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1.  Current routine practice and clinico-pathological characteristics associated with acute promyelocytic leukemia in Korea 
Blood research  2013;48(1):31-34.
Background
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) can be life threatening, necessitating emergency therapy with prompt diagnosis by morphologic findings, immunophenotyping, cytogenetic analysis, or molecular studies. This study aimed to assess the current routine practices in APL and the clinico-pathologic features of APL.
Methods
We reviewed the medical records of 48 Korean patients (25 men, 23 women; median age, 51 (20-80) years) diagnosed with APL in 5 university hospitals between March 2007 and February 2012.
Results
The WBC count at diagnosis and platelet count varied from 0.4 to 81.0 (median 2.0)×109/L and 2.7 to 124.0 (median 54.5)×109/L, respectively. The median values for prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time were 14.7 (11.3-44.1) s and 29 (24-62) s, respectively. All but 2 patients (96%) showed a fibrin/fibrinogen degradation product value of >20 µg/mL. The D-dimer median value was 5,000 (686-55,630) ng/mL. The t(15;17)(q22;q12 and PML-RARA fusion was found in all patients by chromosome analysis and/or multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), with turnaround times of 8 (2-19) d and 7 (2-13) d, respectively. All patients received induction chemotherapy: all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) alone (N=11, 26%), ATRA+idarubicin (N=25, 58%), ATRA+cytarabine (N=3, 7%), ATRA+idarubicin+cytarabine (N=4, 9%).
Conclusion
Since APL is a medical emergency and an accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite for prompt treatment, laboratory support to implement faster diagnostic tools to confirm the presence of PML-RARA is required.
doi:10.5045/br.2013.48.1.31
PMCID: PMC3625006  PMID: 23589792
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; PML-RARA; Immunophenotyping; Cytogenetic analysis; All-trans retinoic acid
2.  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
3.  The First Study on Nucleotide-level Identification of Hb Koriyama in a Patient with Severe Hemolytic Anemia 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2011;32(1):99-101.
Hereditary hemolytic anemia comprises a group of disorders in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they are produced in the bone marrow; various hereditary factors can cause this condition, including production of defective Hb and erythrocyte membrane. Recently, we identified Hb Koriyama, a rare Hb variant that was undetectable in Hb electrophoresis and stability tests, in a patient with severe hemolytic anemia. This is the first study to show the nucleotide-level sequence variations in Hb Koriyama. On the basis of our results, we conclude that unstable Hb may not be detectable by conventional Hb electrophoresis or stability tests. Thus, we suggest further genetic workup in cases of unexplained hereditary hemolytic anemia.
doi:10.3343/alm.2012.32.1.99
PMCID: PMC3255501  PMID: 22259788
Hemoglobinopathy; Hemoglobin variant; Hb Koriyama
4.  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

Results 1-4 (4)