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1.  Alteration of the SETBP1 Gene and Splicing Pathway Genes SF3B1, U2AF1, and SRSF2 in Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2014;35(1):118-122.
Recurrent somatic SET-binding protein 1 (SETBP1) and splicing pathway gene mutations have recently been found in atypical chronic myeloid leukemia and other hematologic malignancies. These mutations have been comprehensively analyzed in adult AML, but not in childhood AML. We investigated possible alteration of the SETBP1, splicing factor 3B subunit 1 (SF3B1), U2 small nuclear RNA auxiliary factor 1 (U2AF1), and serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 2 (SRSF2) genes in childhood AML.
Cytogenetic and molecular analyses were performed to reveal chromosomal and genetic alterations. Sequence alterations in the SETBP1, SF3B1, U2AF1, and SRSF2 genes were examined by using direct sequencing in a cohort of 53 childhood AML patients.
Childhood AML patients did not harbor any recurrent SETBP1 gene mutations, although our study did identify a synonymous mutation in one patient. None of the previously reported aberrations in the mutational hotspot of SF3B1, U2AF1, and SRSF2 were identified in any of the 53 patients.
Alterations of the SETBP1 gene or SF3B1, U2AF1, and SRSF2 genes are not common genetic events in childhood AML, implying that the mutations are unlikely to exert a driver effect in myeloid leukemogenesis during childhood.
PMCID: PMC4272941  PMID: 25553291
SETBP1; SF3B1; U2AF1; SRSF2; AML; Childhood
2.  Clinical Outcome of Relapsed or Refractory Burkitt Lymphoma and Mature B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children and Adolescents 
Despite the rapid improvement in survival rate from Burkitt lymphoma and mature B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in children, a small subset of patients do not respond to first-line chemotherapy or experience relapse (RL). Herein, we report the clinical characteristics and outcomes of these patients.
Materials and Methods
RL or refractory Burkitt lymphoma and mature B-ALL in 125 patients diagnosed from 1990 to 2009 were retrospectively analyzed.
Nineteen patients experienced RL or progressive disease (PD). Among them, 12 patients had PD or RL less than six months after initial treatment and seven had late RL. Seven patients achieved complete response (CR), 11 had PD, and one had no more therapy. Six patients who achieved CR survived without evidence of disease and four of them underwent high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) followed by stem cell transplantation (SCT). However, 11 patients who failed to obtain CR eventually died of their disease. Five-year overall survival (OS) was 31.6±10.7%. OS of patients with late RL was superior to that of patients with early RL (57.1±18.7%, vs. 16.7±10.8%, p=0.014). Achievement of CR after reinduction had significant OS (p < 0.001). OS for patients who were transplanted was superior (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, achievement of CR after reinduction chemotherapy showed an association with improved OS (p=0.05).
Late RL and chemotherapy-sensitive patients have the chance to achieve continuous CR using HDC/SCT, whereas patients who are refractory to retrieval therapy have poor prognosis. Therefore, novel salvage strategy is required for improvement of survival for this small set of patients.
PMCID: PMC4206068  PMID: 25043820
Burkitt lymphoma; Recurrence; Children
3.  Profiling of Biomarkers for the Exposure of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Lamin-A/C Isoform 3, Poly[ADP-ribose] Polymerase 1, and Mitochondria Copy Number Are Identified as Universal Biomarkers 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:605135.
This study investigated the profiling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon- (PAH-) induced genotoxicity in cell lines and zebrafish. Each type of cells displayed different proportionality of apoptosis. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number was dramatically elevated after 5-day treatment of fluoranthene and pyrene. The notable deregulated proteins for PAHs exposure were displayed as follows: lamin-A/C isoform 3 and annexin A1 for benzopyrene; lamin-A/C isoform 3 and DNA topoisomerase 2-alpha for pentacene; poly[ADP-ribose] polymerase 1 (PARP-1) for fluoranthene; and talin-1 and DNA topoisomerase 2-alpha for pyrene. Among them, lamin-A/C isoform 3 and PARP-1 were further confirmed using mRNA and protein expression study. Obvious morphological abnormalities including curved backbone and cardiomegaly in zebrafish were observed in the 54 hpf with more than 400 nM of benzopyrene. In conclusion, the change of mitochondrial genome (increased mtDNA copy number) was closely associated with PAH exposure in cell lines and mesenchymal stem cells. Lamin-A/C isoform 3, talin-1, and annexin A1 were identified as universal biomarkers for PAHs exposure. Zebrafish, specifically at embryo stage, showed suitable in vivo model for monitoring PAHs exposure to hematopoietic tissue and other organs.
PMCID: PMC4121044  PMID: 25114913
4.  Long-term follow-up of Fanconi anemia: clinical manifestation and treatment outcome 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(3):125-134.
The aim of this study was to characterize Korean patients with Fanconi anemia (FA), which is a rare but very challenging genetic disease.
The medical records of 12 FA patients diagnosed at Chonnam National University Hospital from 1991 to 2012 were retrospectively reviewed.
The median age at diagnosis was 6.2 years. All patients showed evidence of marrow failure and one or more physical stigmata. Chromosome breakage tests were positive in 9 out of 11 available patients. The median follow-up duration was 69.5 months. The Kaplan-Meier (KM) survival of all patients was 83.3% at 10 years and 34.7% at 20 years, respectively. Seven patients underwent 9 stem cell transplantations (SCTs). Among them, 5 were alive by the end of the study. Ten-year KM survival after SCT was 71.4% with a median follow-up of 3.4 years. All 5 patients treated with supportive treatment alone died of infection or progression at the median age of 13.5 years, except for one with short follow-up duration. Acute leukemia developed in 2 patients at 15.4 and 18.1 years of age. Among 6 patients who are still alive, 3 had short stature and 1 developed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
We provide information on the long-term outcomes of FA patients in Korea. A nation-wide FA registry that includes information of the genotypes of Korean patients is required to further characterize ethnic differences and provide the best standard of care for FA patients.
PMCID: PMC4000758  PMID: 24778694
Fanconi anemia; Korean; Stem cell transplantation; Long-term outcome
5.  KDM3B Is the H3K9 Demethylase Involved in Transcriptional Activation of lmo2 in Leukemia 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(14):2917-2933.
Histone lysine methylation and demethylation are considered critical steps in transcriptional regulation. In this report, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation with microarray technology (ChIP-chip) analysis to examine the genome-wide occupancy of H3K9-me2 during all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA)-induced differentiation of HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells. Using this approach, we found that KDM3B, which contains a JmjC domain, was downregulated during differentiation through the recruitment of a corepressor complex. Furthermore, KDM3B displayed histone H3K9-me1/2 demethylase activity and induced leukemogenic oncogene lmo2 expression via a synergistic interaction with CBP. Here, we found that KDM3B repressed leukemia cell differentiation and was upregulated in blood cells from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)-type leukemia patients. The combined results of this study provide evidence that the H3K9-me1/2 demethylase KDM3B might play a role in leukemogenesis via activation of lmo2 through interdependent actions with the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complex containing CBP.
PMCID: PMC3416203  PMID: 22615488
6.  Implication of Early Lymphocyte Recovery after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Leukemia 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2012;54(1):62-70.
The repopulating lymphocytes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation have an important role not only on the prevention of serious infections in the early transplantation period, but also on the killing of residual leukemic cells by graft-versus-leukemia effect. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of lymphocyte recovery after allogeneic stem cell transplantation in children with hematologic malignancies.
Materials and Methods
We evaluated 69 children transplanted for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (n=34), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (n=26), chronic leukemia (n=7) and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (n=2) between 1996 and 2008 at the Chonnam National University Hospital, Korea. The patients were grouped based on absolute lymphocyte counts (ALC) <500/µL or ≥500/µL at D+21 and D+30 after transplant.
Patients with a High ALC at D+21 and D+30 had a faster neutrophil and platelet engraftment. The High at D+30 group had a better 5 year overall survival (71% vs. 53%, p=0.043) and event-free survival (72% vs. 53%, p=0.065) than the Low at D+30 group. The incidence of grade II-IV acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and relapse rate did not differ by the ALC counts. However, the Low at D+30 group had a significantly increased risk for transplant-related mortality (p=0.019). The univariate analysis showed that the factors associated with decreased survival were a Low ALC at D+30, patients with high risk ALL, and grade II-IV aGVHD in patients with ALL and AML.
Early posttransplant serial lymphocyte measurement would be a simple but useful method for predicting transplant outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3521273  PMID: 23225800
Absolute lymphocyte count; allogeneic stem cell transplantation; children; leukemia
7.  Destructive Radiologic Development of Intravascular Papillary Endothelial Hyperplasia on Skull Bone 
Intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (IPEH) is a rare vascular benign lesion that rarely involves the central nervous system with or without skull invasion. We report a rare case of IPEH on the skull bone, which displayed destructive radiologic development associated with hemorrhage. A 14-year-old male presented with an incidentally detected a small enhancing, left frontal osteolytic lesion. Previously, he underwent operation and received adjuvant chemoradiation therapy for cerebellar medulloblastoma. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging revealed a left frontal bone lesion, which expanded to an approximately 2 cm-sized well-circumscribed osteolytic lesion associated with hemorrhage for 20 months. Frontal craniectomy and cranioplasty were performed. Destructive change was detected on the inner table and diploic space of the skull. The mass had a cystic feature with hemorrhagic content without dural attachment. Pathologic examination showed the capsule consisted of parallel collagen lamellae representing a vascular wall, vascular lumen, which was pathognomonic for IPEH. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that the capsule was positive for CD34 and factor VIII, which favor the final diagnosis of IPEH. This was the first case of intracalvarial IPEH.
PMCID: PMC3440503  PMID: 22993678
Destructive; Papillary endothelial hyperplasia; Radiologic; Skull
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.  Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Leukemia: A Single Institution Experience with Respect to Donors 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(12):1548-1555.
Aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of transplantation by donor source and to help select the best alternative donor in children with leukemia. Donor sources included matched related donor (MRD, n = 35), allele-matched unrelated donor (M-UD, n = 10) or -mismatched (MM)-UD (n = 13) or unrelated umbilical cord blood (UCB, n = 11). UCB group had a significantly higher incidence of grade II-IV acute graft versus host disease (MRD, 11.8%; M-UD, 30.0%; MM-UD, 15.4%, UCB, 54.4%, P = 0.004) but there was no difference in incidence of chronic graft versus host disease between 4 groups. The 5-yr leukemia-free survival (LFS) was 76.7%, 60.0%, 69.2%, and 45.5%, respectively (P = 0.128). MRD group showed higher LFS rate than UCB group (P = 0.022). However, LFS of M-UD and MM-UD together (65.2%) was not different from that of MRD group (76.7%, P = 0.325), or from that of UCB (45.5%, P = 0.190). The relapse incidence at 5 yr was 17.1%, 20.0%, 15.4%, and 0%, respectively (P = 0.460). The 100-day treatment-related mortality was 2.9%, 20.0%, 7.7%, and 36.4%, respectively (P = 0.011). Despite the limitations of small number of patients, unrelated donor transplants including even allele-mismatched ones, seem to be as effective in children with leukemia lacking suitable relative donors. Also, UCB transplant may serve as another possible option in urgent transplants.
PMCID: PMC3230013  PMID: 22147990
Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Leukemia; Unrelated Donor; Umbilical Cord Blood
10.  Selective embolization of the internal iliac arteries for the treatment of intractable hemorrhage in children with malignancies 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(4):169-175.
Acute internal hemorrhage is an occasionally life-threatening complication in pediatric cancer patients. Many therapeutic approaches have been used to control bleeding with various degrees of success. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of selective internal iliac artery embolization for controlling acute intractable bleeding in children with malignancies.
We retrospectively evaluated the cases of 6 children with various malignancies (acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, Langerhans cell histiocytosis, and rhabdomyosarcoma), who had undergone selective arterial embolization (SAE) of the internal iliac artery at the Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital between January 2004 and December 2009. SAE was performed by an interventional radiologist using Gelfoam® and/or Tornado® coils.
The patients were 5 boys and 1 girl with median age of 6.9 years (range, 0.7-14.8 years) at the time of SAE. SAE was performed once in 4 patients and twice in 2, and the procedure was unilateral in 2 and bilateral in 4. The causes of hemorrhage were as follows: hemorrhagic cystitis (HC) in 3 patients, procedure-related internal iliac artery injuries in 2 patients, and tumor rupture in 1 patient. Initial attempt at conservative management was unsuccessful. Of the 6 patients, 5 (83.3%) showed improvement after SAE without complications.
SAE may be a safe and effective procedure for controlling acute intractable hemorrhage in pediatric malignancy patients. This procedure may obviate the need for surgery, which carries an attendant risk of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients with critical conditions.
PMCID: PMC3127151  PMID: 21738551
Therapeutic embolization; Pediatric patient; Neoplasms
11.  Differential Gene Expression Analysis in K562 Human Leukemia Cell Line Treated with Benzene 
Toxicological Research  2011;27(1):43-48.
Even though exposure to benzene has been linked to a variety of cancers including leukemia, the detailed molecular mechanisms relevant to benzene-induced carcinogenesis remain to be clearly elucidated. In this study, we evaluated the effects of benzene on differential gene expression in a leukemia cell line. The K562 leukemia cell line used in this study was cultured for 3 h with 10 mM benzene and RNA was extracted. To analyze the gene expression profiles, a 41,000 human whole genome chip was employed for cDNA microarray analysis. We initially identified 6,562 genes whose expression was altered by benzene treatment. Among these, 3,395 genes were upregulated and 3,167 genes were downregulated by more than 2-fold, respectively. The results of functional classification showed that the identified genes were involved in biological pathways including transcription, cell proliferation, the cell cycle, and apoptosis. These gene expression profiles should provide us with further insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying benzene-induced carcinogenesis, including leukemia.
PMCID: PMC3834516  PMID: 24278550
Microarray; Benzene; Cell proliferation; Gene expression; Leukemia
12.  Neo-Adjuvant Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery for Extensive Calvarial Metastases of a Neuroblastoma 
Neuroblastoma is a common tumor of children. We report a patient with extensive calvarial metastases of a neuroblastoma as an initial presentation. A 2-year-old girl presented with a history of gradually increasing head size and fever. A brain CT showed a multilobulated, large, extra-axial tumor involving both frontotemporoparietal areas with a sunray-spiculated hyperostosis of the skull and marked contrast enhancement. A brain MRI demonstrated extensive calvarial lesions with simultaneous involvement of the orbits. A biopsy was performed and a ganglioneuroblastoma was diagnosed. On systemic evaluation, an enlarged abdominal mass was detected. After neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, most of the tumors disappeared except for a tumor in the left parietal area; there was a corresponding decrease in the circumference of the head. We performed surgery for the remnant mass. Intensive chemotherapy was administered and a bone marrow transplantation was performed. Adequate neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery to the neuroblatoma with extensive metastases to the skull and orbit may be helpful.
PMCID: PMC3070900  PMID: 21494368
Calvarium; Chemotherapy; Neuroblastoma; Metastasis
13.  Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) of the ascending colon: the implication of IFN-α2b treatment 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(11):975-978.
A 7-year-old boy presented with hematochezia and abdominal pain. A 3.7-cm-sized mass was identified in the ascending colon by abdominal computed tomography and colonoscopy. The patient underwent surgical resection. Pathological examination revealed a low-grade perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa). PEComa in the colon is very rare. Only a few cases have been reported so far. An effective treatment method for this rare tumor has not been established yet. The patient received adjuvant interferon-α immunotherapy for 1 year. He has been tumor-free for 26 months since the initial diagnosis. This report is the first documented case of the use of interferon-α for pediatric PEComa of the colon.
PMCID: PMC3012279  PMID: 21218021
Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor; PEComa; Colon; Interferon-alpha
14.  Multiple Myeloma-Related WHSC1/MMSET Isoform RE-IIBP Is a Histone Methyltransferase with Transcriptional Repression Activity▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(6):2023-2034.
Histone methylation is crucial for transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. It has been suggested that the SET domain containing protein RE-IIBP (interleukin-5 [IL-5] response element II binding protein) may perform a function in the carcinogenesis of certain tumor types, including myeloma. However, the pathogenic role of RE-IIBP in these diseases remains to be clearly elucidated. In this study, we have conducted an investigation into the relationship between the histone-methylating activity of RE-IIBP and transcriptional regulation. Here, we report that RE-IIBP is up-regulated in the blood cells of leukemia patients, and we characterized the histone H3 lysine 27 (H3-K27) methyltransferase activity of RE-IIBP. Point mutant analysis revealed that SET domain cysteine 483 and arginine 477 are critical residues for the histone methyltransferase (HMTase) activity of RE-IIBP. RE-IIBP also represses basal transcription via histone deacetylase (HDAC) recruitment, which may be mediated by H3-K27 methylation. In the chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we showed that RE-IIBP overexpression induces histone H3-K27 methylation, HDAC recruitment, and histone H3 hypoacetylation on the IL-5 promoter and represses expression. Conversely, short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of RE-IIBP reduces histone H3-K27 methylation and HDAC occupancy around the IL-5 promoter. These data illustrate the important regulatory role of RE-IIBP in transcriptional regulation, thereby pointing to the important role of HMTase activity in carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2268398  PMID: 18172012

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