-eight patients were enrolled and 46 patients received protocol therapy. For all 48 patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 11.8 months (range, 5.8-NR) and 21.7 months (range, 12.7-NR), respectively. Seventeen patients were progression-free at a median of 123.2 months (51.6-170.2), and 6 patients remain alive following progression with a median OS of 68.8 months (47.6-147.1). Of the 23 surviving patients,18 were accessible and consented to telephonic interview. As compared to historical cohorts (Rossen J Clin Oncol 2009), survivors had a higher global health scale score (87.04 v 75.62; P=0.02) but a lower physical functioning score (68.89 v 92.66; P=0.0001) by the QLQ-C30 scale.
HDCT with the TECTIC regimen produces durable remissions in patients with relapsed or refractory GCTs with acceptable QOL in long-term survivors.
PMCID: PMC3556215  PMID: 23062817
TECTIC; paclitaxel; high dose chemotherapy; autologous transplant; testicular cancer; quality of life; germ cell tumors
20.  Iron Overload during Follow-up after Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with High-Risk Neuroblastoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(4):363-369.
Multiple RBC transfusions inevitably lead to a state of iron overload before and after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT). Nonetheless, iron status during post-SCT follow-up remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated post-SCT ferritin levels, factors contributing to its sustained levels, and organ functions affected by iron overload in 49 children with high-risk neuroblastoma who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Although serum ferritin levels gradually decreased during post-SCT follow-up, 47.7% of the patients maintained ferritin levels above 1,000 ng/mL at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT. These patients had higher serum creatinine (0.62 vs 0.47 mg/mL, P = 0.007) than their counterparts (< 1,000 ng/mL). Post-SCT transfusion amount corresponded to increased ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001). A lower CD34+ cell count was associated with a greater need of RBC transfusion, which in turn led to a higher serum ferritin level at 1 yr after HDCT/autoSCT. The number of CD34+ cells transplanted was an independent factor for ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P = 0.019). Consequently, CD34+ cells should be transplanted as many as possible to prevent the sustained iron overload after tandem HDCT/autoSCT and consequent adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC3314847  PMID: 22468098
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; Iron Overload; Deferasirox; Iron Chelation Treatment; Neuroblastoma
21.  Immunotherapy with low-dose recombinant interleukin 2 after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation in neuroblastoma. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(4):528-533.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate in a phase I-II trial whether low doses of recombinant human interleukin 2 (rHuIL-2) over a prolonged period of time are safe and effective in eradicating or controlling minimal residual disease in children with neuroblastoma given high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). From January 1992 to July 1996, 17 consecutive patients, with either stage IV or relapsed neuroblastoma, were enrolled. Patients received rHuIL-2 after a median time interval (min-max) of 105 days (56-153) after HDCT and ASCT. The protocol consisted of 2 'priming' courses of rHuIL-2 at escalating doses administered intravenously at 72-h intervals, followed by 'maintenance' with 11 monthly and six bimonthly boosting 5-day courses administered subcutaneously on an outpatient basis. At April 1997, 7 out of the 17 patients had completed the treatment schedule, four had discontinued treatment because of toxicity and four because of relapse; the remaining two patients are still on treatment, having completed 15 courses. Expansion of T lymphocytes, together with an increase in both natural killer cells and in activated T lymphocytes was evidenced. After a median (min-max) follow-up time of 30 (16-64) months, 12 out of 17 patients are alive and well. Two patients relapsed and died 14 and 35 months after transplant. Three patients are alive after having relapsed at 41, 21 and 13 months. The actuarial 2-year event-free survival and overall survival are 67% and 92% respectively. Intermittent administration of low doses of rHuIL-2 given for a long period of time is well tolerated and seems capable of controlling minimal residual disease after HDCT and ASCT in children with high-risk neuroblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2063104  PMID: 9716039
22.  AIDS-Related Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy 
Advances in Hematology  2012;2012:485943.
In economically developed countries, AIDS-related lymphoma (ARL) accounts for a large proportion of malignances in HIV-infected individuals. Since the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996, epidemiology and prognosis of ARL have changed. While there is a slight increase in the incidence of Hodgkin's lymphoma in HIV-infected individuals, use of HAART has contributed to a decline in the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and also a decrease in the overall incidence of ARL. Strategies that employ HAART, improved supportive care, and the use of Rituximab with multi-agent chemotherapy have contributed to improved rates of complete remission and survival of patients with ARL that rival those seen in stage and histology matched HIV negative NHL patients. Most recent clinical trials demonstrate better outcomes with the use of rituximab in ARL. Tumor histogenesis (germinal center vs. non-germinal center origin) is associated with lymphoma-specific outcomes in the setting of AIDS-related diffuse-large B cell lymphoma. High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell rescue (ASCT) can be effective for a subset of patients with relapsed ARL. HIV sero-status alone should not preclude consideration of ASCT in the setting of ARL relapse. Clinical trials investigating the role of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant in ARL are currently underway.
PMCID: PMC3287061  PMID: 22400030
23.  Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor: improved long-term survival with an intensive multimodal therapy and delayed radiotherapy. The Medical University of Vienna Experience 1992–2012 
Cancer Medicine  2013;3(1):91-100.
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are recently defined highly aggressive embryonal central nervous system tumors with a poor prognosis and no definitive guidelines for treatment. We report on the importance of an initial correct diagnosis and disease-specific therapy on outcome in 22 consecutive patients and propose a new treatment strategy. From 1992 to 2012, nine patients initially diagnosed correctly as ATRT (cohort A, median age 24 months) were treated according to an intensive multimodal regimen (MUV-ATRT) consisting of three 9-week courses of a dose-dense regimen including doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, ifosfamide, cisplatin, etoposide, and methotrexate augmented with intrathecal therapy, followed by high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and completed with local radiotherapy. Thirteen patients were treated differently (cohort B, median age 30 months) most of whom according to protocols in use for their respective diagnoses. As of July 2013, 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) for all 22 consecutive patients was 56.3 ± 11.3% and 52.9 ± 11.0%, respectively. For MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients (cohort A) 5-year OS was 100% and EFS was 88.9 ± 10.5%. For patients treated differently (cohort B) 5-year OS and EFS were 28.8 ± 13.1%. All nine MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients are alive for a median of 76 months (range: 16–197), eight in first complete remission. Our results compare favorably to previously published data. The drug combination and sequence used in the proposed MUV-ATRT regimen appear to be efficacious in preventing early relapses also in young children with M1–M3 stage disease allowing postponement of radiotherapy until after HDCT.
PMCID: PMC3930393  PMID: 24402832
ATRT; delayed local radiotherapy; high-dose chemotherapy; improved survival; multimodal therapy
24.  Triple-negative breast cancer: multipronged approach, single-arm pilot phase II study 
Cancer Medicine  2012;1(1):89-95.
Anthracyclines (A) and taxanes (T) are standard first-line chemotherapy agents for patients with advanced breast cancer. Platinum analogues have also shown activity in the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) histology, but clinical data are limited. Here we report the long-term follow-up of a phase II study on TNBC treated with a combined modality therapy, including induction with AT, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (CMF) with concurrent radiation therapy, and a dose-dense consolidation chemotherapy (HDCT) with carboplatin (CBDCA), ifosfamide (IFX), etoposide (VP-16). Patients' median age was 44 years, with 73% premenopausal. Epirubicin 75 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 were administered to 70 patients with TNBC: as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy to 12 and 58 patients, respectively. Postoperative radiation therapy, 5000 cGy, was delivered, synchronous with triweekly CMF. After radiation therapy, two courses of HDCT with CBDCA, IFX, VP-16, were given, with hematological growth factors. After a median follow-up of 81 months, all patients were evaluable for toxicity and response. Most important toxicity were grade 3 skin reaction and grade 4 hematological in 3% and 31% of patients, respectively. Pathological complete response was observed in 25% of patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy. Treatment failures were as follows: eight visceral, four contralateral breast cancer, four locoregional, and one leukemia. Five-year progression-free survival and overall survival rate were 78% and 91%, respectively. Induction chemotherapy, followed by chemoradiation therapy and HDCT, provides a prolonged disease-free period and a significant increase in overall survival in TNBC, with an acceptable toxicity profile.
PMCID: PMC3544434  PMID: 23342258
Concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy; high-dose chemotherapy; platinum analogues; triple-negative breast cancer
Leukemia & lymphoma  2010;51(4):664-670.
For patients with relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma, high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue may improve survival over chemotherapy alone. We assessed outcomes of HDCT-SCT in 37 consecutive adolescent and young adult patients with relapsed HL whose malignancy was categorized based on sensitivity to chemotherapy. We determined whether current outcomes supported the use of HDCT-SCT in all of our patients or just those patients with lower risk characteristics such as chemosensitivity. With a median follow up of 6.5 years, the 2 year overall survival was 89% (95% CI: 62%–97%) for the chemo-sensitive patients (n=21). Whereas for patients with resistant disease (n=16) OS was 53% (95%CI: 25%–74%). Both autologous and allogeneic transplants were well tolerated, with 100 day treatment related mortality under 10%. Our data show encouraging outcomes for patients with chemosensitive relapsed HL who receives HSCT and supports the value of the procedure even when the disease is chemoresistant.
PMCID: PMC2932472  PMID: 20367182
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Stem Cell Transplant; Salvage Therapy

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