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1.  Outcomes in RBC transfusion-dependent patients with Low-/Intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with isolated deletion 5q treated with lenalidomide: a subset analysis from the MDS-004 study 
European Journal of Haematology  2014;93(5):429-438.
Objective
A subset analysis of the randomised, phase 3, MDS-004 study to evaluate outcomes in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS)-defined Low-/Intermediate (Int)-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with isolated del(5q).
Methods
Patients received lenalidomide 10 mg/d (days 1–21; n = 47) or 5 mg/d (days 1–28; n = 43) on 28-d cycles or placebo (n = 45). From the placebo and lenalidomide 5 mg groups, 84% and 58% of patients, respectively, crossed over to lenalidomide 5 or 10 mg at 16 wk, respectively.
Results
Rates of red blood cell-transfusion independence (RBC-TI) ≥182 d were higher in the lenalidomide 10 mg (57.4%; P < 0.0001) and 5 mg (37.2%; P = 0.0001) groups vs. placebo (2.2%). Cytogenetic response rates (major + minor responses) were 56.8% (P < 0.0001), 23.1% (P = 0.0299) and 0%, respectively. Two-year cumulative risk of acute myeloid leukaemia progression was 12.6%, 17.4% and 16.7% in the lenalidomide 10 mg, 5 mg, and placebo groups, respectively. In a 6-month landmark analysis, overall survival was longer in lenalidomide-treated patients with RBC-TI ≥182 d vs. non-responders (P = 0.0072). The most common grade 3–4 adverse event was myelosuppression.
Conclusions
These data support the clinical benefits and acceptable safety profile of lenalidomide in transfusion-dependent patients with IPSS-defined Low-/Int-1-risk MDS with isolated del(5q).
doi:10.1111/ejh.12380
PMCID: PMC4232868  PMID: 24813620
acute myeloid leukaemia; del(5q); lenalidomide; myelodysplastic syndromes; transfusion independence
2.  Role of Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation in Older Patients With De Novo Myelodysplastic Syndromes: An International Collaborative Decision Analysis 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(21):2662-2670.
Purpose
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal hematopoietic disorders that are more common in patients aged ≥ 60 years and are incurable with conventional therapies. Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation is potentially curative but has additional mortality risk. We evaluated RIC transplantation versus nontransplantation therapies in older patients with MDS stratified by International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) risk.
Patients and Methods
A Markov decision model with quality-of-life utility estimates for different MDS and transplantation states was assessed. Outcomes were life expectancy (LE) and quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). A total of 514 patients with de novo MDS aged 60 to 70 years were evaluated. Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, isolated 5q– syndrome, unclassifiable, and therapy-related MDS were excluded. Transplantation using T-cell depletion or HLA-mismatched or umbilical cord donors was also excluded. RIC transplantation (n = 132) stratified by IPSS risk was compared with best supportive care for patients with nonanemic low/intermediate-1 IPSS (n = 123), hematopoietic growth factors for patients with anemic low/intermediate-1 IPSS (n = 94), and hypomethylating agents for patients with intermediate-2/high IPSS (n = 165).
Results
For patients with low/intermediate-1 IPSS MDS, RIC transplantation LE was 38 months versus 77 months with nontransplantation approaches. QALE and sensitivity analysis did not favor RIC transplantation across plausible utility estimates. For intermediate-2/high IPSS MDS, RIC transplantation LE was 36 months versus 28 months for nontransplantation therapies. QALE and sensitivity analysis favored RIC transplantation across plausible utility estimates.
Conclusion
For patients with de novo MDS aged 60 to 70 years, favored treatments vary with IPSS risk. For low/intermediate-1 IPSS, nontransplantation approaches are preferred. For intermediate-2/high IPSS, RIC transplantation offers overall and quality-adjusted survival benefit.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.46.8652
PMCID: PMC3825320  PMID: 23797000
3.  Efficacy of azacitidine compared with that of conventional care regimens in the treatment of higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes: a randomised, open-label, phase III study 
The lancet oncology  2009;10(3):223-232.
Summary
Background
Drug treatments for patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes provide no survival advantage. In this trial, we aimed to assess the effect of azacitidine on overall survival compared with the three commonest conventional care regimens.
Methods
In a phase III, international, multicentre, controlled, parallel-group, open-label trial, patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes were randomly assigned one-to-one to receive azacitidine (75 mg/m² per day for 7 days every 28 days) or conventional care (best supportive care, low-dose cytarabine, or intensive chemotherapy as selected by investigators before randomisation). Patients were stratified by French–American–British and international prognostic scoring system classifications; randomisation was done with a block size of four. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Efficacy analyses were by intention to treat for all patients assigned to receive treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00071799.
Findings
Between Feb 13, 2004, and Aug 7, 2006, 358 patients were randomly assigned to receive azacitidine (n=179) or conventional care regimens (n=179). Four patients in the azacitidine and 14 in the conventional care groups received no study drugs but were included in the intention-to-treat efficacy analysis. After a median follow-up of 21·1 months (IQR 15·1–26·9), median overall survival was 24·5 months (9·9–not reached) for the azacitidine group versus 15·0 months (5·6–24·1) for the conventional care group (hazard ratio 0·58; 95% CI 0·43–0·77; stratified log-rank p=0·0001). At last follow-up, 82 patients in the azacitidine group had died compared with 113 in the conventional care group. At 2 years, on the basis of Kaplan-Meier estimates, 50·8% (95% CI 42·1–58·8) of patients in the azacitidine group were alive compared with 26·2% (18·7–34·3) in the conventional care group (p<0·0001). Peripheral cytopenias were the most common grade 3–4 adverse events for all treatments.
Interpretation
Treatment with azacitidine increases overall survival in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes relative to conventional care.
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70003-8
PMCID: PMC4086808  PMID: 19230772
4.  A mutation in the H/ACA box of telomerase RNA component gene (TERC) in a young patient with myelodysplastic syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2014;15:68.
Background
Telomeres are repeated sequences (the hexanucleotide TTAGGG in vertebrates) located at chromosome ends of eukaryotes, protecting DNA from end joining or degradation. Telomeres become shorter with each cell cycle, but telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein complex, alleviates this attrition. The telomerase RNA component (TERC) is an essential element of telomerase, serving as a template for telomere elongation. The H/ACA domain of TERC is indispensable for telomere biogenesis. Mutations in the telomerase components allow accelerated telomere loss, resulting in various disease manifestations, including bone marrow failure. To date, this is the first detailed report of an H-box mutation in TERC that is related to human disease.
Case presentation
A 26-year-old man with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) had very short telomeres. Sequencing identified a single heterozygous mutation in the H box of the patient’s TERC gene. The same mutation was also present in his father and his son, demonstrating that it was germline in origin. The telomere length in the father’s blood was shorter compared to age-matched healthy controls, while it was normal in the son and also in the sperm cells of the patient. In vitro experiments suggested that the mutation was responsible for the telomere shortening in the patient’s leukocytes and contributed to the pathogenesis of bone marrow failure in our patient.
Conclusion
We analyzed a mutation (A377G) in the H box of TERC in a young MDS patient who had significantly short-for-age telomeres. As telomeres protect chromosomes from instability, it is highly plausible that this genetic lesion was responsible for the patient’s hematological manifestations, including marrow failure and aneuploidy in the hematopoietic stem cell compartment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-15-68
PMCID: PMC4073180  PMID: 24948335
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); Telomerase RNA component (TERC); H/ACA box; Southern blotting; Single Telomere Elongation Length Analysis (STELA); RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA FISH)
5.  Continued Azacitidine Therapy Beyond Time of First Response Improves Quality of Response in Patients With Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes 
Cancer  2011;117(12):2697-2702.
BACKGROUND
In the AZA-001 trial, azacitidine (75 mg/m2/d subcutaneously for Days 1–7 of every 28-day cycle) demonstrated improved survival compared with conventional care regimens in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System-defined intermediate-2- or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and World Health Organizationdefined acute myeloid leukemia with 20% to 30% bone marrow blasts.
METHODS
This secondary analysis of the AZA-001 phase 3 study evaluated the time to first response and the potential benefit of continued azacitidine treatment beyond first response in responders.
RESULTS
Overall, 91 of 179 patients achieved a response to azacitidine; responding patients received a median of 14 treatment cycles (range, 2–30). Median time to first response was 2 cycles (range, 1–16). Although 91% of first responses occurred by 6 cycles, continued azacitidine improved response category in 48% of patients. Best response was achieved by 92% of responders by 12 cycles. Median time from first response to best response was 3.5 cycles (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.0–6.0) in 30 patients who ultimately achieved a complete response, and 3.0 cycles (95% CI, 1.0–3.0) in 21 patients who achieved a partial response.
CONCLUSIONS
Continued azacitidine therapy in responders was associated with a quantitative increase in response to a higher response category in 48% of patients, and therefore may enhance clinical benefit in patients with higher-risk MDS.
doi:10.1002/cncr.25774
PMCID: PMC4000012  PMID: 21656747
azacitidine; myelodysplastic syndrome; quality of response; higher-risk disease; treatment duration
6.  Management and supportive care measures for adverse events in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes treated with azacitidine* 
European journal of haematology  2010;85(2):130-138.
Objective
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) treatment can initially worsen patients’ clinical condition and they may discontinue therapy before achieving benefit. We present previously unpublished data from two large phase III trials describing common adverse events (AEs) associated with azacitidine and methods to manage them.
Methods
In the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 9221 study, patients with any French-American-British (FAB) subtype of MDS were randomized to azacitidine or best supportive care (BSC). After 56 d, patients randomized to BSC with disease progression could cross over to receive azacitidine. In the AZA-001 study, patients with higher-risk MDS (FAB-defined refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB), RAEB in transformation, or chronic myelomonocitic leukaemia and IPSS int-2 or high) were randomized to azacitidine or to conventional care regimens (CCR), which included low-dose ara-C, BSC, or intensive chemotherapy. In both studies, azacitidine dose was 75 mg/m2/d SC for 7 d every 28 d. AEs were graded per National Cancer Institute’s Common Toxicity Criteria version 2.0 (AZA-001) or CALGB Expanded CTC (CALGB 9221).
Results
In safety-evaluable patients in AZA-001 (N = 175) or CALGB 9221 (N = 150), the most common AEs with azacitidine included hematologic (eg, cytopenias) and non-hematologic administration-related events (eg, injection-site reactions and gastrointestinal disorders). Most AEs were transient and resolved during ongoing therapy (> 83%). Hematologic AEs, most frequently observed during early treatment cycles, decreased during subsequent cycles and were usually managed with dosing delays (23–29%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were primarily managed with anti-emetics and laxatives.
Conclusion
Hematologic and non-hematologic AEs with azacitidine decreased in frequency as treatment continued. Awareness of the onset, duration and management of AEs can facilitate treatment, permitting patients to continue therapy for maximum benefit.
doi:10.1111/j.1600-0609.2010.01456.x
PMCID: PMC4000014  PMID: 20394651
azacitidine; safety; disease management; myelodysplastic syndromes; adverse drug event
7.  Prolonged survival with improved tolerability in higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes: azacitidine compared with low dose ara-C 
British journal of haematology  2010;149(2):244-249.
Summary
In the phase III AZA-001 trial, low-dose cytarabine (LDara-C), the most widely used low-dose chemotherapy in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who are ineligible for intensive treatment, was found to be associated with poorer survival compared with azacitidine. This analysis further compared the efficacy and the toxicity of these two drug regimens. Before randomization, investigators preselected patients to receive a conventional care regimen, one of which was LDara-C. Of 94 patients preselected to LDara-C, 45 were randomized to azacitidine and 49 to LDara-C. Azacitidine patients had significantly more and longer haematologicalal responses and increased red blood cell transfusion independence. Azacitidine prolonged overall survival versus LDara-C in patients with poor cytogenetic risk, presence of −7/del(7q), and French-American-British subtypes refractory anaemia with excess blasts (RAEB) and RAEB in transformation. When analyzed per patient year of drug exposure, azacitidine treatment was associated with fewer grade 3–4 cytopenias and shorter hospitalisation time than LDara-C in these higher-risk MDS patients.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08082.x
PMCID: PMC4000023  PMID: 20136825
azacitidine; higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes; low-dose cytarabine (ara-C); myelodysplastic syndromes; survival
8.  Effects of azacitidine compared with conventional care regimens in elderly (≥75 years) patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes☆ 
This analysis compared azacitidine (AZA) to conventional care regimens (CCR) and their associated overall survival (OS) and tolerability in the subset of 87 elderly (≥75 years) patients with higher-risk MDS (FAB: RAEB, RAEB-t, CMML and IPSS: Int-2 or High) from the AZA-001 trial. Patients were randomized to AZA (75 mg/m2/day subcutaneously×7 days every 28 days) (n = 38) or CCR (n = 49) and had median ages of 78 and 77 years, respectively. AZA significantly improved OS vs CCR (HR: 0.48 [95%CI: 0.26, 0.89]; p = 0.0193) and 2-year OS rates were 55% vs 15% (p < 0.001), respectively. AZA was generally well tolerated compared with CCR, which was primarily best supportive care (67%). Grade 3–4 anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia with AZA vs CCR were 13% vs 4%, 61% vs 17%, and 50% vs 30%, respectively. Given this efficacy and tolerability, AZA should be considered the treatment of choice in patients aged ≥75 years with good performance status and higher-risk MDS.
doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2010.04.005
PMCID: PMC4000027  PMID: 20451404
Azacitidine; Low-dose ara-C; Elderly; Myelodysplastic syndromes; MDS; Acute myeloid leukemia; AML; Survival
9.  Longterm follow-up in European respiratory health studies – patterns and implications 
Background
Selection bias is a systematic error in epidemiologic studies that may seriously distort true measures of associations between exposure and disease. Observational studies are highly susceptible to selection bias, and researchers should therefore always examine to what extent selection bias may be present in their material and what characterizes the bias in their material. In the present study we examined long-term participation and consequences of loss to follow-up in the studies Respiratory Health in Northern Europe (RHINE), Italian centers of European Community Respiratory Health Survey (I-ECRHS), and the Italian Study on Asthma in Young Adults (ISAYA).
Methods
Logistic regression identified predictors for follow-up participation. Baseline prevalence of 9 respiratory symptoms (asthma attack, asthma medication, combined variable with asthma attack and/or asthma medication, wheeze, rhinitis, wheeze with dyspnea, wheeze without cold, waking with chest tightness, waking with dyspnea) and 9 exposure-outcome associations (predictors sex, age and smoking; outcomes wheeze, asthma and rhinitis) were compared between all baseline participants and long-term participants. Bias was measured as ratios of relative frequencies and ratios of odds ratios (ROR).
Results
Follow-up response rates after 10 years were 75% in RHINE, 64% in I-ECRHS and 53% in ISAYA. After 20 years of follow-up, response was 53% in RHINE and 49% in I-ECRHS. Female sex predicted long-term participation (in RHINE OR (95% CI) 1.30(1.22, 1.38); in I-ECRHS 1.29 (1.11, 1.50); and in ISAYA 1.42 (1.25, 1.61)), as did increasing age. Baseline prevalence of respiratory symptoms were lower among long-term participants (relative deviations compared to total baseline population 0-15% (RHINE), 0-48% (I-ECRHS), 3-20% (ISAYA)), except rhinitis which had a slightly higher prevalence. Most exposure-outcome associations did not differ between long-term participants and all baseline participants, except lower OR for rhinitis among ISAYA long-term participating smokers (relative deviation 17% (smokers) and 44% (10–20 pack years)).
Conclusions
We found comparable patterns of long-term participation and loss to follow-up in RHINE, I-ECRHS and ISAYA. Baseline prevalence estimates for long-term participants were slightly lower than for the total baseline population, while exposure-outcome associations were mainly unchanged by loss to follow-up.
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-63
PMCID: PMC4021078  PMID: 24739530
10.  The transporter ABCB7 is a mediator of the phenotype of acquired refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts 
Leukemia  2012;27(4):889-896.
Refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts (RARS) is characterized by mitochondrial ferritin (FTMT) accumulation and markedly suppressed expression of the iron transporter ABCB7. To test the hypothesis that ABCB7 is a key mediator of ineffective erythropoiesis of RARS, we modulated its expression in hematopoietic cells. ABCB7 up and down-regulation did not influence growth and survival of K562 cells. In normal bone marrow, ABCB7 down-regulation reduced erythroid differentiation, growth, and colony formation, and resulted in a gene expression pattern similar to that observed in intermediate RARS erythroblasts, and in the accumulation of FTMT. Importantly, forced ABCB7 expression restored erythroid colony growth and decreased FTMT expression level in RARS CD34+ marrow cells. Mutations in the SF3B1 gene, a core component of the RNA splicing machinery, were recently identified in a high proportion of patients with RARS and eleven of the thirteen RARS patients in this study carried this mutation. Interestingly, ABCB7 exon usage differed between NBM and RARS, as well as within the RARS cohort. In addition, SF3B1 silencing resulted in down-regulation of ABCB7 in K562 cells undergoing erythroid differentiation. Our findings support that ABCB7 is implicated in the phenotype of acquired RARS and suggest a relation between SF3B1 mutations and ABCB7 down-regulation.
doi:10.1038/leu.2012.298
PMCID: PMC3794445  PMID: 23070040
Acquired sideroblastic anemia; RARS; ABCB7; SF3B1; iron sulfur cluster biogenesis; mitochondrial ferritin (FTMT)
12.  Cooperativity of imprinted genes inactivated by acquired chromosome 20q deletions 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(5):2169-2182.
Large regions of recurrent genomic loss are common in cancers; however, with a few well-characterized exceptions, how they contribute to tumor pathogenesis remains largely obscure. Here we identified primate-restricted imprinting of a gene cluster on chromosome 20 in the region commonly deleted in chronic myeloid malignancies. We showed that a single heterozygous 20q deletion consistently resulted in the complete loss of expression of the imprinted genes L3MBTL1 and SGK2, indicative of a pathogenetic role for loss of the active paternally inherited locus. Concomitant loss of both L3MBTL1 and SGK2 dysregulated erythropoiesis and megakaryopoiesis, 2 lineages commonly affected in chronic myeloid malignancies, with distinct consequences in each lineage. We demonstrated that L3MBTL1 and SGK2 collaborated in the transcriptional regulation of MYC by influencing different aspects of chromatin structure. L3MBTL1 is known to regulate nucleosomal compaction, and we here showed that SGK2 inactivated BRG1, a key ATP-dependent helicase within the SWI/SNF complex that regulates nucleosomal positioning. These results demonstrate a link between an imprinted gene cluster and malignancy, reveal a new pathogenetic mechanism associated with acquired regions of genomic loss, and underline the complex molecular and cellular consequences of “simple” cancer-associated chromosome deletions.
doi:10.1172/JCI66113
PMCID: PMC3635733  PMID: 23543057
13.  Long-term survival in patients hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective observational study in the Nordic countries 
Background and aim
Mortality rate is high in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Our aim was to investigate long-term mortality and associated risk factors in COPD patients previously hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation.
Methods
A total of 256 patients from the Nordic countries were followed for 8.7 ± 0.4 years after the index hospitalization in 2000–2001. Prior to discharge, the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire was administered and data on therapy and comorbidities were obtained. Information on long-term mortality was obtained from national registries in each of the Nordic countries.
Results
In total, 202 patients (79%) died during the follow up period, whereas 54 (21%) were still alive. Primary cause of death was respiratory (n = 116), cardiovascular (n = 43), malignancy (n = 28), other (n = 10), or unknown (n = 5). Mortality was related to older age, with a hazard risk ratio (HRR) of 1.75 per 10 years, lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (HRR 0.80), body mass index (BMI) <20 kg/m2 (HRR 3.21), and diabetes (HRR 3.02). Older age, lower BMI, and diabetes were related to both respiratory and cardiovascular mortality. An association was also found between lower FEV1 and respiratory mortality, whereas mortality was not significantly associated with therapy, anxiety, or depression.
Conclusion
Almost four out of five patients died within 9 years following an admission for COPD exacerbation. Increased mortality was associated with older age, lower lung function, low BMI, and diabetes, and these factors should be taken into account when making clinical decisions about patients who have been admitted to hospital for a COPD exacerbation.
doi:10.2147/COPD.S34466
PMCID: PMC3459657  PMID: 23055707
acute exacerbation; long-term mortality; co-morbidity; diabetes; lung function
14.  Early life environment and snoring in adulthood 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):63.
Background
To our knowledge, no studies of the possible association of early life environment with snoring in adulthood have been published. We aimed to investigate whether early life environment is associated with snoring later in life.
Methods
A questionnaire including snoring frequency in adulthood and environmental factors in early life was obtained from 16,190 randomly selected men and women, aged 25–54 years, in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Estonia (response rate 74%).
Results
A total of 15,556 subjects answered the questions on snoring. Habitual snoring, defined as loud and disturbing snoring at least 3 nights a week, was reported by 18%. Being hospitalized for a respiratory infection before the age of two years (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.59), suffering from recurrent otitis as a child (OR = 1.18; 95%CI 1.05–1.33), growing up in a large family (OR = 1.04; 95%CI 1.002–1.07) and being exposed to a dog at home as a newborn (OR = 1.26; 95%CI 1.12–1.42) were independently related to snoring later in life and independent of a number of possible confounders in adulthood. The same childhood environmental factors except household size were also related with snoring and daytime sleepiness combined.
Conclusion
The predisposition for adult snoring may be partly established early in life. Having had severe airway infections or recurrent otitis in childhood, being exposed to a dog as a newborn and growing up in a large family are environmental factors associated with snoring in adulthood.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-9-63
PMCID: PMC2536663  PMID: 18721453
15.  Haploinsufficiency of RPS14 in 5q− syndrome is associated with deregulation of ribosomal- and translation-related genes 
British Journal of Haematology  2008;142(1):57-64.
We have previously demonstrated haploinsufficiency of the ribosomal gene RPS14, which is required for the maturation of 40S ribosomal subunits and maps to the commonly deleted region, in the 5q− syndrome. Patients with Diamond-Blackfan anaemia (DBA) show haploinsufficiency of the closely related ribosomal protein RPS19, and show a consequent downregulation of multiple ribosomal- and translation-related genes. By analogy with DBA, we have investigated the expression profiles of a large group of ribosomal- and translation-related genes in the CD34+ cells of 15 myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients with 5q− syndrome, 18 MDS patients with refractory anaemia (RA) and a normal karyotype, and 17 healthy controls. In this three-way comparison, 55 of 579 ribosomal- and translation-related probe sets were found to be significantly differentially expressed, with approximately 90% of these showing lower expression levels in the 5q− syndrome patient group. Using hierarchical clustering, patients with the 5q− syndrome could be separated both from other patients with RA and healthy controls solely on the basis of the deregulated expression of ribosomal- and translation-related genes. Patients with the 5q− syndrome have a defect in the expression of genes involved in ribosome biogenesis and in the control of translation, suggesting that the 5q− syndrome represents a disorder of aberrant ribosome biogenesis.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07178.x
PMCID: PMC2440427  PMID: 18477045
5q− syndrome; RPS14; haploinsufficiency; microarray; ribosomes
16.  The Role of the Iron Transporter ABCB7 in Refractory Anemia with Ring Sideroblasts 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(4):e1970.
Refractory Anemia with Ring Sideroblasts (RARS) is an acquired myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) characterized by an excess iron accumulation in the mitochondria of erythroblasts. The pathogenesis of RARS and the cause of this unusual pattern of iron deposition remain unknown. We considered that the inherited X-linked sideroblastic anemia with ataxia (XLSA/A) might be informative for the acquired disorder, RARS. XLSA/A is caused by partial inactivating mutations of the ABCB7 ATP-binding cassette transporter gene, which functions to enable transport of iron from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm. Furthermore, ABCB7 gene silencing in HeLa cells causes an accumulation of iron in the mitochondria. We have studied the role of ABCB7 in RARS by DNA sequencing, methylation studies, and gene expression studies in primary CD34+ cells and in cultured erythroblasts. The DNA sequence of the ABCB7 gene is normal in patients with RARS. We have investigated ABCB7 gene expression levels in the CD34+ cells of 122 MDS cases, comprising 35 patients with refractory anemia (RA), 33 patients with RARS and 54 patients with RA with excess blasts (RAEB), and in the CD34+ cells of 16 healthy controls. We found that the expression levels of ABCB7 are significantly lower in the RARS group. RARS is thus characterized by lower levels of ABCB7 gene expression in comparison to other MDS subtypes. Moreover, we find a strong relationship between increasing percentage of bone marrow ring sideroblasts and decreasing ABCB7 gene expression levels. Erythroblast cell cultures confirm the low levels of ABCB7 gene expression levels in RARS. These data provide an important link between inherited and acquired forms of sideroblastic anemia and indicate that ABCB7 is a strong candidate gene for RARS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001970
PMCID: PMC2276313  PMID: 18398482
17.  Mortality in COPD patients discharged from hospital: the role of treatment and co-morbidity 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):109.
Background
The aim of this study was to analyse mortality and associated risk factors, with special emphasis on health status, medications and co-morbidity, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that had been hospitalized for acute exacerbation.
Methods
This prospective study included 416 patients from each of the five Nordic countries that were followed for 24 months. The St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) was administered. Information on treatment and co-morbidity was obtained.
Results
During the follow-up 122 (29.3%) of the 416 patients died. Patients with diabetes had an increased mortality rate [HR = 2.25 (1.28–3.95)]. Other risk factors were advanced age, low FEV1 and lower health status. Patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids and/or long-acting beta-2-agonists had a lower risk of death than patients using neither of these types of treatment.
Conclusion
Mortality was high after COPD admission, with older age, decreased lung function, lower health status and diabetes the most important risk factors. Treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators may be associated with lower mortality in patients with COPD.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-7-109
PMCID: PMC1560381  PMID: 16914029
18.  Reply 
Gut  1989;30(1):142.
PMCID: PMC1378248
19.  EXPRESS study shows significant regional differences in 1-year outcome of extremely preterm infants in Sweden 
Aim
The aim of this study was to investigate differences in mortality up to 1 year of age in extremely preterm infants (before 27 weeks) born in seven Swedish healthcare regions.
Methods
National prospective observational study of consecutively born, extremely preterm infants in Sweden 2004–2007. Mortality was compared between regions. Crude and adjusted odds ratios and 95% CI were calculated.
Results
Among 844 foetuses alive at mother's admission for delivery, regional differences were identified in perinatal mortality for the total group (22–26 weeks) and in the stillbirth and perinatal and 365-day mortality rates for the subgroup born at 22–24 weeks. Among 707 infants born alive, regional differences were found both in mortality before 12 h and in the 365-day mortality rate for the subgroup (22–24 weeks) and for the total group (22–26 weeks). The mortality rates were consistently lower in two healthcare regions. There were no differences in the 365-day mortality rate for infants alive at 12 h or for infants born at 25 weeks. Neonatal morbidity rates among survivors were not higher in regions with better survival rates. Perinatal practices varied between regions.
Conclusion
Mortality rates in extremely preterm infants varied considerably between Swedish healthcare regions in the first year after birth, particularly between the most immature infants.
doi:10.1111/apa.12421
PMCID: PMC4034585  PMID: 24053771
Cohort study; Extremely preterm infant; Morbidity; Mortality; Outcome
20.  Lung transplantation in telomerase mutation carriers with pulmonary fibrosis 
The European Respiratory Journal  2014;44(1):178-187.
Lung transplantation is the only intervention that prolongs survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Telomerase mutations are the most common identifiable genetic cause of IPF, and at times, the telomere defect manifests in extrapulmonary disease such as bone marrow failure. The relevance of this genetic diagnosis for lung transplant management has not been examined.
We gathered an international series of telomerase mutation carriers who underwent lung transplant in the USA, Australia and Sweden.
The median age at transplant was 52 years. Seven recipients are alive with a median follow-up of 1.9 years (range 6 months to 9 years); one died at 10 months. The most common complications were haematological, with recipients requiring platelet transfusion support (88%) and adjustment of immunosuppressives (100%). Four recipients (50%) required dialysis for tubular injury and calcineurin inhibitor toxicity. These complications occurred at significantly higher rates relative to historic series (p<0.0001).
Our observations support the feasibility of lung transplantation in telomerase mutation carriers; however, severe post-transplant complications reflecting the syndromic nature of their disease appear to occur at higher rates. While these findings need to be expanded to other cohorts, caution should be exercised when approaching the transplant evaluation and management of this subset of pulmonary fibrosis patients.
Telomerase mutation carriers with IPF may be prone to complications from their underlying telomere syndrome after LTx http://ow.ly/wmy6P
doi:10.1183/09031936.00060014
PMCID: PMC4076528  PMID: 24833766

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