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1.  Hereditary hemolytic anemia in Korea from 2007 to 2011: A study by the Korean Hereditary Hemolytic Anemia Working Party of the Korean Society of Hematology 
Blood research  2013;48(3):211-216.
Background
The number of patients diagnosed with hereditary hemolytic anemia (HHA) has increased since the advent of novel diagnostic techniques that accurately identify this disorder. Here, we report data from a survey on the prevalence and characteristics of patients diagnosed with HHA in Korea from 2007 to 2011.
Methods
Information on patients diagnosed with HHA in Korea and their clinical and laboratory results were collected using a survey questionnaire. Globin gene and red blood cell (RBC) enzyme analyses were performed. In addition, we analyzed data collected by pediatricians.
Results
In total, 195 cases of HHA were identified. Etiologies identified for HHA were RBC membranopathies, hemoglobinopathies, and RBC enzymopathies, which accounted for 127 (64%), 39 (19.9%), and 26 (13.3%) cases, respectively. Of the 39 patients with hemoglobinopathies, 26 were confirmed by globin gene analysis, including 20 patients with β-thalassemia minor, 5 patients with α-thalassemia minor, and 1 patient with unstable hemoglobin disease.
Conclusion
The number of patients diagnosed with hemoglobinopathies and RBC enzymopathies has increased considerably since the previous survey on HHA in Korea, dated from 1997 to 2006. This is likely the result of improved diagnostic techniques. Nevertheless, there is still a need for more sensitive diagnostic tests utilizing flow cytometry and for better standardization of test results to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of RBC membranopathies in Korea. Additionally, more accurate assays for the identification of RBC enzymopathies are warranted.
doi:10.5045/br.2013.48.3.211
PMCID: PMC3786282  PMID: 24086942
Congenital hemolytic anemia; Hereditary spherocytosis; Thalassemia; Congenital nonspherocytic anemia
2.  Combined chemotherapy and intra-arterial chemotherapy of retinoblastoma 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(6):254-259.
Purpose
Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common primary malignant intraocular tumor in children. Although systemic chemotherapy has been the primary treatment, intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) represents a new treatment option. Here, we performed alternate systemic chemotherapy and IAC and retrospectively reviewed the efficacy and safety of this approach.
Methods
Patients diagnosed with intraocular RB between January 2000 and December 2011 at Severance Children's Hospital, Yonsei University, were reviewed. Before February 2010, the primary treatment for RB was chemotherapy (non-IAC/CTX). Since February 2010, the primary treatment for RB has been IAC (IAC/CTX). External beam radiotherapy or high-dose chemotherapy were used as "last resort" treatments just prior to enucleation at the time of progression or recurrence during primary treatment. Enucleation-free survival (EFS) and progression-free survival were assessed.
Results
We examined 19 patients (median age, 11.9 months; range, 1.4 to 75.6 months) with a sum of 25 eyes, of which, 60.0% were at advanced Reese Ellsworth (RE) stages. The enucleation rate was 33.3% at early RE stages and 81.8% at advanced RE stages (P=0.028). At 36 months, EFS was significantly higher in the IAC/CTX group than in the non-IAC/CTX group (100% vs. 40.0%, P=0.016). All 5 patients treated with IAC achieved eye preservation, although most patients were at advanced RE stages (IV-V).
Conclusion
Despite the limitation of a small sample size, our work shows that an alternative combined approach using IAC and CTX may be safe and effective for eye preservation in advanced RB.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2013.56.6.254
PMCID: PMC3693044  PMID: 23807892
Retinoblastoma; Combination chemotherapy; Intra-arterial infusion; Eye enucleation
3.  Increasing and Worsening Late Effects in Childhood Cancer Survivors during Follow-up 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(5):755-762.
Recent advances in childhood cancer treatment have increased survival rates to 80%. Two out of three survivors experience late effects (LEs). From a group of 241 survivors previously described, 193 were followed at the long-term follow-up clinic (LTFC) of Severance Hospital in Korea; the presence of LEs was confirmed by oncologists. We reported the change in LEs during 3 yr of follow-up. The median follow-up from diagnosis was 10.4 yr (5.1-26.2 yr). Among 193 survivors, the percentage of patients with at least one LE increased from 63.2% at the initial visit to 75.1% at the most recent visit (P = 0.011). The proportion of patients having multiple LEs and grade 2 or higher LEs increased from the initial visit (P = 0.001 respectively). Forty-eight non-responders to the LTFC were older and had less frequent and severe LEs than responders at initial visit (all P < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, younger age at diagnosis, older age at initial visit, a diagnosis of a brain tumor or lymphoma, and use of radiotherapy were significant risk factors for LEs (all P < 0.05). Adverse changes in LEs were seen among the survivors, regardless of most clinical risk factors. They need to receive comprehensive, long-term follow up.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.5.755
PMCID: PMC3653090  PMID: 23678269
Complications; Health; Late Effects; Morbidity; Neoplasms; Survivors
4.  Two Cases of Wernicke's Encephalopathy in Young Age Patients Receiving Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2012;53(5):1049-1053.
Wernicke's encephalopathy is an acute neurolopsychiatric syndrome caused by thiamine deficiency, and classically presents with the triad of opthalmopathy, ataxia and altered mentality. Both prolonged total parenteral nutrition and reduced oral intake can induce Wernicke's encephalopathy during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Although early treatment is important for recovery from Wernicke's encephalopathy, the vague symptoms and characteristics hinder early diagnosis. Furthermore, Wernicke's encephalopathy is not infrequent and can develop at any age during HSCT. Herein, we present two young patients developing Wernicke's encephalopathy during HSCT.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2012.53.5.1049
PMCID: PMC3423847  PMID: 22869492
Wernicke encephalopathy; thiamine; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
5.  Clinical Results of High-Dose Chemotherapy Followed by Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Advanced Stage Rhabdomyosarcoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(9):1066-1072.
Regardless of improvement in cure of Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the results in treatment of advanced stage of RMS in children are still dismal. Recently, high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (HDC/APBSCT) has been tried to manage the advanced high-risk RMS patients. We investigated the effectiveness of HDC/APBSCT by reviewing the clinical records of high-risk pediatric RMS patients in single institute database. Over twenty years, 37 patients were diagnosed as RMS with high-risk at the time of first diagnosis. These patients were classified as two groups according to treatment method. The first group was HDC/APBSCT and the other was conventional multi-agent chemotherapy group. Differences of clinical results between the two groups were analyzed. The median age of patients was 5 yr, ranging from 6 months to 15 yr. The 5-yr event free survival rate (EFS) of all patients was 24.8% ± 4.8%. HDC/APBSCT group and conventional multi-agent chemotherapy group were 41.3% ± 17.8% and 16.7% ± 7.6% for 5-yr EFS, respectively (P = 0.023). There was a significant difference in the result of HDC/APBSCT between complete remission or very good partial response group and poor response group (50% ± 20.4% vs 37.5% ± 28.6%, P = 0.018). HDC/APBSCT can be a promising treatment modality in high-risk RMS patients.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.9.1066
PMCID: PMC3429825  PMID: 22969254
Rhabdomyosarcoma; Children; Chemotherapy; Bone Marrow Transplantation
6.  Efficacy and safety of deferiprone (Ferriprox), an oral iron-chelating agent, in pediatric patients 
Background
Iron overload is a predictable and life-threatening complication in patients dependent on the regular transfusion of RBCs. The aims of this study were to investigate the efficacy and safety of deferiprone in a variety of pediatric hematologic and/or oncologic patients with a high iron overload.
Methods
Seventeen patients (age: 1.1-20.4 years; median: 10.6 years) from 7 hospitals who were treated with deferiprone from 2006 to 2009 were enrolled in this study. Medical records of enrolled patients were reviewed retrospectively.
Results
Serum ferritin levels were 4,677.8±1,130.9 µg/L at baseline compared to 3,363.9±1,149.7 µg/L at the end of deferiprone treatment (P=0.033). Only 1 patient developed neutropenia as a complication.
Conclusion
Deferiprone treatment is relatively safe for pediatric patients suffering from various hematologic and oncologic diseases that require RBC transfusions as part of treatment. However, the potential development of critical complications such as agranulocytosis and/or neutropenia remains a concern.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.1.58
PMCID: PMC2983007  PMID: 21120164
Deferiprone; Iron overload; Transfusion; Neutropenia
7.  Clinical Role of Bone Marrow Angiogenesis in Childhood Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2007;48(2):171-175.
Purpose
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) are associated with increased angiogenesis, growth, and metastasis in solid tumors. But, until today, the importance of theses factors on leukemia, especially childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) has received limited attention. Therefore, this study examined the bone marrow plasma VEGF and bFGF levels in ALL patients and normal controls.
Patients and Methods
Bone marrow plasmas at diagnosis from 33 ALL patients (median age 5.9 years; range 1.8-13.9 years) were used for analysis. The bone marrow levels of bFGF and VEGF were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (R&D Systems) and compared with the bone marrow levels of 7 healthy control subjects (median age 11.98 years; 6 months -13.6 years).
Results
Average VEGF was higher in relapse ALL (N=7, 216.6±79.9pg/mL) compared to standard (N=9, 36.8±12.1pg/mL) (p=0.013) or high risk ALL (N=17, 80.0±12.2pg/mL) (p=0.023). bFGF levels were also significantly higher in relapse than standard-, or high-risk ALL patients (relapse ALL; 48.6±15.4pg/mL, standard risk ALL; 18.9±5.5pg/mL, high risk ALL; 19.0±3.5pg/mL, normal control; 18.6±4.0pg/mL) (p=0.003). Three patients with refractory relapse and death had much higher VEGF and bFGF values (VEGF; 420.0±81.6pg/mL, bFGF; 85.6±3.2pg/mL).
Conclusion
Our data suggest that the increased levels of VEGF and bFGF in bone marrow may play an important role in prognosis of childhood ALL.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2007.48.2.171
PMCID: PMC2628125  PMID: 17461513
Angiogenesis factor; child; acute lymphocytic leukemia
8.  Autologous stem cell transplantation for the treatment of neuroblastoma in Korea. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2003;18(2):242-247.
Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma (NBL) is an accepted method for restoring bone marrow depression after high dose chemotherapy. We retrospectively analyzed eighty eight cases of NBL that underwent ASCT following marrow ablative therapy at 12 transplant centers of the Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology between January 1996 and September 2000. Seventy nine children were of stage IV NBL and 9 were of stage III with N-myc amplification. Various cytoreductive regimens were used. However, the main regimen was 'CEM' consisting of carboplatin, etoposide and melphalan, and this was used in 66 patients. Total body irradiation was also added in 36 patients for myeloablation. To reduce tumor cell contamination, stem cell infusions after CD34+ cell selection were performed in 16 patients. Post-transplantation therapies included the second transplantation in 18 patients, interleukin2 therapy in 45, 13-cis retinoic acid in 40, 131-meta-iodobenzylguanidine in 4, conventional chemotherapy in 11, and local radiotherapy in 8. Twenty two patients died, sixty six patients are surviving 1 to 46 months after ASCT (median followup duration, 14.5 months). Although the follow-up period was short and the number of patients small, we believe that ASCT might improve the survival rate in high-risk NBL.
PMCID: PMC3055035  PMID: 12692423
9.  Clinical and hematologic manifestations in patients with Diamond Blackfan anemia in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):131-135.
Background
Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), characterized by impaired red cell production, is a rare condition that is usually symptomatic in early infancy. The purpose of this study was to assess nationwide experiences of DBA encountered over a period of 20 years.
Methods
The medical records of 56 patients diagnosed with DBA were retrospectively reviewed from November 1984 to July 2010. Fifteen institutions, including 13 university hospitals, participated in this study.
Results
The male-to-female ratio of patients with DBA was 1.67:1. The median age of diagnosis was 4 months, and 74.1% were diagnosed before 1 year of age. From 2000 to 2009, annual incidence was 6.6 cases per million. Excluding growth retardation, 38.2% showed congenital defects: thumb deformities, ptosis, coarctation of aorta, ventricular septal defect, strabismus, etc. The mean hemoglobin concentration was 5.1±1.9 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume was 93.4±11.6 fL, and mean number of reticulocytes was 19,700/mm3. The mean cellularity of bone marrow was 75%, with myeloid:erythroid ratio of 20.4:1. After remission, 48.9% of patients did not need further steroids. Five patients with DBA who received hematopoietic transplantation have survived. Cancer developed in 2 cases (3.6%).
Conclusion
The incidence of DBA is similar to data already published, but our study had a male predilection. Although all patients responded to initial treatment with steroids, about half needed further steroids after remission. It is necessary to collect further data, including information regarding management pathways, from nationwide DBA registries, along with data on molecular analyses.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.131
PMCID: PMC3389062  PMID: 22783360
Diamond Blackfan anemia; Anemia; Congenital defects
10.  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

Results 1-10 (10)