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Pediatric blood & cancer  2013;61(4):729-736.
Therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has historically included chemotherapy with or without autologous bone marrow transplant (autoBMT) or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloBMT). We sought to compare health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes between these treatment groups.
Five-year survivors of AML diagnosed before age 21 and enrolled and treated from 1979 to 1995 on one of 4 national protocols were interviewed. These survivors or proxy caregivers completed a health questionnaire and an HRQOL measure.
Of 180 survivors, 100 were treated with chemotherapy only, 26 with chemotherapy followed by autoBMT, and 54 with chemotherapy followed by alloBMT. Median age at interview was 20 years (range 8 to 39). Twenty-one percent reported a severe or life-threatening chronic health condition (chemotherapy-only 16% vs. autoBMT 21% vs. alloBMT 33%; p=0.02 for chemotherapy-only vs. alloBMT). Nearly all (95%) reported excellent, very good or good health. Reports of cancer-related pain and anxiety did not vary between groups. HRQOL scores among 136 participants ≥ 14 years of age were similar among groups and to the normative population, though alloBMT survivors had a lower physical mean summary score (49.1 alloBMT vs. 52.2 chemotherapy-only; p=0.03). Multivariate analyses showed the presence of severe chronic health conditions to be a strong predictor of physical but not mental mean summary scores.
Overall HRQOL scores were similar among treatment groups, although survivors reporting more health conditions or cancer-related pain had diminished HRQOL. Attention to chronic health conditions and management of cancer-related pain may improve QOL.
PMCID: PMC4190066  PMID: 24285698
pediatric; bone marrow transplantation; acute myeloid leukemia; late effects; chronic health condition; quality of life
2.  Factors influencing life satisfaction in acute myeloid leukemia survivors following allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a cross-sectional study 
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is the preferred option of postremission therapy for high-risk patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Therefore, monitoring life satisfaction (LS) of long-term survivors following alloSCT is becoming increasingly important for oncologists. The aim of the study was to evaluate individual survivor priority of various general and health-related domains of life and their satisfaction with these domains. Furthermore, we investigated the impact of general and health-related LS on resilience, anxiety, depression and quality of life in AML survivors following alloSCT.
Forty-one AML survivors (median age at time of assessment = 49.0 years) who had undergone alloSCT (median time since transplantation = 3.1 years) were enrolled in the study. Psychosocial parameters were assessed using the following instruments: FLZM (Questions on Life Satisfaction), EORTC QLQ-C30, HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and the RS-25 (Resilience Scale-25 items). Correlation analyses were computed to reveal the associations between the different questionnaires.
Independence from help or care, well-regulated living conditions and financial security contributed positively to LS, whereas being off work due to health-reasons and dissatisfaction with physical aspects were negatively associated to the subjective feelings of overall satisfaction. Moreover, a high quality of life was strongly positively correlated with LS (Spearman’s rho general LS: 0.643 and health-related LS: 0.726, both p < 0.001). A high degree of resilience was also strongly positively correlated with better LS (general LS: 0.700, health-related LS: 0.675, both p < 0.001). Symptoms of anxiety and depression were associated with an impaired general LS (anxiety: −0.674, depression: −0.698, both p < 0.001).
Our results indicate that LS should be considered an important key contributor to the survivors’ well-being following alloSCT. Thus, identifying protective psychological and physical factors that relieve stressors is of high importance in order to support long-term AML survivors with their special needs.
PMCID: PMC4349480  PMID: 25888906
Acute Myeloid Leukemia; Life satisfaction; Quality of life; Allogeneic stem cell transplantation; Oncology
3.  Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation in First Remission for Children With Ultra-High-Risk Features of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Children’s Oncology Group Study Report 
The prognosis for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has improved dramatically over the past quarter of a century. Despite improvements in the treatment of childhood ALL, relapse still occurs in 20 to 30% of patients. While many of these relapses occur in the “standard-risk” patients, approximately 10% of these patients present at diagnosis with clinical and biological features that identify them as very high risk of relapse. Children (2 months-21 years) with at least one ultra-high-risk feature (UHRF) of ALL in first remission treated on a frontline Children’s Cancer Group (CCG) ALL study with a matched family allogeneic donor were eligible for study entry onto CCG-1921 and an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (AlloBMT). Each patient received fractionated total body irradiation (1200 cGy) and cyclophosphamide (120 mg/kg) conditioning therapy followed by unmobilized bone marrow from a matched family donor. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of methotrexate and cyclosporin. Twenty-nine patients with median age of 8.7 years with UHRF ALL in first complete remission (CR1) received an AlloBMT from a family member. The incidence of grade II–IV acute GVHD was 20.7% and the incidence of chronic GVHD was 3.7%. AlloBMT conditioning regimen was well tolerated and only one patient (3%) had treatment-related mortality. Ten patients (35%) died due to progressive disease. The 5-year event free survival (EFS) for all patients was 58.6% and patients without cytogenetic abnormalities had a 5-year EFS of 77.8%. The 5-year EFS for infants and non-infants was 20.0% and 66.7% (log Rank p=0.01), respectively. Patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL had a 5-year EFS of 66.7%. The children with UHRF of ALL may benefit from AlloBMT in CR1, especially patients with primary induction failure and Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL. Randomized prospective cooperative group studies are required to establish the role of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation vs intensive chemotherapy in children with UHRF ALL in CR1.
PMCID: PMC2731715  PMID: 17241927
childhood acute lympoblastic leukemia; stem cell transplant; Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL; infantile ALL; induction failure
4.  Outcomes of Related Donor HLA-Identical or HLA-Haploidentical Allogeneic Blood or Marrow Transplantation for Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma 
The role of allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (alloBMT) for peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL) remains to be defined. There is growing interest in reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens and/or utilization of human leukocyte antigen haploidentical (haplo) grafts given concerns about treatment-associated toxicities and donor availability. We reviewed the outcomes of 44 consecutive, related donor alloBMTs for PTCL performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1994 to 2011, including 18 RIC/haplo alloBMTs. Patients receiving RIC (n = 24) were older, with median age of 59 years (range, 24 to 70), than patients receiving myeloablative conditioning (MAC, n = 20), with median age of 46 years (range, 18 to 64), P =.01. The median age at RIC/haplo alloBMT was 60 years. The estimated 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 40% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26% to 55%) and overall survival (OS) was 43% (95% CI, 28% to 59%). In older patients (≥60, n = 14), the estimated 2-year PFS and OS were 38% (95% CI, 18% to 79%) and 45% (95% CI, 24% to 86%), respectively. On unadjusted analysis, there was a tendency toward superior outcomes for alloBMT in first remission versus beyond first remission, with an estimated 2-year PFS of 53% (95% CI, 33% to 77%) versus 29% (95% CI, 9% to 45%), P = .08. On competing risk analysis, the 1-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 38% for MAC/HLA-identical alloBMTs and 34% for RIC/haplo alloBMTs. Estimated 1-year nonrelapse mortality was 10% for MAC and 8% for RIC (11% for RIC/haplo alloBMT). On unadjusted landmark analysis, patients with acute grade II-IV or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) had a 17% probability of relapse (95% CI, 0% to 39%), compared with 66% (95% CI, 48% to 84%) in patients without GVHD, P = .04. Utilization of RIC and alternative donors expands treatment options in PTCL to those who are older and unable to tolerate high-dose conditioning, with outcomes comparable with approaches using myeloablative regimens and HLA-matched donors. AlloBMT may be appropriate in first remission in select high-risk cases.
PMCID: PMC4020434  PMID: 23370119
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma; Allogeneic blood or marrow; transplantation; Haploidentical; Reduced-intensity conditioning; Survival outcomes
5.  Myeloablative Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant Using T Cell Depleted Allografts Followed by Post-Transplant GM-CSF in High Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes 
Leukemia research  2008;32(9):1439-1447.
Allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation (alloBMT) remains the only curative treatment for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but its application has been limited by the older age range of patients with this disease. T cell depletion decreases transplant-related toxicity related to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but does not improve overall survival because of increased risk for relapse and graft failure. Myeloid growth factors have been used to speed engraftment following alloBMT, but data suggest that they may also have anti-tumor properties. We treated 43 patients (median age 56) with MDS/AML with high risk features using a myeloablative T cell depleted alloBMT followed by prolonged systemic GM-CSF. The current event-free survival at 1 and 3 years was 47% and 34% respectively with a median follow-up of 22.8 months in surviving patients. The toxicities compared favorably with those seen using reduced intensity conditioning regimens and included grade III/IV GVHD (10%), graft failure (9%), and cumulative treatment related mortality (28%). The cumulative incidence of relapse remained high at 38%; however, 3/10 patients receiving donor lymphocyte infusions achieved durable complete remissions. These results suggest that it is possible to maintain treatment intensity while minimizing toxicity in older, high-risk MDS patients.
PMCID: PMC2719785  PMID: 18261793
allogeneic bone marrow transplantation; t cell depletion; myelodysplastic syndrome; acute myeloid leukemia; GM-CSF
6.  Body Composition After Bone Marrow Transplantation in Childhood 
Oncology nursing forum  2012;39(2):186-192.
To describe the body composition and fat distribution of childhood bone marrow transplantation (BMT) survivors at least one year post-transplantation and examine the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria to identify survivors with elevated body fat percentage.
Cross-sectional, descriptive.
Pediatric oncology program at a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center.
48 childhood BMT survivors (27 males and 21 females).
Measurements included dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan, height, weight, and physical activity. Descriptive statistics were reported and mixed-model linear regression models were used to describe findings and associations.
Main Research Variables
Total body fat percentage and central obesity (defined as a ratio of central to peripheral fat of 1 or greater).
Fifty-four percent of survivors had body fat percentages that exceeded recommendations for healthy body composition and 31% qualified as having central obesity. Previous treatment with total body irradiation was associated with higher body fat percentage and central obesity, and graft-versus-host disease was associated with lower body fat percentage. The body mass index (BMI) criteria did not correctly identify the BMT survivors who had elevated body fat percentage.
Survivors of childhood BMT are at risk for obesity and central obesity that is not readily identified with standard BMI criteria.
Implications for Nursing
Nurses caring for BMT survivors should include evaluation of general and central obesity in their assessments. Patient education materials and resources for healthy weight and muscle building should be made available to survivors. Research is needed to develop appropriate interventions.
PMCID: PMC4251428  PMID: 22374492
7.  Prevalence of osteonecrosis and associated risk factors in children before allogenic bone marrow transplantation 
Bone marrow transplantation  2010;46(6):813-819.
Osteonecrosis (ON) is a debilitating long-term complication of allogenic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT) but may begin before alloBMT in some children because of their primary disease treatment. Therefore, to estimate the prevalence and associated risk factors for ON before alloBMT, we conducted a retrospective analysis of magnetic resonance (MR) studies of 118 children who underwent first alloBMT at our institution between December 2000 and September 2007. Of the 118 consecutive patients, 107 (90.7%) underwent prospective MR studies irrespective of symptoms (69 males; median age at alloBMT 12.9 years), and 11 underwent MR studies for symptoms. Amongst the 107 who had prospective imaging, 23 (21.5%) had ON; nearly 50% had at least 30% epiphyseal involvement. Knees were more frequently involved than were hips; severity of ON was greater in hips. ON prevalence before alloBMT was 23.72% when all 118 patients were included in the denominator. Risk factor analysis, limited to MR studies performed irrespective of symptoms, revealed female gender (P = 0.049) and age ≥10 years at the time of MR study (P = 0.03) as significant risk factors and primary diagnosis of lymphoid malignancies and aplastic anemia trended towards significance. ON prior to alloBMT is a common occurrence in children.
PMCID: PMC3010322  PMID: 20818446
Osteonecrosis; allogenic bone marrow transplantation; children; females; lymphoid malignancies; aplastic anemia
8.  The evolution of treatment strategies for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia relapsing after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: Can tyrosine kinase inhibitors replace donor lymphocyte infusions? 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2014;56(1):128-134.
The optimal treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) relapsing following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT) is unknown. We performed a single-center retrospective analysis of 71 consecutive patients undergoing alloBMT for CML from 1995–2008. A multi-state model was used to quantify the cumulative incidences of complete molecular response (CMR) and death following alloBMT. The primary analysis was the comparison of three treatment interventions (tyrosine kinase inhibitor: TKI, donor lymphocyte infusion: DLI, and TKI+DLI) for relapsed disease post-alloBMT. Forty-five (63%) patients relapsed post-alloBMT (molecular relapse: n=16, cytogenetic relapse: n=20, hematologic relapse: n=2, advanced phase relapse: n=7) and 40 patients underwent one of three treatments: TKI-only (n=13), DLI-only (n=11), or TKI+DLI (n=16). Although not statistically significant, the TKI-only group had the highest cumulative incidence of CMR and the lowest cumulative incidence of death compared to DLI and TKI+DLI. These data support the finding that TKI therapy is active in the post-alloBMT setting.
PMCID: PMC4268088  PMID: 24712979
chronic myeloid leukemia; relapse; allogeneic transplantation
9.  Partially Mismatched Transplantation and Human Leukocyte Antigen Donor-Specific Antibodies 
The presence of donor human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-specific antibodies (DSA) increases engraftment failure risk in partially HLA-mismatched, or HLA-haploidentical, allogeneic marrow(alloBMT) transplantation. As preexisting sensitization to HLA antigens is not well characterized among candidates for HLA-haploidentical alloBMT, we retrospectively evaluated both the incidence and relative strength of DSA in this patient population. Based on correlations of solid-phase antibody assays on the Luminex (Luminex, Austin, TX) platform with actual crossmatch tests, DSA were characterized as weak for results that were consistent with negative flow cytometric crossmatch results or as moderate-to-strong for results consistent with positive flow cytometric or cytotoxicity crossmatches. We evaluated 296 alloBMT candidates; 111 (37.5%) were female. DSA were detected in 43 (14.5%) candidates, mostly among female candidates (42.9% female versus 12.5% male). Moderate-to-strong DSA strength was more frequently encountered when directed against haploidentical donors as compared with mismatched unrelated donors. DSAwere most commonly detected in female patients directed against their children. Because the presence of DSA has been considered prohibitive for HLA-mismatched alloBMT, we additionally report a desensitization methodology used to reduce DSA to negative or weak levels, ie, levels well below those detectable in a flow cytometric crossmatch. Nine patients without other available donors underwent desensitization. Eight who reduced their DSA to negative or weak levels proceeded to alloBMT and achieved full donor engraftment. These data support routine DSA evaluation in all patients considered for mismatched alloBMT; however, for patients with no other viable options, desensitization to weak or negative DSA levels may afford the opportunity for successful transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3768172  PMID: 23353119
Donor specific antibodies; Haploidentical allogeneic bone marrow transplantation; Desensitization
10.  High-Dose Cytarabine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110153.
The optimal dose, scheme, and clinical setting for Ara-C in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment remain uncertain. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis to systematically assess the impact of high-dose cytarabine (HDAC) on AML therapy during the induction and consolidation stages. Twenty-two trials with a total of 5,945 de novo AML patients were included in the meta-analysis. Only patients less than 60 year-old were included in the study. Using HDAC in induction therapy was beneficial for RFS (HR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.35–0.93; P = 0.02) but not so for CR rate (HR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.93–1.09; P = 0.88) and OS (HR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.66–1.03; P = 0.1). In consolidation therapy, HDAC showed significant RFS benefits (HR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.49–0.9; P = 0.008) especially for the favorable-risk group (HR = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.21–0.69; P = 0.001) compared with SDAC (standard dose cytarabine), although no OS advantage was observed (HR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.55–1.27; P = 0.41). HDAC treatment seemed less effective than auto-BMT/allo-BMT treatment (HR = 1.66, 95% CI, 1.3–2.14; P<0.0001) with similar OS. HDAC treatment led to lower relapse rate in induction and consolidation therapy than SDAC treatment, especially for the favorable-risk group. Auto-BMT/allo-BMT was more beneficial in prolonging RFS than HDAC.
PMCID: PMC4192550  PMID: 25299623
11.  Impact of Disease Risk on Efficacy of Matched Related Bone Marrow Transplantation for Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia: The Children's Oncology Group 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2008;26(35):5797-5801.
There is considerable variation in the use of HLA-matched related bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for the treatment of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Some oncologists have argued that BMT should be offered to most patients in first complete remission (CR). Others have maintained that transplantation in first remission should be reserved for patients with high-risk disease. We performed this study to determine how disease risk influences the efficacy of BMT.
We combined data from four cooperative group clinical trials: Pediatric Oncology Group 8821, Children's Cancer Group (CCG) 2891, CCG 2961, and Medical Research Council 10. Using cytogenetics and the percentage of marrow blasts after the first course of chemotherapy, patients were stratified into favorable, intermediate, and poor-risk disease groups. Patients who could not be risk classified were analyzed separately. Outcomes for patients assigned to BMT and for patients assigned to chemotherapy alone were compared.
The data set included 1,373 pediatric patients with AML in first CR. In the intermediate-risk group, the estimated disease-free survival at 8 years for patients who did not undergo transplantation was 39% ± 5% (2 SE), whereas it was 58% ± 7% for BMT patients. The estimated overall survival for patients who did not undergo transplantation was 51% ± 5%, whereas it was 62% ± 7% for BMT patients. Both differences were significant (P < .01). There were no significant differences for survival in the other two risk groups or in the non–risk-stratified patients.
Our study indicates that HLA-matched related BMT is an effective treatment for pediatric patients with intermediate-risk AML in first CR.
PMCID: PMC2645105  PMID: 18955460
12.  Persistent cigarette smoking and other tobacco use after a tobacco-related cancer diagnosis 
People who continue to smoke after a cancer diagnosis have an increased risk for recurrences or development of new malignancies. These risks may be even higher among tobacco-related cancer survivors (TRCS). We describe tobacco use behaviors among TRCS, other cancer survivors, and people without a history of cancer.
We used 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to describe demographic characteristics, smoking history, current smoking prevalence, and smokeless tobacco use among TRCS, other cancer survivors, and people without a history of cancer (cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use were calculated after adjusting for age, sex, race, and insurance status). Tobacco-related cancers were defined as lung/bronchial, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, kidney/renal, urinary bladder, cervical, and acute myeloid leukemia.
A total of 20 % of all cancer survivors were TRCS. TRCS were primarily female (68 %) and white (78 %). Smoking prevalence was higher among TRCS (27 %) compared with other cancer survivors (16 %) and respondents without a history of cancer (18 %). Smokeless tobacco use was higher among respondents without a history of cancer (4 %) compared with TRCS (3 %) and other cancer survivors (3 %).
The self-reported smoking prevalence among TRCS is higher than among other cancer survivors and people without a history of cancer. Targeted smoking prevention and cessation interventions are needed for cancer survivors, especially those diagnosed with a tobacco-related cancer.
Implications for cancer survivors
We recommend all cancer survivors be made aware of the health risks associated with smoking after a cancer diagnosis, and smoking cessation services be offered to those who currently smoke.
Condensed abstract
We provide the first population-based report on demographic characteristics and tobacco use behaviors among self-reported tobacco-related cancer survivors.
PMCID: PMC4591959  PMID: 22706885
Tobacco; Epidemiology; Survivors; Neoplasms; Second Primary
13.  Prevalence and Predictors of Risky and Heavy Alcohol Consumption Among Adult Siblings of Childhood Cancer Survivors 
Psycho-oncology  2012;22(5):1134-1143.
To describe alcohol consumption patterns and risk factors for heavy alcohol use among siblings of childhood cancer survivors compared to survivors and national controls.
Secondary analysis of prospectively collected data from two national surveys was performed including a cohort of 3,034 adult siblings of childhood cancer survivors (age 18-56 years) and 10,398 adult childhood cancer survivors both from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, plus 5,712 adult participants from the population-based National Alcohol Survey. Cancer-related experiences, self-reported current health and mental health were examined in relation to alcohol consumption patterns including heavy and risky drinking.
Adult siblings of childhood cancer survivors were more likely to be heavy drinkers (ORadj=1.3; 1.0-1.6) and risky drinkers (ORadj=1.3; 1.1-1.6) compared to controls from a national sample. Siblings were also more likely to drink at these two levels compared to survivors. Factors associated with heavy drinking among siblings include being 18-21 years old (ORadj=2.9; 2.0-4.4), male (ORadj=2.3; 1.7-3.0), having a high school education or less (ORadj=2.4; 1.7-3.5), and drinking initiation at a young age (ORadj=5.1; 2.5-10.3). Symptoms of depression, (ORadj=2.1; 1.3-3.2), anxiety (ORadj=1.9; 1.1-3.3) and global psychiatric distress (ORadj=2.5; 1.5-4.3) were significantly associated with heavy alcohol use.
Siblings of children with cancer are more likely to be heavy drinkers as adults compared to childhood cancer survivors or national controls. Early initiation of drinking and symptoms of psychological distress should be identified during early adolescence and effective sibling-specific interventions should be developed and made available for siblings of children with cancer.
PMCID: PMC3648621  PMID: 22736595
alcohol; childhood cancer; heavy drinking; risky drinking; siblings; cancer; alcohol/drug use; mental health; psychological impact
14.  Incidental Detection of Late Subsequent Intracranial Neoplasms with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Among Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer 
Survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk of developing subsequent neoplasms. In long term survivors of childhood malignancies treated with and without cranial radiation therapy (CRT), undergoing unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, we estimated detection of intracranial neoplasms.
To investigate neurocognitive outcomes, 219 survivors of childhood cancer underwent unenhanced screening MRI of the brain. 164 of the survivors had been treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (125 received CRT), and 55 for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) (none received CRT). MRI examinations were reviewed and systematically coded by a single neuroradiologist. Demographic and treatment characteristics were compared for survivors with and without subsequent neoplasms.
Nineteen of the 219 survivors (8.7%) had a total of 31 subsequent intracranial neoplasms identified by neuroimaging at a median time of 25 years (range 12-46 years) from diagnosis. All neoplasms occurred after CRT, except for a single vestibular schwannoma within the cervical radiation field in a HL survivor. The prevalence of subsequent neoplasms after CRT exposure was 14.4% (18 of 125). By noncontrast MRI, intracranial neoplasms were most suggestive of meningiomas. Most patients presented with no specific, localizing neurological complaints. In addition to the schwannoma, six tumors were resected based on results of MRI screening, all of which were meningiomas on histologic review.
Unenhanced brain MRI of long-term survivors of childhood cancer detected a substantial number of intracranial neoplasms. Screening for early detection of intracranial neoplasms among aging survivors of childhood cancer who received CRT should be evaluated.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
The high prevalence of incidentally detected subsequent intracranial neoplasms after CRT in long-term survivors of childhood cancer and the minimal symptoms reported by those with intracranial tumors in our study indicate that brain MRI screening of long-term survivors who received CRT may be warranted. Prospective studies of such screening are needed.
PMCID: PMC4119575  PMID: 24488818
Survivors of Childhood Cancer; Cranial Radiation Therapy; Subsequent Intracranial Neoplasms; Meningiomas
15.  Absence of posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder after allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation using posttransplantation cyclophosphamide as graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis 
Immunosuppressive regimens that effectively prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (alloBMT) have been associated with an increased incidence of posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in the first year after transplantation. We evaluated the incidence of PTLD associated with the use of high-dose, posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) as GVHD prophylaxis. From 2000-2011, 785 adult alloBMT patients received PTCy as GVHD prophylaxis at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, including 313 who received PTCy as sole GVHD prophylaxis. HLA-haploidentical or unrelated donor grafts were used for 526 (67%) patients. There were no cases of PTLD in the first year after alloBMT. PTLD is rare after alloBMT using PTCy, even in high-risk alternative donor transplants.
PMCID: PMC4051232  PMID: 23871780
16.  Effects of Mixed Chimerism and Immune Modulation on GVHD, Disease Recurrence and Survival after HLA-identical Marrow Transplantation for Hematologic Malignancies 
The success of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) is affected by underlying disease relapse. Although mixed chimerism (MC) is not necessarily a poor prognostic factor, several groups have suggested that MC is associated with an increased risk of disease relapse. There is evidence that patients with MC benefit from additional immunotherapy if the treatment is started in minimal residual disease status (mixed chimerism status), not in frank hematological relapse. The purposes of this study are to evaluate 1) the risk for relapse or graft rejection in correlation to persistent MC status after allo-BMT, and 2) the possibility of preventing relapse by immune modulation treatments (withdrawal or rapid taper-off of post-transplant immuno-suppression, additional interferon treatment, or the administration of donor lymphocytes) in hematologic malignancies.
Patients and Methods
Of 337 allogeneic donor-recipient pairs between March 1996 and August 1998, 12 patients who showed persistent or progressive MC and who received immune modulation treatments were evaluated. Twelve patients, median age 31 years (range 9 to 39 years), received an allo-BMT for: acute myelogenous leukemia (AML, n = 5), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML, n = 4), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL, n = 3). Serial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of YNZ 22-, 33.6-minisatellites or Y chromosome-specific PCR analysis at short term intervals (pre-and post-transplant 1, 3, 6, 9, … months) was performed. Once MC was detected, immune modulation treatments on the basis of increasing MC in an early phase of recurrence of underlying disease were started.
Nine of 12 patients converted to complete chimerism (CC) (AML 5/5, CML 3/4, ALL 1/3). Four of 9 CC patients developed graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grade ≤2 during immune modulation. All were treated successfully with steroids. Three patients who were not converted to CC showed relapse of underlying diseases or graft failure.
The results demonstrate that, in patients with hematologic malignancies after allo-BMT, persistent MC is associated with relapse of underlying diseases or graft failure. Furthermore, when patients receive early immune modulation treatment, MC can be changed to complete donor pattern chimerism and ultimately prevent relapse.
PMCID: PMC4531771  PMID: 11242811
mixed chimerism; complete chimerism; allogeneic bone marrow transplantation; graft-versus-host disease
17.  Longitudinal patterns of psychological distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(5):1373-1381.
This study investigated longitudinal patterns of psychological distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer.
Participants included 4569 adult survivors in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Cohort (CCSS) who completed the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 on three occasions between 1994 and 2010. Longitudinal latent class analysis was used to identify discrete classes of psychological distress. Predictors of class membership were examined through logistic regression modelling with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) reported.
Survivors were a median of 39 years of age and 30 years from diagnosis at the most recent follow-up. Most survivors reported few or no symptoms of distress over time, although subsets of survivors reported persistently elevated (depression: 8.9% anxiety: 4.8% somatisation: 7.2%) or significant increases in distress symptoms over the follow-up period (depression: 10.2% anxiety: 11.8% somatisation: 13.0%). Increasing distress symptoms were predicted by survivor perception of worsening physical health over time (depression: OR=3.3; 95% CI=2.4–4.5; anxiety: OR=3.0; 95% CI=2.2–4.0; somatisation: OR=5.3; 95% CI=3.9–7.4). Persistent distress symptoms were also predicted by survivor perception of worsening physical health over time, as well as by worsening pain and ending analgesic use.
Subgroups of adult survivors are at-risk for chronic distress or significant increases in distress decades following their original cancer diagnosis. Routine screening of psychological distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer is warranted, especially for survivors who experience physical health morbidities.
PMCID: PMC3778287  PMID: 23880828
psychological distress; survivorship; childhood cancer
18.  The incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma among atomic bomb survivors: 1950 – 2001 
Radiation research  2013;179(3):10.1667/RR2892.1.
A marked increase in leukemia risks was the first and most striking late effect of radiation exposure seen among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors. This paper presents analyses of radiation effects on leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma incidence in the Life Span Study cohort of atomic bomb survivors updated 14 years since the last comprehensive report on these malignancies. These analyses make use of tumor- and leukemia-registry-based incidence data on 113,011 cohort members with 3.6 million person-years of follow-up from late 1950 through the end of 2001. In addition to a detailed analysis of the excess risk for all leukemias other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia or adult T-cell leukemia (neither of which appear to be radiation-related), we present results for the major hematopoietic malignancy types: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, adult T-cell leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Poisson regression methods were used to characterize the shape of the radiation dose response relationship and, to the extent the data allowed, to investigate variation in the excess risks with sex, attained age, exposure age, and time since exposure. In contrast to the previous report that focused on describing excess absolute rates, we considered both excess absolute rate (EAR) and excess relative risk (ERR) models and found that ERR models can often provide equivalent and sometimes more parsimonious descriptions of the excess risk than EAR models. The leukemia results indicated that there was a non-linear dose response for leukemias other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia or adult T-cell leukemia, which varied markedly with time and age at exposure, with much of the evidence for this non-linearity arising from the acute myeloid leukemia risks. Although the leukemia excess risks generally declined with attained age or time since exposure, there was evidence that the radiation-associated excess leukemia risks, especially for acute myeloid leukemia, had persisted throughout the follow-up period out to – 55 years after the bombings. As in earlier analyses, there was a weak suggestion of a radiation dose response for non-Hodgkin lymphoma among men with no indication of such an effect among women. There was no evidence of radiation-associated excess risks for either Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma.
PMCID: PMC3875218  PMID: 23398354
19.  The Risk Behaviors and Mental Health of Detained Adolescents: A Controlled, Prospective Longitudinal Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37199.
To assess the behavioral risk factors and mental health needs of adolescents in juvenile detention centers (JDC).
A total of 238 boys aged 12–17 years was surveyed who had been admitted to a detention center and compared them with boys from the community (n = 238) matched for sex and age. We assessed behavioral risk factors and mental health problems by using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey questionnaire (YRBS) and the Youth Self-Report questionnaire (YSR).
Young offenders had significantly higher YRBS scores than controls for drug use (odds ratio (OR) 5.16, 95% CI 2.27–7.84), sexual intercourse (OR, 2.51; 95% CI 1.55–2.90), irregular diet (4.78, 2.11–7.51), suicide attempts (1.96, 1.32–5.85), and physical fighting behavior (3.49, 1.60–7.07), but not for tobacco use, alcohol use, and high–risk cycling. Young offenders at the time of admission (6.61, 2.58–15.2), at 6 months (3.12, 1.81–10.1), and at 12 months (5.29, 1.98–13.3) reported statistically higher levels of total mental health problems than adolescents in a community sample.
Young offenders have a high rate of mental and behavioral disorders. In the detention period, aggressive behavior, self–destructive/identity, and externalizing of problems improved while withdrawn, anxious or depressed, and internalizing of problems worsened.
PMCID: PMC3356385  PMID: 22629367
20.  The association of Ecstasy use and academic achievement among adolescents in two U.S. national surveys 
Addictive behaviors  2008;34(1):9-16.
The association of ecstasy (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) use with low academic achievement was examined in two nationally representative surveys of adolescents. We tested whether associations with low academic achievement were of similar magnitude or of stronger magnitude for ecstasy versus marijuana use (without ecstasy use), alcohol/tobacco use (without other drug use) and non-drug use in adolescence. Data from the adolescents in the 2002–2005 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, n= 65,294) and from the 2001–2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS, n= 27,592) were analyzed via weighted logistic regression models. Ecstasy, marijuana, and alcohol/tobacco use were associated with moderate and low academic achievement among adolescents in both surveys. Moreover, ecstasy was more strongly associated with low academic achievement and reporting that school gave no grades than alcohol/tobacco in both samples and than marijuana (NSDUH sample only). Prevention programs should inform adolescents that ecstasy use might impair their academic achievement.
PMCID: PMC2640221  PMID: 18778898
Ecstasy (MDMA) use; Marijuana use; Adolescence; Academic Achievement
21.  Psychological Outcomes of Siblings of Cancer Survivors: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study 
Psycho-oncology  2010;20(12):1259-1268.
To identify risk factors for adverse psychological outcomes among adult siblings of long-term survivors of childhood cancer.
Cross-sectional, self-report data from 3,083 adult siblings (mean age 29 years, range 18-56 years) of 5+ year survivors of childhood cancer were analyzed to assess psychological outcomes as measured by the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Sociodemographic and health data, reported by both the siblings and their matched cancer survivors were explored as risk factors for adverse sibling psychological outcomes through multivariable logistic regression.
Self-reported symptoms of psychological distress, as measured by the global severity index of the BSI-18, were reported by 3.8% of the sibling sample. Less than 1.5% of siblings reported elevated scores on two or more of the subscales of the BSI-18. Risk factors for sibling depression included having a survivor brother (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.42-3.55), and having a survivor with impaired general health (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.18-3.78). Siblings who were younger than the survivor reported increased global psychological distress (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.05-3.12), as did siblings of survivors reporting global psychological distress (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.08-4.59). Siblings of sarcoma survivors reported more somatization than did siblings of leukemia survivors (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.05-3.98).
These findings suggest that siblings of long-term childhood cancer survivors are psychologically healthy in general. There are, however, small subgroups of siblings at risk for long-term psychological impairment who may benefit from preventive risk-reduction strategies during childhood while their sibling with cancer is undergoing treatment.
PMCID: PMC3223600  PMID: 22114043
22.  Health-Related Quality of Life in Long-Term Survivors of Relapsed Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38015.
Relapses occur in about 20% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Approximately one-third of these children can be cured. Their risk for late effects is high because of intensified treatment, but their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was largely unmeasured. Our aim was to compare HRQOL of ALL survivors with the general population, and of relapsed with non-relapsed ALL survivors.
Methodology/Principal Findings
As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (SCCSS) we sent a questionnaire to all ALL survivors in Switzerland who had been diagnosed between 1976–2003 at age <16 years, survived ≥5 years, and were currently aged ≥16 years. HRQOL was assessed with the Short Form-36 (SF-36), which measures four aspects of physical health and four aspects of mental health. A score of 50 corresponded to the mean of a healthy reference population. We analyzed data from 457 ALL survivors (response: 79%). Sixty-one survivors had suffered a relapse. Compared to the general population, ALL survivors reported similar or higher HRQOL scores on all scales. Survivors with a relapse scored lower in general health perceptions (51.6) compared to those without (55.8;p=0.005), but after adjusting for self-reported late effects, this difference disappeared.
Compared to population norms, ALL survivors reported good HRQOL, even after a relapse. However, relapsed ALL survivors reported poorer general health than non-relapsed. Therefore, we encourage specialists to screen for poor general health in survivors after a relapse and, when appropriate, specifically seek and treat underlying late effects. This will help to improve patients’ HRQOL.
PMCID: PMC3360640  PMID: 22662262
23.  Reduced Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Adult Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2013;60(8):10.1002/pbc.24492.
Adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at increased cardiovascular risk. Studies of factors including treatment exposures that may modify risk of low cardiorespiratory fitness in this population have been limited.
To assess cardiorespiratory fitness, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was measured in 115 ALL survivors (median age, 23.5 years; range 18–37). We compared VO2max measurements for ALL survivors to those estimated from submaximal testing in a frequency-matched (age, gender, race/ethnicity) 2003–2004 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) cohort. Multivariable linear regression models were constructed to evaluate the association between therapeutic exposures and outcomes of interest.
Compared to NHANES participants, ALL survivors had a substantially lower VO2max (mean 30.7 vs 39.9 ml/kg/min; adjusted P<0.0001). For any given percent total body fat, ALL survivors had an 8.9 ml/kg/min lower VO2max than NHANES participants. For key treatment exposure groups (cranial radiotherapy [CRT], anthracycline chemotherapy, or neither), ALL survivors had substantially lower VO2max compared with NHANES participants (all comparisons, P<0.001). Almost two-thirds (66.7%) of ALL survivors were classified as low cardiorespiratory fitness compared with 26.3% of NHANES participants (adjusted P<0.0001). In multivariable models including only ALL survivors, treatment exposures were modestly associated with VO2max. Among females, CRT was associated with low VO2max (P=0.02), but anthracycline exposure was not (P=0.58). In contrast, among males, anthracycline exposure ≥100 mg/m2 was associated with low VO2max (P=0.03), but CRT was not (P=0.54).
Adult survivors of childhood ALL have substantially lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness compared with a similarly aged non-cancer population.
PMCID: PMC3725590  PMID: 23418044
childhood cancer; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; survivor; cardiorespiratory fitness
24.  The Preventive Health Behaviors of Long-Term Survivors Cancer and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Compared to Matched Controls 
Little is known about the health promotion, prevention, and disease screening behaviors of cancer survivors treated with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), who undergo arduous treatment and may be at particular risk for late effects and secondary malignancies. The purpose of this study was to examine the current health and secondary prevention behaviors of long-term HCT survivors compared to noncancer matched controls and to identify sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with appropriate prevention practices.
HCT survivors (n=662) were drawn from 40 North American transplant centers. Peer-nominated acquaintances of survivors matched on sex, age, education, and marital status, served as controls (n=158). Data were collected a mean of 6.7 years post-HCT (range 1.8 – 22.6 years).
Despite greater frequency of physical exams, HCT survivor health and screening behaviors were similar to matched controls. Sociodemographic factors were associated with health prevention behaviors in expected ways. Some differences between disease group and type of transplant were found, with survivors of acute leukemia less likely to report regular exercise, autologous transplant survivors more likely than allogeneic to report screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and allogeneic survivors more likely than autologous to report a skin exam in the last year.
Despite higher levels of engagement with health care providers, HCT survivor health behaviors were no different than matched controls and comparable to those reported by non HCT cancer survivors. There remains considerable room for improvement. These findings support the need for further education of both HCT survivors and health practitioners.
PMCID: PMC2819641  PMID: 19781657
Cancer; hematopoietic stem cell transplant; bone marrow transplant; health behaviors; cancer survivorship
25.  Cardiac outcomes in a cohort of adult survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer: retrospective analysis of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort 
Objectives To assess the incidence of and risks for congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, pericardial disease, and valvular abnormalities among adult survivors of childhood and adolescent cancers.
Design Retrospective cohort study.
Setting 26 institutions that participated in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.
Participants 14 358 five year survivors of cancer diagnosed under the age of 21 with leukaemia, brain cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney cancer, neuroblastoma, soft tissue sarcoma, or bone cancer between 1970 and 1986. Comparison group included 3899 siblings of cancer survivors.
Main outcome measures Participants or their parents (in participants aged less than 18 years) completed a questionnaire collecting information on demographic characteristics, height, weight, health habits, medical conditions, and surgical procedures occurring since diagnosis. The main outcome measures were the incidence of and risk factors for congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, pericardial disease, and valvular abnormalities in survivors of cancer compared with siblings.
Results Survivors of cancer were significantly more likely than siblings to report congestive heart failure (hazard ratio (HR) 5.9, 95% confidence interval 3.4 to 9.6; P<0.001), myocardial infarction (HR 5.0, 95% CI 2.3 to 10.4; P<0.001), pericardial disease (HR 6.3, 95% CI 3.3 to 11.9; P<0.001), or valvular abnormalities (HR 4.8, 95% CI 3.0 to 7.6; P<0.001). Exposure to 250 mg/m2 or more of anthracyclines increased the relative hazard of congestive heart failure, pericardial disease, and valvular abnormalities by two to five times compared with survivors who had not been exposed to anthracyclines. Cardiac radiation exposure of 1500 centigray or more increased the relative hazard of congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, pericardial disease, and valvular abnormalities by twofold to sixfold compared to non-irradiated survivors. The cumulative incidence of adverse cardiac outcomes in cancer survivors continued to increase up to 30 years after diagnosis.
Conclusion Survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer are at substantial risk for cardiovascular disease. Healthcare professionals must be aware of these risks when caring for this growing population.
PMCID: PMC3266843  PMID: 19996459

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