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author:("Im, Ho john")
1.  Clinical implications of chimerism after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children with non-malignant diseases 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2011;46(4):258-264.
Background
The effects of chimerism on outcomes following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are unclear and may differ between diseases. We retrospectively evaluated the association between chimerism and transplant outcomes in children with nonmalignant diseases.
Methods
Chimerism was evaluated using short-tandem repeat polymerase chain reaction (STR-PCR) in 48 patients, with mixed chimerism (MC) defined as greater than 1% recipient cells.
Results
The only variable exerting a significant influence on patients' chimerism status was the number of infused CD34+ cells. MC was detected in 23 transplants (9 showing transient MC; 10 with sustained low levels [≤30%] of autologous cells; and 4 with high-level MC [>30%]). The degree of STR-PCR at 28 days after HSCT was significantly higher in patients with high-level MC than those with transient or low-level MC. All patients with transient or low-level MC successfully maintained engraftment and showed a clinical response to HSCT, whereas 2 of the 4 patients with high-level MC experienced graft failure. The incidences of grades II-IV acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) were significantly higher in patients with complete donor chimerism (CC) than MC. We observed no significant survival differences between CC and MC groups. However, the survival rate was lower in patients with high MC than those with low-level or transient MC (P=0.03).
Conclusion
In non-malignant diseases, MC may indicate a tolerant state with a decreased incidence of GVHD. However, high-level MC may signify an increased risk of graft failure and a lower survival rate.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.4.258
PMCID: PMC3259518  PMID: 22259632
Non-malignant disease; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Chimerism
2.  Early central nervous system complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(3):164-170.
Background
Central nervous system (CNS) complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have not been well characterized in the pediatric population.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed data of 202 consecutive children who underwent allogeneic HSCT (60 from matched related donors, 9 from mismatched related donors, and 133 from unrelated donors) at Asan Medical Center between 1998 and 2009.
Results
Twenty-seven children (13.5%) developed CNS complications within 6 months after HSCT. Calcineurin inhibitor (CNI)-associated neurotoxicity was the most common CNS complication (n=16), followed by CNS infection (n=2), cerebrovascular events (n=2), thrombotic microangiopathy-associated events (n=2), metabolic encephalopathy (n=2), irradiation/chemotherapy injury (n=1), and encephalopathy/myelopathy of unknown causes (n=2). Univariate analysis showed that a transplant from an alternative donor and the occurrence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (>grade 2) were associated with a significantly increased risk of CNS complications. In the multivariate analysis, acute GVHD >grade 2 was identified as an independent risk factor for early CNS complications. The 5-year overall survival rate was significantly lower in patients with CNS complications (52.1% vs. 64.9%, P=0.014), whereas CNI-associated neurotoxicity did not affect the survival outcome.
Conclusion
CNS complications are frequent among children undergoing HSCT, contributing to early death after transplant. More attention should be paid to the development of CNS complications for recipients of alternative donor transplants and patients with severe acute GVHD who are at increased risk for CNS complications.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.3.164
PMCID: PMC2983044  PMID: 21120204
Allogeneic; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Neurological complication; Cyclosporine; Children
3.  Prophylactic Low-dose Heparin or Prostaglandin E1 may Prevent Severe Veno-occlusive Disease of the Liver after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Korean Children 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(5):897-903.
Studies investigating the effect of prophylactic drugs on hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) development are rare in children that have undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). This study examined risk factors for VOD, the effect of prophylactic low-dose heparin or lipo-prostaglandin E1 (lipo-PGE1) and the survival rate at day +100 in children undergoing allogeneic HSCT. Eighty five children underwent HSCT between June 1997 and September 2004. Patients were diagnosed and classified as having mild, moderate or severe VOD according to Seattle clinical criteria. Among 85 patients, 25 (29%) developed VOD. VOD occurred more frequently in patients receiving busulfan-based conditioning (24/65, 37%) than in those receiving TBI-based (1/10, 10%) or other (0/10, 0%) regimens (p<0.05). The incidence of VOD was lower in patients with non-malignant disease compared to those with malignant disease (p<0.05). Survival at day +100 for non-VOD patients was better than that for VOD patients (92% vs. 76%, p<0.05). No patients receiving prophylactic heparin or lipo-PGE1 were found to develop severe VOD, whereas 5 of 35 patients not receiving such prophylaxis developed severe VOD. Given severe VOD is associated with a high mortality rate, this study indicates that prophylactic heparin or lipo-PGE1 may decrease mortality in children undergoing HSCT.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2006.21.5.897
PMCID: PMC2722002  PMID: 17043426
Hepatic Veno-occlusive Disease; Heparin; Prostaglandins; prevention and control; Prophylaxis; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Child
4.  Presence of Differentiating Neuroblasts in Bone Marrow is a Favorable Prognostic Factor for Bone Marrow Metastatic Neuroblastoma at Diagnosis 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2013;33(2):89-96.
Background
The prognostic impact of the presence of differentiating neuroblasts in bone marrow (BM) remains unclear in BM metastatic neuroblastoma (NB). We aimed to identify the prognostic impact of differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and after chemotherapy.
Methods
A total of 51 patients diagnosed with BM metastatic NB at Asan Medical Center between January 1990 and July 2005 were enrolled. BM histology and laboratory data along with overall survival (OS) were compared with regard to the differentiation status of neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and after chemotherapy.
Results
Among the 51 patients, 13 (25.5%) exhibited differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and 17/51 (33.3%) exhibited them after chemotherapy. The only significant difference among patient groups was the improved OS in patients with differentiated neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis (P=0.021). In contrast, the differentiation status of neuroblasts in BM after chemotherapy did not affect OS (P=0.852).
Conclusions
Our study is the first report describing the presence of differentiating neuroblasts in BM. The presence of differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis may be a favorable prognostic factor for patients with BM metastatic NB; however, the same phenomenon after chemotherapy is irrelevant to prognosis.
doi:10.3343/alm.2013.33.2.89
PMCID: PMC3589646  PMID: 23483759
Differentiating neuroblasts; Neuroblastoma; Bone marrow; Metastasis; Prognosis
6.  Prognostic significance of gelsolin and MMP12 in Langerhans cell histiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):267-272.
Background
Gelsolin and matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) expression has been reported in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), but the clinical significance of this expression is unknown. We investigated the associations of these proteins with clinical manifestations in patients diagnosed with LCH.
Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data from patients diagnosed with LCH and followed up between 1998 and 2008. Available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens were used for gelsolin and MMP12 immunohistochemical staining. We analyzed the expression levels of these proteins and their associations with LCH clinical features.
Results
Specimens from 36 patients (20 males, 16 females) with a diagnosis of LCH based on CD1a positivity with clinical manifestations were available for immunohistochemical staining. Median patient age was 62 months (range, 5 to 207). The expression of gelsolin varied; it was high in 17 patients (47.2%), low in 11 patients (30.6%), and absent in 8 patients (22.2%). The high gelsolin expression group had a higher tendency for multi-organ and risk organ involvement, although the trend was not statistically significant. MMP12 was detected only in 7 patients (19.4%) who showed multi-system involvement (P=0.018) and lower event-free survival (P=0.002) in comparison to patients with negative MMP12 staining.
Conclusion
Gelsolin and MMP12 expression may be associated with the clinical course of LCH, and MMP12 expression may be particularly associated with severe LCH. Further studies of larger populations are needed to define the precise role and significance of gelsolin and MMP12 in the pathogenesis of LCH.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.267
PMCID: PMC3538798  PMID: 23320005
Histiocytosis; Langerhans cells; Immunohistochemistry; Gelsolin; Matrix Metalloproteinase 12
7.  Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is a critical prognostic factor for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):273-280.
Background
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare multisystem disorder that frequently involves the central nervous system (CNS). We compared the clinical characteristics, treatment, and prognosis of patients with HLH according to the degree of CNS involvement.
Methods
The clinical manifestations, initial laboratory data, treatment, and outcomes for 50 patients diagnosed with HLH and treated at Asan Medical Center between January 1995 and August 2011 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. CNS involvement was defined as the presence of neurological symptoms or an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Results
Among these 50 patients, 23 (46%) developed CNS disease. Among patients with CNS disease, 19 had neurological symptoms, including seizures, altered consciousness, facial palsy, dysarthria, and dysphagia. Four patients had elevated CSF WBC counts without neurological symptoms. Twelve patients had abnormal brain imaging results, including high signal intensity lesions on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, ventriculomegaly, hemorrhage, atrophy, and leptomeningeal enhancement. Patients with CNS disease had lower ferritin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels as well as reduced 5-year survival as compared to those without CNS disease.
Conclusion
CNS involvement is common among patients with HLH. Overall, patients with CNS disease achieve poorer outcomes than patients without CNS involvement. To improve outcomes, physicians must carefully monitor the neurological manifestations in patients with HLH and administer the appropriate course of intensified chemotherapy to patients with CNS disease.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.273
PMCID: PMC3538799  PMID: 23320006
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; Central nervous system involvement; Neurological manifestations; Cerebrospinal fluid; Outcome
8.  Factors influencing lymphocyte reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children 
Background
Immune reconstitution (IR) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) reduces transplantation-related complications such as infection and improves HSCT outcomes.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed IR of lymphocyte subpopulations in 38 pediatric patients for hematologic malignant diseases after allogeneic HSCT from April 2006 to July 2008. T-cell-, B-cell-, and natural killer (NK) cell-associated antigens were assayed in peripheral blood by flow cytometry analysis of 5 lymphocyte subsets, CD3+, CD3+/CD4+, CD4+/CD8+, CD16+/CD56+, and CD19+, before and 3 and 12 months after transplantation.
Results
Reconstitutions of CD16+/CD56+ and CD3+/CD8+ lymphocytes were achieved rapidly, whereas that of CD3+/CD19+ lymphocytes occurred later. Age was not related to reconstitution of any lymphocyte subset. Total body irradiation (TBI) and anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) administration were related to delayed reconstitution of total lymphocytes and CD3+ lymphocytes, respectively. Reconstitutions of CD3+/CD4+ lymphocytes and CD3+/CD8+ lymphocytes were significantly delayed in patients who received umbilical cord blood stem cells. In patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), recovery of the total lymphocyte count and CD19+ lymphocytes at 3 months post-transplant were significantly delayed. However, acute GVHD (aGVHD) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation did not influence the IR of any lymphocyte subset. Further, delayed reconstitution of lymphocyte subsets did not correspond to inferior survival outcomes in this study.
Conclusion
We observed that some lymphocyte reconstitutions after HSCT were influenced by the stem cell source and preparative regimens. However, delayed CD19+ lymphocyte reconstitution may be associated with cGVHD.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.44
PMCID: PMC3317470  PMID: 22479277
Immune reconstitution; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Children; Lymphocyte subset
9.  New clinical score for disease activity at diagnosis in Langerhans cell histiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2011;46(3):186-191.
Background
The clinical presentation and course of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) are variable, ranging from an isolated, spontaneously remitting bone lesion to multisystem disease with risk organ involvement. Treatment of LCH ranges from a wait-and-see attitude to intensive multidrug therapy and, in some cases, bone marrow transplantation. It is necessary to develop an objective score for assessing disease activity in patients with LCH. We propose a new clinical scoring system to evaluate disease activity at diagnosis that can predict the clinical outcomes of LCH and correlate it with clinical courses.
Methods
Clinical data, obtained from children diagnosed with LCH at Asan Medical Center and Hanyang University Hospital between March 1998 and February 2009, were studied retrospectively. The scoring system was developed according to the basic biological data, radiological findings, and physical findings and applied to a database containing information on 133 patients.
Results
The median age of the 133 patients (74 male, 59 female) was 52 months (range, 0.6-178 months), and LCH was diagnosed based on CD1a positivity. At diagnosis, the score distributions were highly asymmetrical: the score was between 1 and 2 in 75.9% of cases, 3-6 in 15.8%, and greater than 6 in 8.3%. Initial scores above 6 were highly predictive of reactivation and late complications.
Conclusion
This new LCH disease activity score provides an objective tool for assessing disease severity, both at diagnosis and during follow-up.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.3.186
PMCID: PMC3208202  PMID: 22065974
Histiocytosis; Langerhans cells; Disease activity; Clinical score
10.  Lineage Switch at Relapse of Childhood Acute Leukemia: A Report of Four Cases 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(6):829-831.
Lineage switch in acute leukemia is an uncommon event at relapse, and therefore rarely reported in the literature. Here, we have described the clinical laboratory features of four cases in which the cell lineage switched from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). One patient was initially diagnosed with B-ALL, switched to T-ALL at the first relapse, and eventually, AML at the second relapse. A lineage switch represented either relapse of the original clone with heterogeneity at the morphologic level or emergence of a new leukemic clone. Further sequential phenotypic and cytogenetic studies may yield valuable insights into the mechanisms of leukemic recurrence, with possible implications for treatment selection.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.6.829
PMCID: PMC3102880  PMID: 21655072
Lineage Switch; Acute Leukemia
11.  Prognostic significance of the FLT3 ITD mutation in patients with normal-karyotype acute myeloid leukemia in relapse 
Background
Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3 ITD) mutation is related to poor prognosis in normal-karyotype acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic significance of the mutation at relapse has not been adequately investigated. We investigated the prognostic significance of the FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse in normal-karyotype AML patients.
Methods
We analyzed 69 normal-karyotype AML patients, in whom paired bone marrow samples taken at initial diagnosis and subsequent relapse were analyzed for the FLT3 ITD mutation at the Asan Medical Center between 1995 and 2009.
Results
Forty patients showed a persistent wild-type genotype, 11 showed the FLT3 ITD mutation at diagnosis and relapse, and 9 lost and another 9 acquired the mutation at relapse. The mutation status at relapse affected the overall survival (OS), with the mutation group showing shorter OS and survival after relapse than the wild-type group did (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively), despite having received more frequent stem cell transplantation after relapse than the wild-type group did. However, no difference was detected in the OS and survival after relapse with regard to the mutation status at diagnosis.
Conclusion
The patients with FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse showed poorer prognoses than those without the mutation. However, mutation status at diagnosis did not affect the outcome. These results suggest that, in normal-karyotype AML patients with relapse, the prognostic significance of FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse is greater than that of the mutation status at diagnosis.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.2.88
PMCID: PMC3128906  PMID: 21747880
AML; Prognosis; FLT3 ITD; Relapse; Normal karyotype
12.  Clinical features of infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(6):260-266.
Purpose
Infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma (IHHE) is the most common type of hepatic vascular tumor in infancy. We conducted this study to review our clinical experience of patients with IHHE and to suggest management strategies.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 23 IHHE patients (10 males, 13 females) treated at the Asan Medical Center between 1996 and 2009.
Results
Median age at diagnosis was 38 days (range, 1 to 381 days). Seven patients (30%) were diagnosed with IHHE based on sonographically detected fetal liver masses, 5 (22%) were diagnosed incidentally in the absence of symptoms, 5 (22%) had congestive heart failure, 3 (13%) had skin hemangiomas, 2 (9%) had abnormal liver function tests, and 1 (4%) had hepatomegaly. All diagnoses were based on imaging results, and were confirmed in three patients by histopathology analysis. Six patients were observed without receiving any treatment, whereas 12 received corticosteroids and/or interferon-alpha. One patient with congestive heart failure and a resectable unilobar tumor underwent surgical resection. Three patients with congestive heart failure and unresectable tumors were managed by hepatic artery embolization with/without medical treatment. At a median follow-up of 29 months (range, 1 to 156 months), 21 (91%) patients showed complete tumor disappearance or >50% decrease in tumor size. One patient died due to tumor-related causes.
Conclusion
IHHE generally has a benign clinical course with low morbidity and mortality rates. Clinical course and treatment outcome did not differ significantly between medically treated and non-treated groups. Surgically unresectable patients with significant symptoms may be treated medically or with hepatic artery embolization.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2011.54.6.260
PMCID: PMC3174362  PMID: 21949521
Infant; Liver; Hemangioendothelioma; Corticosteroid; Interferon-alpha; Therapeutic embolization
13.  The impact of HLA matching on unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Korean children 
Background
The impact of HLA matching on outcomes of unrelated donor (URD) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) varies in different racial or ethnic groups. Since little is known about the impact of such matching on URD HSCT in Korean children, we analyzed this issue.
Methods
We analyzed the outcomes of 142 patients who underwent URD HSCT at 4 Korean medical centers. All patient donor pairs were fully typed for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DR alleles.
Results
At a median follow-up of 22 months, 3-year survival rates for patients with 8, 7, and ≤6 matched alleles were 88.4%, 70.7%, and 53.6%, respectively. A single mismatch (Mm) at HLA-B or -C was associated with lower survival compared with that associated with 8 matched alleles. No significant differences were observed between single-allele and single-antigen Mms with respect to survival rate or acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) incidence rates. HLA disparity had a greater impact on the survival of patients with high-risk malignancy than of those with low-risk malignancy. Among pairs with a single Mm, only locus A showed a significant association and higher risk of grade III-IV aGVHD compared to those in patients with 8 matched alleles.
Conclusion
Disparity in HLA class I, regardless of antigen or allele Mm, adversely affected both survival and grade III-IV aGVHD development. An increased number of HLA Mms was associated with a higher risk of post-transplantation complications. Further investigations using larger cohorts are required to confirm the effects of HLA mismatching on URD HSCT patient outcomes.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.1.11
PMCID: PMC3065620  PMID: 21461298
URD HSCT; HLA; Korean children
15.  Role of p16 in the pathogenesis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(4):247-252.
Background
It has been hypothesized that genetic alteration at the cellular level may have a significant effect on cellular mechanisms controlling the proliferation and apoptosis of Langerhans cells (LCs).
Methods
We examined whether p16 protein expression can be used to predict the outcome of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). Archival paraffin blocks from children diagnosed with LCH and followed at the Asan Medical Center and Chungnam National University Hospital between March 1998 and February 2008 were studied.
Results
Slides were stained with p16 antibody and evaluated semi-quantitatively using the following scale: negative, no staining; ±, weakly positive; 1+, staining similar to lymphocytes surrounding the LCs; 2+, stronger staining than lymphocytes; 3+, much stronger staining than lymphocytes. Negative and ± groups were assigned to a lower expression group (LEG) and the 1+, 2+, and 3+ groups were assigned to a higher expression group (HEG). The median age of the 51 patients (24 girls, 27 boys) was 49 (range, 0.6-178) months, and LCH was diagnosed based on CD1a positivity. p16 protein was expressed to varying degrees in all but one specimen. There was a greater tendency toward multisystem disease, risk organ involvement, and relapse in the HEG than in the LEG.
Conclusion
The p16 protein may have a significant effect on cellular mechanisms controlling the proliferation and apoptosis of LCs, and thus may influence the clinical outcome and prognosis of LCH.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.4.247
PMCID: PMC3023050  PMID: 21253426
Genes; p16; Histiocytosis; Langerhans cells; Immunohistochemistry
16.  Prognostic significance of minimal residual disease detected by a simplified flow cytometric assay during remission induction chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(11):957-964.
Purpose
Our study attempted to determine the prognostic significance of minimal residual disease (MRD) detected by a simplified flow cytometric assay during induction chemotherapy in children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
Methods
A total of 98 patients were newly diagnosed with precursor B-ALL from June 2004 to December 2008 at the Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea). Of those, 37 were eligible for flow cytometric MRD study analysis on day 14 of their induction treatment. The flow cytometric MRD assay was based on the expression intensity of CD19/CD10/CD34 or aberrant expression of myeloid antigens by bone marrow nucleated cells.
Results
Thirty-five patients (94.6%) had CD19-positive leukemic cells that also expressed CD10 and/or CD34, and 18 (48.6%) had leukemic cells with aberrant expression of myeloid antigens. Seven patients with ≥1% leukemic cells on day 14 had a significantly lower relapse-free survival (RFS) compared to the 30 patients with lower levels (42.9% [18.7%] vs. 92.0% [5.4%], P=0.004). Stratification into 3 MRD groups (≥1%, 0.1-1%, and <0.1%) also showed a statistically significant difference in RFS (42.9% [18.7%] vs. 86.9% [8.7%] vs. 100%, P=0.013). However, the MRD status had no significant influence on overall survival. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the MRD level on day 14 was an independent prognostic factor with borderline significance.
Conclusion
An MRD assay using simplified flow cytometry during induction chemotherapy may help to identify patients with B-ALL who have an excellent outcome and patients who are at higher risk for relapse.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2010.53.11.957
PMCID: PMC3012276  PMID: 21218018
Lymphoblastic leukemia; Acute; Childhood; Minimal residual disease; Flow cytometry
17.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.8.1160
PMCID: PMC2908784  PMID: 20676326
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
18.  Improved outcome in childhood ALL with intensive consolidation and hematopoietic stem cell transplant 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):109-114.
Background
Despite advances in chemotherapy, the prognosis of relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains poor. Few studies on relapsed ALL have reported the importance of intensive consolidation followed with or without allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Methods
We evaluated the post-relapse outcomes in 47 Korean children with a first marrow relapse, and analyzed the prognostic factors.
Results
A second complete remission (CR) was achieved in 40 patients (85.1%), and at the time of this study, second CR was maintained in 12 of these patients. The estimated 3-yr event-free survival (EFS) rate after the first marrow relapse was 29.8±6.7%, and the overall survival (OS) rate was 45.3±7.5%. We found that second remission, consolidation of pediatric oncology group chemotherapy regimen (POG 9411), and HSCT significantly affected the outcome of the disease after relapse (P<0.001; P=0.004; P=0.05).
Conclusion
The results of our study revealed that an intensified POG 9411 consolidation chemotherapy regimen followed by HSCT can improve the outcome of patients with relapsed ALL.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.2.109
PMCID: PMC2983016  PMID: 21120189
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Relapse; Intensive consolidation; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
19.  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.
Background
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.2.120
PMCID: PMC2983022  PMID: 21120191
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
20.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.5.691
PMCID: PMC2858826  PMID: 20436703
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
21.  A case of anemia caused by combined vitamin B12 and iron deficiency manifesting as short stature and delayed puberty 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(5):661-665.
Anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency resulting from inadequate dietary intake is rare in children in the modern era because of improvements in nutritional status. However, such anemia can be caused by decreased ingestion or impaired absorption and/or utilization of vitamin B12. We report the case of an 18-year-old man with short stature, prepubertal sexual maturation, exertional dyspnea, and severe anemia with a hemoglobin level of 3.3 g/dL. He had a history of small bowel resection from 50 cm below the Treitz ligament to 5 cm above the ileocecal valve necessitated by midgut volvulus in the neonatal period. Laboratory tests showed deficiencies of both vitamin B12 and iron. A bone marrow examination revealed dyserythropoiesis and low levels of hemosiderin particles, and a cytogenetic study disclosed a normal karyotype. After treatment with parenteral vitamin B12 and elemental iron, both anemia and growth showed gradual improvement. This is a rare case that presented with short stature and delayed puberty caused by nutritional deficiency anemia in Korea.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2010.53.5.661
PMCID: PMC2994119  PMID: 21189935
Vitamin B12 and iron deficiency anemia; Short bowel syndrome; Short stature; Delayed puberty
22.  Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Children with Acute Leukemia: Experience at a Single Institution 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(5):904-909.
We evaluate the outcomes in children with acute leukemia who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) using unrelated donor. Fifty-six children in complete remission (CR) received HCT from unrelated donors between 2000 and 2007. Thirty-five had acute myeloid leukemia, and 21 had acute lymphoid leukemia. Stem cell sources included bone marrow in 38, peripheral blood in 4, and cord blood (CB) in 14. Four patients died before engraftment and 52 engrafted. Twenty patients developed grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and 8 developed extensive chronic GVHD. With median follow-up of 39.1 months, event free survival and overall survival were 60.4% and 67.5%, respectively, at 5 yr. Events included relapse in 10 and treatment-related mortality (TRM) in 10. The causes of TRM included sepsis in 4, GVHD in 4 (1 acute GVHD and 3 chronic GVHD), veno-occlusive disease in 1 and fulminant hepatitis in 1. Patients transplanted with CB had event free survival of 57.1%, comparable to 63.2% for those transplanted with other than CB. In conclusion, HCT with unrelated donors is effective treatment modality for children with acute leukemia. In children with acute leukemia candidate for HCT but lack suitable sibling donor, unrelated HCT may be a possible treatment option at the adequate time of their disease.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2009.24.5.904
PMCID: PMC2752776  PMID: 19794991
Child; Acute Leukemia; Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Unrelated Donor
23.  Molecular Epidemiological Investigation of a Nosocomial Outbreak of Human Metapneumovirus Infection in a Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Patient Population▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(4):1221-1224.
We report the first nosocomial outbreak of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) infection in a pediatric patient population. Among 15 pediatric hMPV infections from March to May 2007, there was a nosocomial outbreak involving two patients sharing a room in a hemato-oncology ward with a patient with a community-acquired case of hMPV infection. The estimated incubation period was 7 to 9 days for a symptomatic nosocomial case. Sequencing of fusion genes of 15 isolates revealed two clusters belonging to subgroup A2 and one cluster belonging to subgroup B2. Three isolates from the outbreak had sequences identical to those of samples in the A2 cluster. There was also a separate nosocomial case represented by the B2 cluster.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01959-08
PMCID: PMC2668301  PMID: 19213698
24.  Idarubicin Plus Behenoyl Cytarabine and 6-thioguanine Compares Favorably with Idarubicin Plus Cytarabine-based Regimen for Children with Previously Untreated Acute Myeloid Leukemia: 10-Year Retrospective, Multicenter Study in Korea 
We investigated the outcome of idarubicin plus N4-behenoyl-1-β-D-arabinofuranosyl cytosine (BHAC)-based chemotherapy (BHAC group, n=149) compared to idarubicin plus cytarabine-based chemotherapy (cytarabine group, n=191) for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Between January 1996 and December 2005, 340 children with AML from 5 university hospitals in Korea received the BHAC-based or cytarabine-based chemotherapy, with or without hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. After induction therapy, 264 (77.6%) of 340 children achieved a complete remission (CR) and 43 (12%) achieved a partial remission (PR). The CR rate in the BHAC group was higher than in the cytarabine group (85.2% vs. 71.7%, P=0.004). However, the overall response rate (CR+PR) was not different between the two groups (93.3% vs. 87.9%, P=0.139). The 5-yr estimates of overall survival (OS) of children in the two groups were similar (54.9% for the BHAC group vs. 52.4% for the cytarabine group, P=0.281). Although the results were analyzed according to the treatment type and cytogenetic risk, the OS showed no significant difference between the BHAC group and the cytarabine group. In the present study, the clinical outcomes of the BHAC-based chemotherapy, consisting of BHAC, idarubicin, and 6-TG, are comparable to that of the cytarabine-based chemotherapy for childhood AML.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.1.9
PMCID: PMC2800026  PMID: 20052341
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Enocitabine; Childhood

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