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1.  Preoperative CA 125 is significant indicator of curative resection in gastric cancer patients 
AIM: To investigate the correlation among tumor markers, curative resection, and recurrence in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The patients with preoperative tumor makers [Carcinoembryonic antigen, Carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9, and CA 125] and elective gastrectomy between January 2000 and December 2009 at Chungbuk National University Hospital were enrolled in this study. We analyzed the relationship among the tumor makers, curative resection and recurrence, retrospectively.
RESULTS: Among the 679 patients with gastric cancer, curative resection was 93.6% (n = 636) and non-curative resection was 6.4% (n = 43). The independent risk factors for the non-curative resection were tumor location and the positivity of preoperative serum CA 19-9 and CA 125 levels. After curative resection, the independent prognostic risk factors for recurrence in curative resection were gender, stage, and preoperative increased serum CA 125 level (HR = 2.431, P =0.020), in a multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSION: Preoperative CA 125 is a useful predictive biomarker for curative resection and prognostic biomarker for recurrence in gastric cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4306166  PMID: 25632195
Gastric Cancer; Tumor Marker; Carcinoembryonic antigen; Carbohydrate antigen 19-9; Carbohydrate antigen 125
2.  Endoscopy for Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding 
Clinical Endoscopy  2014;47(4):315-319.
Endoscopy for acute nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding plays an important role in primary diagnosis and management, particularly with respect to identification of high-risk stigmata lesions and to providing endoscopic hemostasis to reduce the risk of rebleeding and mortality. Early endoscopy, defined as endoscopy within the first 24 hours after presentation, improves patient outcome and reduces the length of hospitalization when compared with delayed endoscopy. Various endoscopic hemostatic methods are available, including injection therapy, mechanical therapy, and thermal coagulation. Either single treatment with mechanical or thermal therapy or a treatment that combines more than one type of therapy are effective and safe for peptic ulcer bleeding. Newly developed methods, such as Hemospray powder and over-the-scope clips, may provide additional options. Appropriate decisions and specific treatment are needed depending upon the conditions.
PMCID: PMC4130885  PMID: 25133117
Nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding; Hemostasis; Endoscopy
3.  A Novel Germline Mutation in Exon 10 of the SMAD4 Gene in a Familial Juvenile Polyposis 
Gut and Liver  2013;7(6):747-751.
Familial juvenile polyposis (FJP) is a rare autosomal dominant hereditary disorder that is characterized by the development of multiple distinct juvenile polyps in the gastrointestinal tract and an increased risk of cancer. Recently, germline mutations, including mutations in the SMAD4, BMPR1A, PTEN and, possibly, ENG genes, have been found in patients with juvenile polyps. We herein report a family with juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) with a novel germline mutation in the SMAD4 gene. A 21-year-old man presented with rectal bleeding and was found to have multiple polyps in his stomach, small bowel, and colon. His mother had a history of gastrectomy for multiple gastric polyps with anemia and a history of colectomy for colon cancer. A review of the histology of the polyps revealed juvenile polyps in both patients. Subsequently, mutation screening in DNA samples from the patients revealed a germline mutation in the SMAD4 gene. The pair had a novel mutation in exon 10 (stop codon at tyrosine 413). To our knowledge, this mutation has not been previously described. Careful family history collection and genetic screening in JPS patients are needed to identify FJP, and regular surveillance is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3848546  PMID: 24312718
Familial juvenile polyposis; Mutation; SMAD4; Exon 10
4.  Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Korean Patient With Crohn's Disease Following Early Use of Infliximab 
Intestinal Research  2014;12(4):281-286.
Several recent studies have reported that the early use of infliximab (IFX) improves the prognosis of Crohn's disease (CD). However, no data are available from Asian populations, as the forementioned studies have all been conducted in Western countries. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the impact of early use of IFX on the prognosis of Korean patients with CD.
Patients with a diagnosis of CD established between July 1987 and January 2012 were investigated in 12 university hospitals in Korea. Because insurance coverage for IFX treatment began in August 2005, patients were assigned to either of 2 groups based on diagnosis date. The first group included patients diagnosed from July 1987 to December 2005, and the second from January 2006 to January 2012. We compared the cumulative probabilities of operation and reoperation between the two groups using the Kaplan-Meier method and a log-rank test.
Of the 721 patients investigated, 443 (61.4%) comprized the second group. Although the cumulative probabilities of immunosuppressant (P<0.001) and IFX use (P<0.001) after diagnosis were significantly higher in the second group, there were no significant differences in cumulative probabilities of operation (P=0.905) or reoperation (P=0.418) between two groups.
The early use of IFX did not reduce CD-related surgery requirements in Korean patients with CD. These study results suggest that the early use of IFX may have little impact on the clinical outcome of CD in Korean patients in the setting of a conventional step-up algorithm.
PMCID: PMC4214954  PMID: 25374493
Crohn disease; Infliximab; Prognosis
5.  Podoplanin, α-Smooth Muscle Actin or S100A4 Expressing Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Are Associated with Different Prognosis in Colorectal Cancers 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(9):1293-1301.
The interactions between the tumor microenvironment and tumor cells determine the behavior of the primary tumors. Whether cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) have a tumor progressive or a protective role likely depends on the type of tumor cells and the CAF subpopulation. In the present study, we analyzed the prognostic significance of CAF subpopulations in colorectal cancer (CRC). CAF phenotypes were analyzed in 302 CRC patients by using antibodies against podoplanin (PDPN), α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and S100A4. The relationship between the CAF phenotypes and 11 clinicopathological parameters were evaluated and their prognostic significance was analyzed from the disease-free and overall survival times. We observed that at the tumor invasive front, PDPN CAFs were present in 40% of the cases, and S100A4 or α-SMA CAFs were detected in all the cases. PDPN/S100A4 and α-SMA/S100A4 dual-stained CAFs were observed in 10% and 40% of the cases, respectively. The PDPN+ CAFs were associated with 6 favorable clinicopathological parameters and prolonged disease-free survival time. The PDPN-/α-SMAhigh CAFs were associated with 6 aggressive clinicopathological parameters and tended to exhibit shorter disease-free survival time. On the other hand, the PDPN-/S100A4high CAFs were associated with 2 tumor progression parameters, but not with disease prognosis. The PDPN+ CAF phenotype is distinct from the α-SMA or S100A4 CAFs in that it is associated with less aggressive tumors and a favorable prognosis, whereas the PDPN-/α-SMAhigh or PDPN-/S100A4high CAFs are associated with tumor progression in CRC. These findings suggest that CAFs can be a useful prognostic biomarker or potential targets of anti-cancer therapy in CRC.
PMCID: PMC3763102  PMID: 24015033
Cancer-Associated Fibroblast; Podoplanin; α-Smooth Muscle Actin; S100A4; Colorectal Neoplasms
6.  Combined aberrant expression of E-cadherin and S100A4, but not β-catenin is associated with disease-free survival and overall survival in colorectal cancer patients 
Diagnostic Pathology  2013;8:99.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancers is related to metastasis, recurrence, and poor prognosis. We evaluated whether EMT-related proteins can act as prognostic biomarkers in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients.
We evaluated the expression of E-cadherin, β-catenin, and S100A4 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 333 CRC tissues from the tumor center and invasive margin. Tumor budding, cell grade, tumor stage, type of tumor growth, peritumoral lymphocyte infiltration (TLI), and perineural- or lymphovascular invasion were evaluated as pathological parameters. mRNA levels of E-cadherin, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and S100A4 from 68 specimens from the same set were analyzed by real time quantitative RT-PCR.
Loss of E-cadherin, nuclear β-catenin, and gain of S100A4 were higher in the invasive margin than in the tumor center. Loss of E-cadherin was associated with cell grade, macroscopic type, perineural invasion, and tumor budding, β-catenin with microsatellite instability and tumor site, and S100A4 with growth type, macroscopic type, AJCC stage, lymphovascular invasion, and perineural invasion. The aberrant expression of E-cadherin and S100A4 not β-catenin in the invasive margin was a significant and independent risk factor for disease-free and overall-survival by multivariate analysis, along with AJCC stage and perineural invasion. mRNA levels of β-catenin and S100A4 were correlated with the IHC findings at the tumor invasive margin. E-cadherin and N-cadherin showed a weak inverse correlation.
The combination of loss of E-cadherin and gain of S100A4 in the tumor invasive margin can be used to stratify patients with the same AJCC stage into different survival groups.
Virtual slides
The virtual slides for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC3728147  PMID: 23783026
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition; E-cadherin; β-catenin; S100A4; Tumor budding; Colorectal cancer
7.  Polymeric Nanoparticle-Based Activatable Near-Infrared Nanosensor for Protease Determination In Vivo 
Nano letters  2009;9(12):4412-4416.
We report here a new protease activatable strategy based on a polymer nanoparticle platform. This nanosensor delivers chemically labeled matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-activatable fluorogenic peptides to the specific MMPs of interest in vivo. Intravenous administration of the nanosensor in an MMP-positive SCC-7 xenograft tumor and a colon cancer mouse model verified the enzyme specificity of the nanosensor in vivo. The design platform of the nanosensor is flexible and can be fine-tuned for a wide array of applications such as the detection of biomarkers, early diagnosis of disease, and monitoring therapeutic efficacy.
PMCID: PMC3618996  PMID: 19842672
8.  High efficacy of adefovir and entecavir combination therapy in patients with nucleoside-refractory hepatitis B 
Newly developed and potent antiviral agents suffer from the problem of drug resistance. Multidrug resistance is a major impediment in the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). In line with American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases guidelines, adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) add-on therapy is recommended in the case of lamivudine resistance, while tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is recommended for ADV or entecavir (ETV) resistance. TDF is currently not available in Korea. ADV+ETV combination therapy may be a viable alternative to TDF in patients with either ADV or ETV resistance. However, the efficacy of ADV+ETV combination therapy in patients with CHB and multidrug resistance is unclear. This study investigated the efficacy of ADV+ETV combination therapy in patients with multidrug resistance.
Twenty-five patients were enrolled and were administered ADV+ETV combination therapy for at least 6 months. Blood was drawn at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after commencing treatment, and the following blood parameters were analyzed: alanine transaminase, hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg), anti-hepatitis B e-antigen, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels. The initial virological response (IVR) was defined as an HBV DNA level of <4 log10 copies/mL after 6 months of combination therapy.
The IVR rate was 76%. The proportion of patients with a high viral load (≥5.0 log) dropped from 76% at baseline to only 5% after 6 months of treatment. The biochemical response rate during the first 6 months was 71%. HBeAg was lost in 2 patients (10%).
ADV+ETV combination therapy induced a good IVR in CHB patients who were refractory to more than 2 antiviral agents. This regimen may be a good alternative to TDF in Korea, where that drug is not available.
PMCID: PMC3326991  PMID: 22511906
Adefovir; Entecavir; Combination drug therapy; Drug resistance; Treatment efficacy
10.  Comparison of Midazolam Alone versus Midazolam Plus Propofol during Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection 
Clinical Endoscopy  2011;44(1):22-26.
For proper sedation during endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), propofol has been widely used. This study aimed to compare the levels of sedation and tolerance of patients treated with midazolam (M group) and a combination of midazolam and propofol (MP group) during ESD.
A total of 44 consecutive patients undergoing ESD were randomly assigned to the two groups. In the M group, 2 mg of midazolam was given repeatedly to maintain after a loading dose of 5 mg. The MP group initially received 5 mg of midazolam and 20 mg of propofol. Then, we increased the dosage of propofol by 20 mg gradually.
The average amount of midazolam was 12 mg in the M group. In the M group, 10 patients were given propofol additionally, since they failed to achieve proper sedation. The average amount of propofol was 181 mg in the MP group. Procedure time, vital signs and rates of complications were not significantly different between two groups. Movement of patients and discomfort were lower in the MP group.
During ESD, treatment with propofol and a low dose of midazolam for sedation provides greater satisfaction for endoscopists compared to midazolam alone.
PMCID: PMC3363047  PMID: 22741108
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Sedation; Midazolam; Propofol
11.  Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging Using a Protease-Specific Probe for the Detection of Colon Tumors 
Gut and Liver  2010;4(4):488-497.
Early tumor detection is crucial for the prevention of colon cancer. Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging using a target-activatable probe may permit earlier disease detection. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) participate in tumorigenesis and tumor growth. The aim of this study was to determine whether NIRF imaging using an MMP-activatable probe can detect colon tumors at early stages.
We utilized two murine colon cancer models: a sporadic colon cancer model induced by azoxymethane (AOM), and a colitis-associated cancer model induced by a combination of AOM and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Colonic lesions were analyzed by histologic examination, Western blotting, immunohistochemical staining, and NIRF imaging using an MMP-activatable probe.
Multiple variable-sized tumors developed in both models and progressed from adenomas to adenocarcinomas over time. At the early stage of the AOM/DSS model, diffuse inflammation was observed within the tumors. MMP expression increased progressively through normal, inflammation, adenoma, and adenocarcionoma stages. NIRF signal intensities were strongly correlated with each tumor stage from adenoma to adenocarcinoma. NIRF imaging also distinguished tumors from inflamed mucosa.
NIRF imaging using a protease-activatable probe may be a useful tool for early tumor detection. This approach could translate to improve the endoscopic detection of colon tumors, especially in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
PMCID: PMC3021604  PMID: 21253297
Colon cancer; Inflammatory bowel disease; Near-infrared fluorescence; Matrix metalloproteinases
12.  Prospective Randomized Trial of Six-Month versus Nine-Month Therapy for Intestinal Tuberculosis▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2009;53(10):4167-4171.
Intestinal tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a common disease worldwide. However, the optimal duration of anti-TB medication has not been well established. We therefore compared the efficacy of 6-month and 9-month therapy in the treatment of intestinal TB. Ninety patients definitely diagnosed with intestinal TB were randomized into 6-month (n = 45) or 9-month (n = 45) treatment groups, prospectively. The primary end point was complete response, defined as endoscopic healing of active lesions. Patients were followed up monthly for 3 months after therapy initiation, then every 3 months until the end of therapy, and finally 1 year later. Relapse was assessed 1 year after the end of therapy by patient interview and colonoscopy. Baseline characteristics were similar in the 6-month and 9-month groups. Intention-to-treat analysis revealed no significant differences between the two groups in complete response (6-month group, 93.3%; 9-month group, 91.1%; P = 1.00) or recurrence rate (6-month group, 2.4%; 9-month group, 0.0%; P = 1.00). Median follow-up duration was 39 months in the 6-month group and 32 months in the 9-month group. No surgery was performed on any patient in either group. In conclusion, the 6-month therapy was as effective as 9-month therapy in patients with intestinal TB and may have the additional benefits of reduced treatment cost and increased compliance.
PMCID: PMC2764179  PMID: 19667282
13.  Double Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma: A Korean Single Center Study 
Although high dose chemotherapy coupled with an autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is widely accepted as effective therapy for multiple myeloma (MM), few reports are available in Korea, especially in the area of double ASCT. We present the results of an institutional retrospective study of 12 patients with MM treated by double ASCT.
Eligible patients received induction therapy using vincristine, adriamycin, dexamethasone (VAD), and mobilization was performed using cyclophosphamide plus lenograstim. High-dose melphalan (total 200 mg/m2) was used to condition the ASCT.
The median interval from diagnosis to ASCT was 6 months (range, 1.8-15.3 months). The median interval between the 1st and 2nd ASCT was 4.4 months (range 2.1-48.7 months). The median follow up was 18.3 months (range 8.1-50.5 months) for the nine surviving patients. No therapy-related mortality occurred. Following induction chemotherapy, two patients experienced CR. Following double ASCT, eight patients experienced CR. The 5 year OS was 59%. The median duration of event free survival was 2.13 years (95% CI, 0.84-3.42).
Although the results of study did not demonstrate the advantage of double ASCT, this is the first report to outline the outcome of double ASCT for Korean MM patients.
PMCID: PMC3891159  PMID: 16295783
Multiple myeloma; Autologous; Stem cell transplantation

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