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1.  Pitfalls of Using Administrative Data Sets to Describe Clinical Outcomes in Sickle Cell Disease 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2013;60(12):10.1002/pbc.24747.
Background
Administrative data sets are increasingly being used to describe clinical care in sickle cell disease (SCD). We recently used such an administrative database to look at the frequency of acute chest syndrome (ACS) and the use of transfusion to treat this syndrome in California patients from 2005–2010. Our results revealed a surprisingly low rate of transfusion for this life-threatening situation.
Procedure
To validate these results, we compared California OSPHD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) administrative data with medical record review of patients diagnosed with ACS identified by two pediatric and one adult hospital databases during 2009–2010.
Results
ACS or a related pulmonary process accounted for one-fifth of the inpatient hospital discharges associated with the diagnosis of SCD between 2005 and 2010. Only 47% of those discharges were associated with a transfusion. However, chart reviews found that hospital databases over-reported visits for ACS. OSHPD underreported transfusions compared to hospital data. The net effect was a markedly higher true rate of transfusion (40.7% vs. 70.2%).
Conclusions
These results point out the difficulties in using this administrative data base to describe clinical care for ACS given the variation in clinician recognition of this entity. OSPHD is widely used to inform health care policy in California and contributes to national databases. Our study suggests that using this administrative database to assess clinical care for SCD may lead to inaccurate assumptions about quality of care for SCD patients in California. Future studies on health services in SCD may require a different methodology.
doi:10.1002/pbc.24747
PMCID: PMC3864696  PMID: 24039121
Sickle Cell Disease; Administrative Data; Acute Chest; Transfusion
2.  CD19-antigen specific nanoscale liposomal formulation of a SYK P-site inhibitor causes apoptotic destruction of human B-precursor leukemia cells 
We report the anti-leukemic potency of a unique biotargeted nanoscale liposomal nanoparticle (LNP) formulation of the spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) P-site inhibitor C61. C61-loaded LNP were decorated with a murine CD19-specific monoclonal antibody directed against radiation-resistant CD19-receptor positive aggressive B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. The biotargeted C61-LNP were more potent than untargeted C61-LNP and consistently caused apoptosis in B-precursor ALL cells. The CD19-directed C61-LNP also destroyed B-precursor ALL xenograft cells and their leukemia-initiating in vivo clonogenic fraction. This unique nanostructural therapeutic modality targeting the SYK-dependent anti-apoptotic blast cell survival machinery shows promise for overcoming the clinical radiochemotherapy resistance of B-precursor ALL cells.
doi:10.1039/c4ib00095a
PMCID: PMC4158964  PMID: 24910947
3.  Constitutive Function of the Ikaros Transcription Factor in Primary Leukemia Cells from Pediatric Newly Diagnosed High-Risk and Relapsed B-precursor ALL Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80732.
We examined the constitutive function of the Ikaros (IK) transcription factor in blast cells from pediatric B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BPL) patients using multiple assay platforms and bioinformatics tools. We found no evidence of diminished IK expression or function for primary cells from high-risk BPL patients including a Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)+ subset. Relapse clones as well as very aggressive in vivo clonogenic leukemic B-cell precursors isolated from spleens of xenografted NOD/SCID mice that developed overt leukemia after inoculation with primary leukemic cells of patients with BPL invariably and abundantly expressed intact IK protein. These results demonstrate that a lost or diminished IK function is not a characteristic feature of leukemic cells in Ph+ or Ph- high-risk BPL.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080732
PMCID: PMC3835424  PMID: 24278314
4.  SNP Association Mapping across the Extended Major Histocompatibility Complex and Risk of B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72557.
The extended major histocompatibility complex (xMHC) is the most gene-dense region of the genome and harbors a disproportionately large number of genes involved in immune function. The postulated role of infection in the causation of childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) suggests that the xMHC may make an important contribution to the risk of this disease. We conducted association mapping across an approximately 4 megabase region of the xMHC using a validated panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in childhood BCP-ALL cases (n=567) enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study (NCCLS) compared with population controls (n=892). Logistic regression analyses of 1,145 SNPs, adjusted for age, sex, and Hispanic ethnicity indicated potential associations between several SNPs and childhood BCP-ALL. After accounting for multiple comparisons, one of these included a statistically significant increased risk associated with rs9296068 (OR=1.40, 95% CI=1.19-1.66, corrected p=0.036), located in proximity to HLA-DOA. Sliding window haplotype analysis identified an additional locus located in the extended class I region in proximity to TRIM27 tagged by a haplotype comprising rs1237485, rs3118361, and rs2032502 (corrected global p=0.046). Our findings suggest that susceptibility to childhood BCP-ALL is influenced by genetic variation within the xMHC and indicate at least two important regions for future evaluation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072557
PMCID: PMC3749982  PMID: 23991122
5.  Why Healthcare Providers Should Focus on the Fertility of AYA Cancer Survivors: It’s Not Too Late! 
Frontiers in Oncology  2013;3:248.
Reproductive health among cancer survivors is an important quality of life issue. Certain cancer therapies have known fertility risks. There is an existing cohort of adolescents and young adults (AYA) cancer survivors that, seen less frequently in clinical care settings than active patients, are likely not having discussions of fertility and other reproductive health issues. A survivor or healthcare provider can easily assume that the window of opportunity for fertility preservation has passed, however emerging research has shown this may not be the case. Recent data demonstrates a close relationship between fertility and other late effects to conclude that ongoing assessment during survivorship is warranted. Some fertility preservation procedures have also been shown to mitigate common late effects. This review explores the link between late effects from treatment and common comorbidities from infertility, which may exacerbate these late effects. This review also highlights the relevance of fertility discussions in the AYA survivorship population.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2013.00248
PMCID: PMC3791875  PMID: 24109589
fertility; survivorship; adolescent and young adult; oncology; discussion
6.  How confident are young adult cancer survivors in managing their survivorship care? A report from the LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Center of Excellence Network 
Introduction
This study examined the association between sociodemographic, cancer treatment, and care delivery factors on young adult cancer survivors’ confidence in managing their survivorship care.
Methods
Survivors aged 18-39 years (n=376) recruited from the LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Center of Excellence Network sites completed a survey assessing self-reported receipt of survivorship care planning, expectations of their providers, and confidence in managing their survivorship care. Multivariate logistic regression identified characteristics of those reporting low confidence in managing their survivorship care.
Results
Mean age was 28 years; mean interval from diagnosis was 9 ± 8 years. Seventy-one percent reported currently attending an oncology survivorship clinic. Regarding survivorship care planning, 33% did not have copies of their cancer-related medical records, 48% did not have a treatment summary, and 55% had not received a survivorship care plan. Seventy percent identified the oncologist as the most important health care provider for decisions regarding test and treatment decisions, while 10% reported using a “shared-care model” involving both primary care providers and oncologists. Forty-one percent were classified as having low confidence in managing survivorship care. In multivariate analysis, low confidence was associated with non-white ethnicity and lack of a survivorship care plan (both p<.05).
Discussion/Conclusion
Findings suggest that provision of survivorship care plans for young adult cancer survivors can be used to improve confidence in managing survivorship care, particularly for ethnic minorities.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
Survivors should consider advocating for receipt of a survivorship care plan as it may facilitate confidence as a consumer of survivorship care.
doi:10.1007/s11764-011-0199-1
PMCID: PMC3229469  PMID: 22042661
neoplasm; young adult; cancer survivors; delivery of health care; survivorship care plan
7.  Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Refractory or Relapsed Lymphoma: Results of Children’s Oncology Group Study A5962 
Purpose
This prospective study was designed to determine the safety and efficacy of cyclophosphamide, BCNU and etoposide (CBV) conditioning and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) in children with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (HL and NHL).
Patients and Methods
Patients achieving CR or PR after 2–4 courses of reinduction underwent a G-CSF mobilized PBSC apheresis with a target collection dose of 5×106 CD34+/kg. Those eligible to proceed received autologous PBSCT after CBV (7200 mg/m2, 450–300 mg/m2, 2400 mg/m2).
Results
Forty-three of 69 patients (30/39 HL, 13/30 NHL) achieved a CR/PR after reinduction. Thirty-eight patients (28 HL, 10 NHL) underwent PBSCT. All initial 6 patients who received BCNU at 450 mg/m2 experienced grade III or IV pulmonary toxicity compared to none of the subsequent 32 receiving 300 mg/m2 (p<0.0001). The probability of OS at 3 years for all patients is 51% and for transplanted patients is 64%. The 3-year EFS is 38% (45% for HL; 30% NHL). The 3-year EFS in transplanted patients is 66% (65% HL; 70% NHL). Initial duration of remission of ≥ 12 vs < 12 months was associated with a significant increase in OS (3 ys OS 70% vs 34%) (p=0.003).
Conclusion
BCNU at 300 mg/m2 in a CBV regimen prior to PBSCT is well tolerated in relapsed or refractory pediatric lymphoma patients. A short duration (< 12 months) of initial remission is associated with a poorer prognosis. Lastly, a high percentage of patients achieving a CR/PR after reinduction therapy can be salvaged with CBV and autologlous PBSCT.
doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.07.002
PMCID: PMC3072756  PMID: 20637881
autologous transplant; PBSCT; CBV; lymphoma; NHL; HL
8.  Adolescent behavior and adult health status in childhood cancer survivors 
Introduction
This study examined the longitudinal association between adolescent psychological problems following cancer treatment and obesity, limited exercise, smoking, and excess sun exposure during adulthood in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort.
Methods
Participants included 1,652 adolescent survivors of childhood cancer and 406 siblings of cancer survivors, initially evaluated at 12-17 years of age and ≥ 5 years post-diagnosis. A follow-up survey of these participants was conducted roughly 7 years later and included assessment of health status and health behaviors. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association between adolescent psychological problems and adult health behavior outcomes.
Results
During adolescence, survivors demonstrated higher rates of attention deficits, emotional problems, externalizing behavior and social withdrawal compared to sibling controls. Social withdrawal was associated with adult obesity (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.1 - 2.1) and physical inactivity (OR = 1.7, 1.1 - 2.5). Use of stimulant medication during adolescence was also associated with adult obesity (OR = 1.9, 1.1 – 3.2), while antidepressant use was associated with physical inactivity (OR = 3.2, 1.2 – 8.2).
Discussion/Conclusions
Adolescent survivors of childhood cancer display higher rates of psychological problems compared to siblings of cancer survivors. These psychological problems are associated with an increased risk for obesity and poor heath behavior in adulthood, which may increase future risk for chronic health conditions and secondary neoplasms.
Implications
In order to decrease risk of future health problems, adolescent survivors of childhood cancer should be routinely screened and treated for psychological problems following cancer therapy.
doi:10.1007/s11764-010-0123-0
PMCID: PMC3098531  PMID: 20383785
Adolescence; Cancer; Psychological problems; Obesity; Oncology; Childhood Cancer Survivor Study
9.  Bilateral Burkitt Lymphoma of the Ovaries: A Report of a Case in a Child with Williams Syndrome 
Case Reports in Medicine  2011;2011:327263.
A 10-year-old female with Williams Syndrome (WS) presented with a two-month history of fatigue, weight loss, and bilateral ovarian masses. Histologic, immunophenotypic, and cytogenetic studies confirmed the diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma (BL). While there is no established association between the two disorders, this is the third case in the literature of Burkitt lymphoma in a patient with Williams Syndrome.
doi:10.1155/2011/327263
PMCID: PMC3114539  PMID: 21687537
10.  HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION FOR REFRACTORY OR RECURRENT NON-HODGKIN LYMPHOMA IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS 
We examined the role of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HSCT) for patients aged ≤18 years with refractory or recurrent Burkitt (n=41), lymphoblastic (n=53), diffuse large B cell (n=52) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (n=36), receiving autologous (n=90) or allogeneic (n=92 – 43 matched sibling and 49 unrelated donor) HSCT in 1990–2005. Risk factors affecting event-free survival (EFS) were evaluated using stratified Cox regression. Characteristics of allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients were similar. Allogeneic donor HSCT was more likely to use irradiation-containing conditioning regimens, marrow stem cells, be performed in more recent years, and for lymphoblastic lymphoma. EFS rates were lower for patients not in complete remission at HSCT, regardless of donor type. After adjusting for disease status, 5-year EFS were similar after allogeneic and autologous HSCT for diffuse large B cell (50% vs. 52%), Burkitt (31% vs. 27%) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (46% vs. 35%). However, EFS was higher for lymphoblastic lymphoma, after allogeneic HSCT (40% vs. 4%, p<0.01). Predictors of EFS for progressive or recurrent disease after HSCT included disease status at HSCT and use of allogeneic donor for lymphoblastic lymphoma. These data were unable to demonstrate a difference in outcome by donor type for the other histologic sub-types.
doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2009.09.021
PMCID: PMC2911354  PMID: 19800015
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; allogeneic HSCT; autologous HSCT
11.  Predictors of Marriage and Divorce in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancers: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study 
Background/Objective
Adult survivors of childhood cancer can have altered social functioning. We sought to identify factors that predict marriage and divorce outcomes in this growing population.
Methods
Retrospective cohort study of 8,928 ≥ five-year adult survivors of childhood malignancy and 2,879 random sibling controls participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Marital status, current health, psychological status, and neurocognitive functioning were determined from surveys and validated instruments.
Results
Survivors were more likely to be never-married than siblings (relative risk (RR) = 1.21; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–1.26) and the U.S. population (RR=1.25; 95% CI= 1.21 – 1.29), after adjusting for age, gender, and race. Patients with central nervous system (CNS) tumors were at greatest risk for not marrying (RR=1.50; 95% CI= 1.41–1.59). Married survivors divorced at frequencies similar to controls. In multivariable regression analysis, non-marriage was most associated with cranial radiation (RR=1.15; 95% CI=1.02–1.31 for >2400 centigray). In analysis of neurobehavioral functioning, non-marriage was associated with worse task efficiency (RR=1.27; 95% CI=1.20–1.35), but not with emotional distress, or problems with emotional regulation, memory, or organization. Physical conditions predictive of non-marriage included short stature (RR=1.27; 95% CI=1.20–1.34) and poor physical function (RR=1.08; 95% CI=1.00–1.18). Structural equation modeling suggested that cranial radiation influenced marriage status through short stature, cognitive problems, and poor physical function.
Conclusions
Childhood cancer survivors married at lower frequencies compared to peers. Patients with CNS tumors, cranial radiation, impaired processing efficiency, and short stature were more likely to never marry. Divorce patterns in survivors were similar to peers.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0959
PMCID: PMC2768276  PMID: 19815636
Survivorship; Cancer; Predictors; Marriage; Divorce
12.  Prognostic significance of interleukin-6 single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes in neuroblastoma: rs1800795 (promoter) and rs8192284 (receptor) 
Purpose
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system and many patients present with high risk disease. Risk stratification, based on pathology and tumor-derived biomarkers, has improved prediction of clinical outcomes, but overall survival rates remain unfavorable and new therapeutic targets are needed. Some studies suggest a link between interleukin-6 and more aggressive behavior in neuroblastoma tumor cells. Therefore, we examined the impact of two IL-6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on neuroblastoma disease progression.
Experimental design
DNA samples from 96 high risk neuroblastoma patients were screened for two SNP that are known to regulate the serum levels of IL-6 and the soluble IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), rs1800795 and rs8192284 respectively. The genotype for each SNP was determined in a blinded fashion and independent statistical analysis was performed to determine SNP-related event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates.
Results
The rs1800795 IL-6 promoter SNP is an independent prognostic factor for EFS and OS in -high risk neuroblastoma patients. In contrast, the rs8192284 IL-6 receptor SNP revealed no prognostic value.
Conclusions
The rs1800795 SNP (-174 IL-6 (G>C) represents a novel and independent prognostic marker for both EFS and OS in high risk neuroblastoma. Since the rs1800795 SNP (-174 IL-6 (G>C) has been shown to correlate with production of IL-6, this cytokine may represent a target for development of new therapies in neuroblastoma.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-2953
PMCID: PMC2740837  PMID: 19671870

Results 1-12 (12)