Chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a frequent complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), but simultaneous small bowel obstruction is rare. Here, we report a child with acute myeloid leukemia who received an allogeneic HSCT from an unrelated matched donor. After HSCT, the patient developed severe chronic GVHD involving the small intestine, leading to obstruction of the terminal ileum. Small bowel resection was performed, and the symptoms improved without severe complications. Bowel obstruction should be considered as a possible complication of chronic GVHD; surgery may be a valuable corrective measure.
Acute myeloid leukemia; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Graft versus host disease; Intestinal obstruction
Depression is common after acute coronary syndrome (ACS), adversely affecting cardiac course and prognosis. There have been only a few evidence-based treatment options for depression in ACS. Accordingly, we planned the Korean Depression in ACS (K-DEPACS) study, which investigated depressive disorders in patients with ACS using a naturalistic prospective design, and the Escitalopram for DEPACS (EsDEPACS) trial, which assessed the efficacy and safety of escitalopram for treating major or minor depression in patients with ACS. Participants in the K-DEPACS study were consecutively recruited from patients with ACS who were recently hospitalized at Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, South Korea. Diagnoses were confirmed by coronary angiography from 2005. Data on depressive and cardiovascular characteristics were obtained at 2 weeks, 3 months, 12 months, and every 6 months thereafter following the index ACS admission. The K-DEPACS participants who met the DSM-IV criteria for major or minor depressive disorder were randomly assigned to groups in the 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled EsDEPACS trial beginning in 2007. The outcome of treatments for depressive and other psychiatric symptoms, issues related to safety, including general adversity, and cardiovascular factors were assessed. The K-DEPACS study can significantly contribute to research on the complex relationships between depression and ACS. The results of the EsDEPACS trial provide an additional treatment option for clinicians treating these patients.
Acute coronary syndrome; Depression; Observational study; Clinical trial; Escitalopram
We verified the reliability and validity of the Korean version of the Minneapolis-Manchester Quality of Life Instrument-Adolescent Form (KMMQL-AF) among Korean childhood cancer survivors. A total of 107 childhood cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment and 98 childhood cancer survivors who completed cancer treatment were recruited. To assess the internal structure of the KMMQL-AF, we performed multi-trait scaling analyses and exploratory factor analysis. Additionally, we compared each domains of the KMMQL-AF with those of the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale and the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS). Internal consistency of the KMMQL-AF was sufficient (Cronbach's alpha: 0.78-0.92). In multi-trait scaling analyses, the KMMQL-AF showed sufficient construct validity. The "physical functioning" domain showed moderate correlation with Karnofsky scores and the "psychological functioning" domain showed moderate-to-high correlation with the RCMAS. The KMMQL-AF discriminated between subgroups of different adolescent cancer survivors depending on treatment completion. The KMMQL-AF is a sufficiently reliable and valid instrument for measuring quality of life among Korean childhood cancer survivors.
Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Validation Studies; Child Psychology; Neoplasms; Survivors
Few literatures have elaborated on the clinical characteristics of children with thalassemia from low-prevalence areas. A retrospective analysis was conducted on children genetically confirmed with thalassemia at Seoul National University Children's Hospital in Korea. Nine children (1α thalassemia trait, 6β thalassemia minor, 2β thalassemia intermedia) were diagnosed with thalassemia at median age of 4.3 yr old with median hemoglobin of 9.7 g/dL. Seven (78%) children were incidentally found to be anemic and only 2 with β thalassemia intermedia had presenting symptoms. Five children (56%) were initially misdiagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Despite the comorbidities due to α thalassemia mental retardation syndrome, the child with α thalassemia trait had mild hematologic profile. Children with β thalassemia intermedia had the worst phenotypes due to dominantly inherited mutations. None of the children was transfusion dependent and most of them had no complications associated with thalassemia. Only 1 child (11%) with codon 60 (T→A) mutation of the HBB gene needed red blood cell transfusions. He also had splenomegaly, cholelithiasis, and calvarial vault thickening. Pediatricians in Korea must acknowledge thalassemia as a possible diagnosis in children with microcytic hypochromic hemolytic anemia. High level of suspicion will allow timely diagnosis and managements.
α-Thalassemia; β-Thalassemia; Genotype; Phenotype; Child; Korea
The survival in cases with relapsed Wilms tumor is dismal. Recently, however the introduction of new therapeutic agents and experimental strategies has improved the survival. We analysed the survival of patients with relapsed Wilms tumor according to the treatment period. During the early period 1983-1993, patients who had received two drugs were treated with doxorubicin and the others were treated with cisplatin and etoposide, whereas during the late period 1994-2004, patients were treated with combinations of cyclophosphamide/etoposide and carboplatin/etoposide. During the early period, 8 of 57 experienced relapse, and 8 of 41 relapsed during the late period. Only 2 patients treated during the early period survived in complete response (CR), whereas during the late period, 5 patients remained alive in CR, and 3 of those received high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous peripheral stem cell rescue (SCR). The estimated 5 yr event-free survival rate was 37.5% in the entire study group, 50% for patients in the late period, and 25% for patients in the early period (p=0.38). The survival in patients with relapsed Wilms tumor dramatically improved during the late period and HDC with SCR was one of the effective salvage strategies.
Wilms Tumor; Nephroblastoma; Recurrence; Salvage Therapy; Stem Cells
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congenital hemolytic anemia; Hereditary spherocytosis; Thalassemia; Congenital nonspherocytic anemia
Previous studies have shown that hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may result in growth impairment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the growth during 5 yr after HSCT and to determine factors that influence final adult height (FAH). We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients who received HSCT. Among a total of 37 eligible patients, we selected 24 patients who began puberty at 5 yr after HSCT (Group 1) and 19 patients who reached FAH without relapse (Group 2). In Group 1, with younger age at HSCT, sex, steroid treatment, hypogonadism and hypothyroidism were not significantly associated with growth impairment 5 yr after HSCT. History of radiotherapy (RT) significantly impaired the 5 yr growth after HSCT. Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) only temporarily impaired growth after HSCT. In Group 2, with younger age at HSCT, steroid treatment and hypogonadism did not significantly reduce FAH. History of RT significantly reduced FAH. Growth impairment after HSCT may occur in AML patients, but in patients without a history of RT, growth impairment seemed to be temporary and was mitigated by catch-up growth.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Growth; Radiotherapy; Total Body Irradiation; Acute Myeloid Leukemia
This study was performed to characterize respiratory viral infections in pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Study samples included 402 respiratory specimens obtained from 358 clinical episodes that occurred in the 116 children of the 175 consecutive HSCT cohort at Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Korea from 2007 to 2010. Multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions were performed for rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses (PIVs), adenovirus, human coronavirus (hCoV), influenza viruses and human metapneumovirus. Viruses were identified in 89 clinical episodes that occurred in 58 patients. Among the 89 clinical episodes, frequently detected viruses were rhinovirus in 25 (28.1%), RSV in 23 (25.8%), PIV-3 in 16 (18.0%), adenovirus in 12 (13.5%), and hCoV in 10 (11.2%). Lower respiratory tract infections were diagnosed in 34 (38.2%). Neutropenia was present in 24 (27.0%) episodes and lymphopenia was in 31 (34.8%) episodes. Sixty-three percent of the clinical episodes were hospital-acquired. Three patients died of respiratory failure caused by respiratory viral infections. Respiratory viral infections in pediatric patients who have undergone HSCT are common and are frequently acquired during hospitalization. Continuous monitoring is required to determine the role of respiratory viruses in immunocompromised children and the importance of preventive strategies.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Respiratory Virus; Respiratory Infections
Primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) is a very uncommon disease in children, and usually treated by chemotherapy, combined with focal or craniospinal radiotherapy (RT). However, adverse effects of RT are a concern. We evaluated the outcomes of childhood PCNSL, treated with systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy, but without RT. For fifteen years, six patients among 175 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma were diagnosed as PCNSL in Seoul National University Children's Hospital and we analyzed their medical records retrospectively. Their male:female ratio was 5:1, and median age was 10.1 yr. The primary sites were the sellar area in three patients, parietal area in one, cerebellum in one, and multiple areas in one. Their pathologic diagnoses were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in three patients, Burkitt lymphoma in two, and undifferentiated B-cell lymphoma in one. Five were treated with the LMB96 treatment protocol, and one was treated with the CCG-106B protocol. None had RT as a first-line treatment. One patient had a local relapse and received RT and salvage chemotherapy, without success. No patient had treatment-related mortality. Their estimated 5-yr event-free and overall survival rates were both 83.3%. In conclusion, PCNSL is a rare disease in childhood, but successfully treated by chemotherapy without RT.
Primary CNS Lymphoma; Children; Irradiation
Self-rated health (SRH) has been reported as a predictor of mortality in previous studies. This study aimed to examine whether SRH is independently associated with hypertension and if there is a gender difference in this association.
16,956 community dwelling adults aged 20 and over within a defined geographic area participated in this study. Data on SRH, socio-demographic factors (age, gender, marital status, education) and health behaviors (smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity) were collected. Body mass index and blood pressure were measured. Logistic regression models were used to determine a relationship between SRH and hypertension.
32.5% of the participants were found to have hypertension. Women were more likely than men to rate their SRH as poor (p < 0.001), and the older age groups rated their SRH more negatively in both men and women (p < 0.001). While the multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR, 95% CI) of participants rating their SRH as very poor for hypertension in men was OR 1.70 (1.13-2.58), that in women was OR 2.83 (1.80-4.44). Interaction between SRH and gender was significant (p < 0.001).
SRH was independently associated with hypertension in a Korean adult population. This association was modified by gender.
We compared the outcomes of patients with Burkitt lymphoma and French-American-British (FAB) L3 acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated using Lymphoma Malignancy B (LMB) or other treatment protocols.
Thirty-eight patients diagnosed between July 1996 and December 2007 were treated using LMB 96, and 22 patients diagnosed between January 1991 and May 1998 (defined as the early period) were treated using the D-COMP or CCG-106B protocols. We retrospectively reviewed their medical records and analyzed cumulative survival according to the treatment period by using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
There were no intergroup differences in the distribution of age, disease stage, or risk group. The median follow-up period of the 33 live patients in the LMB group was 72 months (range, 36-170 months). Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) of patients treated using LMB 96 were 86.8%±5.5% and 81.6%±6.3%, respectively, whereas OS and EFS of patients treated in the early period were 72.7%±9.6% and 68.2%±9.9%, respectively. In the LMB 96 group, OS of cases showing non-complete response (N=8) was 62.5%±17.1%, and OS of relapsed or primary refractory cases (N=6) was 33.3%±19.3%. Central nervous system (CNS) disease, high lactate dehydrogenase levels at diagnosis, and treatment response were significant prognostic factors.
Survival outcome has drastically improved over the last 2 decades with short-term, dose-intensive chemotherapy. However, CNS involvement or poor response to chemotherapy was worse prognostic factors; therefore, future studies addressing this therapeutic challenge are warranted.
Burkitt lymphoma; L3 lymphocytic leukemia; Treatment outcome; Prognosis
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.
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.
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.
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.
URD HSCT; HLA; Korean children
The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Pediatric Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Questionnaire Brain Tumor Survivor (version 2.0) Aged 13 years and older (Parent Form) (pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent).
The pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent was translated and cross-culturally adapted into Korean, following standard Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) methodology. The psychometric properties of the pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent were evaluated in 170 brain tumor patient's mothers (mean age=43.38 years). Pretesting was performed in 30 mothers, and the results indicated good symptom coverage and overall comprehensibility. The participants also completed the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF-50), Neuroticism in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and Karnofsky score.
In validating the pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent, we found high internal consistency, with Cronbach's α coefficients ranging from 0.76 to 0.94. The assessment of test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficient revealed satisfactory values with ICCs ranging from 0.84 to 0.93. The pedsFACT-BrS for parent of adolescent also demonstrated good convergent and divergent validities when correlated with the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF-50) and the Neuroticism in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. The pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent showed good clinical validity, and effectively differentiated between clinically distinct patient groups according to the type of treatment, tumor location, shunt, and Karnofsky score of parent proxy report.
We confirmed that this reliable and valid instrument can be used to properly evaluate the quality of life of Korean adolescent brain tumor patients by their parents' proxy report.
Quality of life; Adolescent brain tumor patient; pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent; Validity
To evaluate the visual outcomes of retinoblastoma in the posterior pole (RBPP) treated with chemotherapy plus local treatments and to address the prognostic factors that influence such outcomes.
The medical records of patients with RBPP diagnosed at the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Seoul National University Children's Hospital between August 1987 and September 2007 were reviewed retrospectively. Only those patients treated via primary chemotherapy plus local treatments were included. The presence of foveal involvement and tumors in the posterior pole before and after treatment, the type of regression pattern and the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of each patient were evaluated.
A total of 13 eyes in 12 patients were included. The mean final BCVA for treated RBPP was 20/210 (range, hand motion to 20/16). However, eight eyes (61.5%) had an acuity of 20/200 or better and seven eyes (53.8%) had an acuity of 20/50 or better. The mean final BCVA was significantly better in cases with negative foveal involvement; however, four eyes (37.5%) with positive foveal involvement had an acuity of 20/200 or better. Tumors area in the posterior pole and the type of regression pattern were not significantly related to final BCVA.
Over one half of the studied RBPP patients had working vision. Although the eyes had RBPP with positive foveal involvement, about one-third of the patients had working vision. Vision preservation should be considered when deciding on RBPP treatment.
Fovea; Macula; Posterior pole; Prognosis; Retinoblastoma
To evaluate whether candidate genes in innate immunity are associated with childhood leukemia, we conducted an association study with the 1,536 SNPs in 203 genes related to innate immunity.
Incident childhood leukemia cases (n=136) aged from 0 to 18 were recruited from three teaching hospitals in Seoul between 2003 and 2006. Non-cancer controls (n=140) were frequency-matched to cases by age and gender. The information on the characteristics of children and their parents were collected by trained interviewers using structured questionnaire. Candidate genes were selected based on SNP databases (CGAP and SNP500 database), and genotype assay was performed using GoldenGate (Illumina) oligonucleotide pool assay (OPA). False discovery rate (FDR), permutation test, and haplotype analyses were used to identify the SNP with significant association with childhood leukemia. Childhood leukemia risk was estimated as ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for age, gender and birth weight.
Fourteen SNPs in 13 genes (LMAN1, TLR4, STAT4, CCR9, MBP, ZP1, C8B, XDH, C7, C1QG, FGF2, LOC390183, and STAT6) were significantly associated with childhood leukemia risk (FDR p-values <0.05). In particular, LMAN1 rs1127220, TLR4 rs11536897, STAT4 rs13020076, CCR9 rs1471962, and MBP rs10514234 were significant in 5,000 permutation tests (Permutation p-value <0.05). The most significant association with childhood leukemia risk was for the LMAN1 rs1127220 that is in the protein-coding region, this finding was also supported by haplotype analysis.
A number of innate immunity related genes are associated with childhood leukemia, suggesting possible links between the innate immunity system and development of the childhood leukemia.
Childhood Leukemia; Innate Immunity; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
This study attempted to assess the incidence and outcome of anthracycline cardiotoxicity and the role of dexrazoxane as a cardioprotectant in childhood solid tumors. The dexrazoxane group included 47 patients and the control group of historical cohort included 42. Dexrazoxane was given in the 10:1 ratio to doxorubicin. Fractional shortening and systolic and diastolic left ventricular diameters were used to assess the cardiac function. The median follow-ups were 54 months in the dexrazoxane group and 86 months in the control group. The mean cumulative doses of doxorubicin were 280.8±83.4 mg/m2 in the dexrazoxane group and 266.1±75.0 mg/m2 in the control group. The dexrazoxane group experienced significantly fewer cardiac events (27.7% vs. 52.4%) and less severe congestive heart failure (6.4% vs. 14.3%) than the control group. Thirteen cardiotoxicities including one cardiac death and 2 congestive heart failures occurred in the dexrazoxane group, and 22 cardiotoxicities including 2 cardiac deaths and 4 congestive heart failures, in the control group. Five year cardiac event free survival rates were 69.2% in the dexrazoxane group and 45.8% in the control group (P=0.04). Dexrazoxane reduces the incidence and severity of early and late anthracycline cardiotoxicity in childhood solid tumors.
Dexrazoxane; Doxorubicin; Cardiotoxicity; Child; Solid Tumors
Leukemic cells originate from hypoxic bone marrow, which protects them from anti-cancer drugs. Although many factors that cause drug resistance in leukemic cells have been studied, the effect of hypoxia on drug-induced apoptosis is still poorly understood.
In this study, we examined the effect of hypoxia on anti-leukemic drug resistance in leukemic cell lines treated with cobalt chloride (CoCl2), a hypoxia-mimetic agent. Cellular proliferation was evaluated using the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay. Flow cytometry analysis and western blots were performed to investigate apoptosis-related proteins.
Unlike its previously known apoptotic effect, the expression of HIF-1α increased the survival rate of human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells when these cells were exposed to anti-leukemic drugs; these effects were mediated by heat-shock protein HSP70 and the pro-apoptotic protein Bax.
These findings may provide new insights for understanding the mechanisms underlying hypoxia and for designing new therapeutic strategies for acute myeloid leukemia.
Hypoxia; Arsenic trioxide; HIF-1α; Cobalt chloride; Bax; HSP70
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.
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
To evaluate the efficacy of primary chemotherapy combined with local therapy in the treatment of retinoblastomas not treatable with a single therapeutic method.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 227 patients diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Sixty-five eyes in 52 patients had tumors not treatable with a single therapeutic method and received primary chemotherapy combined with local therapy as needed.
Tumor control and eye salvage was achieved in 34 of the 65 eyes; the probability of ocular survival was 46.56% using the Kaplan-Meier method. Forty-three of the 65 eyes were group D or E tumors, in which tumor control and eye salvage was achieved in 16 eyes. Twenty eyes were treated with chemotherapy only, while 28 eyes received one additional modality of local therapy, and 17 eyes received two modalities of local therapy. Of the eyes treated with chemotherapy only, tumor control was achieved in 5 eyes.
Primary chemotherapy combined with local therapy can be effective and safe in the treatment of retinoblastomas otherwise untreatable with other therapeutic methods, such as group D and E retinoblastomas. More vigorous treatment with more local therapeutic methods combined may yield even better results.
Chemotherapy; Eye preservation; Retinoblastoma
Human thymocytes, unlike mouse thymocytes, express major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules on their surface, especially during the fetal and perinatal stages. Based on this observation, we previously identified a novel developmental pathway for the generation of CD4+ T cells via interactions between MHC class II–expressing thymocytes (thymocyte–thymocyte [T–T] interactions) with a transgenic mouse system. However, the developmental dissection of this T–T interaction in humans has not been possible because of the lack of known cellular molecules specific for T–T CD4+ T cells. We show that promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (PLZF) is a useful marker for the identification of T–T CD4+ T cells. With this analysis, we determined that a substantial number of fetal thymocytes and splenocytes express PLZF and acquire innate characteristics during their development in humans. Although these characteristics are quite similar to invariant NKT (iNKT) cells, they clearly differ from iNKT cells in that they have a diverse T cell receptor repertoire and are restricted by MHC class II molecules. These findings define a novel human CD4+ T cell subset that develops via an MHC class II–dependent T–T interaction.
Identification of prognostic factors and risk-based post-remission therapy was proposed to improve the outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and a mutation of FLT3 has been reported to be a risk factor, especially for pediatric patients. Recently, FLT3 expression level was implicated to have prognostic significance in adults, but little is known for childhood AML. To define the prognostic significance, transcript level of FLT3 was analyzed in 52 pediatric AML patients. The median copy number of FLT3 was 4.6×103 (40-5.9×107 copies)/1.0×106 GAPDH copy, and the relapse free survival of patients with high transcript level of FLT3 (>106 copy number) (0%) was significantly lower than that of the others (53.2%). High transcript level of FLT3 was associated with a markedly high risk of relapse. The development of new therapeutic scheme such as a frontline allogeneic stem cell transplantation or administration of FLT3 inhibitor is needed to improve outcomes.
FLT3; Transcript Level; Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Pediatric Age
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).
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.
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.
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.
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
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.
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Enocitabine; Childhood
We conducted a case–control study to evaluate the association between paternal smoking and childhood leukemia and to evaluate potential modification by polymorphisms in CYP1A1. Histologically confirmed childhood leukemia cases (n = 164) and non-cancer controls (n = 164) were recruited from three teaching hospitals in Seoul, Korea. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms in CYP1A1 (–17961T>C, –9893G>A, I462V, 1188C>T (*2A), and 11599C>G) were genotyped and haplotypes were estimated by the expectation-maximization method. We also conducted a meta-analysis of 12 studies that have reported the association between paternal smoking and childhood leukemia risk. Paternal smoking at home was associated with all leukemias (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1–2.8) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (2.0, 1.2–3.4). An increasing trend in risk was observed for pack-years smoked after birth (Ptrend = 0.06 and 0.02, respectively) and the number of smokers in the home during the child's life (Ptrend = 0.05 and 0.03, respectively). Among those without the CGACC haplotype, ALL risk was significantly increased by the father's smoking at home (2.8, 1.5–5.3) and the presence of at least one smoker in the home (2.3, 1.2–4.4), and the test for interaction was significant (Pinteraction = 0.03 and 0.02, respectively). The meta-analysis showed that overall paternal smoking (1.13, 1.04–1.24) and smoking before the pregnancy of the child (1.12, 1.04–1.21) were significantly associated with childhood leukemia risk. Our results suggest that paternal smoking is a risk factor for childhood leukemia and the effect may be modified by CYP1A1 genotype.
Childhood leukemia; Paternal smoking; CYP1A1; Interaction; Haplotype