Measuring response to chemotherapy is a backbone of the clinical management of patients with acute leukemia. This task has historically relied on the ability to identify leukemic cells among normal bone marrow cells by their morphology. However, more accurate ways to identify leukemic cells have been developed, which allow their detection even when they are present in small numbers that would be impossible to be recognized by microscopic inspection. The levels of such minimal residual disease (MRD) are now widely used as parameters for risk assignment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and increasingly so in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, different MRD monitoring methods may produce discrepant results. Moreover, results of morphologic examination may be in stark contradiction to MRD measurements, thus creating confusion and complicating treatment decisions. This review focusses on the relation between results of different approaches to measure response to treatment and define relapse in childhood acute leukemia.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Acute myeloid leukemia; Flow cytometry; Polymerase chain reaction; Minimal residual disease; Remission
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is one of the major complications encountered by patients receiving chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies. The prolonged period of intense immunosuppression following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may increase the risk of IPA recurrence in patients with a history of IPA. We evaluated the impact of a history of IPA on allogeneic HSCT outcome, and examined the incidence of IPA after HSCT.
This retrospective study included 22 patients with a history of IPA prior to receiving allogeneic HSCT at the Samsung Medical Center from 1995 to 2007. Diagnosis of IPA was defined as proven (N=5), probable (N=0), or possible (N=17).
All 22 patients received amphotericin-based regimens to treat pre-transplant IPA. Secondary antifungal prophylaxis was administered to 10 patients during HSCT. The development of post-transplant IPA was observed in 2 patients. One of the patients died from septic shock within 2 days of the diagnosis of possible IPA. The other patient recovered from IPA, but eventually had a relapse of the primary disease. Of the 22 patients, the overall 2-year survival rate was 63% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 41-85), and the transplant-related mortality rate was 19% (95% CI: 0-38).
Our results suggest that a history of IPA prior to HSCT does not have an adverse impact on transplant outcomes, although the small number of cases was a limitation in this study. Future studies involving a larger number of cases are needed to further examine this issue.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Flow cytometric immunophenotyping has been used to identify neoplastic plasma cell populations in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Previous reports have described the use of several antigens, including CD38, CD138, CD56, CD117, CD52, CD19 and CD45, to distinguish distinct populations of plasma cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate a simplified immunophenotyping panel for MM analysis.
A total of 70 patients were enrolled in the study, 62 of which were newly diagnosed with MM (untreated), whereas the remaining 8 were undergoing bone marrow assessment as part of follow-up after treatment (treated). Treated cases included 3 patients with relapse and 5 patients with persistence of MM. Multiparametric flow cytometric immunophenotyping was performed using monoclonal antibodies against CD56, CD19, CD138 (CD38), and CD45.
In differential counts, plasma cells in bone marrow (BM) accounted for 3.6-93.2% of the total nucleated cell count. The positive expression rates of CD56, CD19, CD138, and CD45 in neoplastic myeloma cells were 83.9%, 0%, 98.4%, and 37.1%, respectively, among the 62 untreated cases, and 75.0%, 0%, 87.5%, and 37.5%, respectively, among the 8 treated cases. CD19 expression of neoplastic plasma cells was negative in both untreated and treated cases.
The simplified immunophenotyping panel, CD56/CD19/CD138(CD38)/CD45, is useful for distinguishing neoplastic myeloma cells from reactive plasma cells in clinical practice. In addition, CD19 represents the most valuable antigen for identifying neoplastic myeloma cells in patients with MM.
Multiple myeloma; Flow cytometry; Immunophenotyping; Neoplastic plasma cells; CD19 negativity
Gelsolin and matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) expression has been reported in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), but the clinical significance of this expression is unknown. We investigated the associations of these proteins with clinical manifestations in patients diagnosed with LCH.
We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data from patients diagnosed with LCH and followed up between 1998 and 2008. Available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens were used for gelsolin and MMP12 immunohistochemical staining. We analyzed the expression levels of these proteins and their associations with LCH clinical features.
Specimens from 36 patients (20 males, 16 females) with a diagnosis of LCH based on CD1a positivity with clinical manifestations were available for immunohistochemical staining. Median patient age was 62 months (range, 5 to 207). The expression of gelsolin varied; it was high in 17 patients (47.2%), low in 11 patients (30.6%), and absent in 8 patients (22.2%). The high gelsolin expression group had a higher tendency for multi-organ and risk organ involvement, although the trend was not statistically significant. MMP12 was detected only in 7 patients (19.4%) who showed multi-system involvement (P=0.018) and lower event-free survival (P=0.002) in comparison to patients with negative MMP12 staining.
Gelsolin and MMP12 expression may be associated with the clinical course of LCH, and MMP12 expression may be particularly associated with severe LCH. Further studies of larger populations are needed to define the precise role and significance of gelsolin and MMP12 in the pathogenesis of LCH.
Histiocytosis; Langerhans cells; Immunohistochemistry; Gelsolin; Matrix Metalloproteinase 12
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare multisystem disorder that frequently involves the central nervous system (CNS). We compared the clinical characteristics, treatment, and prognosis of patients with HLH according to the degree of CNS involvement.
The clinical manifestations, initial laboratory data, treatment, and outcomes for 50 patients diagnosed with HLH and treated at Asan Medical Center between January 1995 and August 2011 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. CNS involvement was defined as the presence of neurological symptoms or an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Among these 50 patients, 23 (46%) developed CNS disease. Among patients with CNS disease, 19 had neurological symptoms, including seizures, altered consciousness, facial palsy, dysarthria, and dysphagia. Four patients had elevated CSF WBC counts without neurological symptoms. Twelve patients had abnormal brain imaging results, including high signal intensity lesions on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, ventriculomegaly, hemorrhage, atrophy, and leptomeningeal enhancement. Patients with CNS disease had lower ferritin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels as well as reduced 5-year survival as compared to those without CNS disease.
CNS involvement is common among patients with HLH. Overall, patients with CNS disease achieve poorer outcomes than patients without CNS involvement. To improve outcomes, physicians must carefully monitor the neurological manifestations in patients with HLH and administer the appropriate course of intensified chemotherapy to patients with CNS disease.
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; Central nervous system involvement; Neurological manifestations; Cerebrospinal fluid; Outcome
Congenital factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare hemorrhagic disorder that can cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery in affected patients. The recombinant form of activated factor VII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven® from Novo Nordisk, Bagsvaerd, Denmark), which was developed as a second-generation bypassing agent, has recently been used in the management of bleeding for patients with congenital FVII deficiency.
We reviewed the results of 8 surgical procedures in 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency at the Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, between January 2008 and June 2010. We administrated rFVIIa preoperatively in six patients and postoperatively in five patients.
Between January 2008 and June 2010 at our center, 8 operations were performed successfully and no complications were observed in the 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency. The median level of FVII activity was 2% (range, 0.6-7%). Four orthopedic procedures, 1 tonsillectomy, and 3 dental extractions were performed. The median duration of hospitalization was 8.5 days (range, 0-15 days). rFVIIa was administered at all procedures, except the dental extraction that was performed using only antifibrinolytic agents without any replacement. No bleeding or thrombogenic complications were observed in any case.
Patients with congenital FVII deficiency who require surgery can be treated efficiently and safely with rFVIIa or antifibrinolytic agents. rFVIIa was well tolerated and maintained effective hemostasis and showed good clinical outcome after the major surgery.
Congenital FVII deficiency; Surgery; rFVIIa; Antifibrinolytic agent
Iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are common nutritional disorders in children. Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, is a central regulator of systemic iron metabolism. We evaluated whether serum hepcidin levels can diagnose ID in children.
Sera from 59 children (23 males and 36 females; 5 months to 17 years) were analyzed for hepcidin-25 by ELISA. Patients were classified according to hemoglobin level and iron parameters as: IDA, (N=17), ID (N=18), and control (N=24).
Serum hepcidin, ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), transferrin saturation, and hemoglobin levels differed significantly between groups (P<0.0001). Serum hepcidin and ferritin levels (mean±SD) were 2.01±2.30 and 7.00±7.86, 7.72±8.03 and 29.35±24.01, 16.71±14.74 and 46.40±43.57 ng/mL in the IDA, ID, and control groups, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for serum hepcidin as a predictor of ID was 0.852 (95% CI, 0.755-0.950). Hepcidin ≤6.895 ng/mL had a sensitivity of 79.2% and specificity of 82.8% for the diagnosis of ID. Serum hepcidin levels were significantly correlated with ferritin, transferrin saturation, and hemoglobin levels and significantly negatively correlated with sTfR level and total iron binding capacity (P<0.0001).
Serum hepcidin levels are significantly associated with iron status and can be a useful indicator of ID. Further studies are necessary to validate these findings and determine a reliable cutoff value in children.
Serum hepcidin; Iron deficiency; Children
We report a case of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated successfully with clarithromycin (CAM) and prednisolone (PSL). A 71-year-old woman presented with fever and cervical pain. DLBCL was diagnosed based on histological results from lymph node biopsy. Cervical pain was thought to be caused by the invasion of lymphoma cells into the cervical vertebrae. She initially received radiotherapy for the cervical lesion. She did not receive conventional chemotherapy because of the risk of recurrent non-tuberculous mycobacteria infection; therefore, she was treated with 20 mg/day PSL and 800 mg/day CAM to induce apoptosis in lymphoma cells. Complete remission was achieved after 6 months. The present findings suggest that CAM and PSL may be effective in some cases of DLBCL.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Clarithromycin; Prednisolone; Apoptosis
Plasma is used to correct coagulopathies, but not all coagulation abnormalities are clinically significant enough to require correction before an invasive procedure. We report an 82 year old female who, in response to a mildly prolonged INR of unknown etiology, was unnecessarily transfused with plasma in advance of elective surgery. The patient suffered a moderately severe transfusion reaction, including hives and voice hoarseness, which caused a 4-week delay in her surgery. This delay and adverse reaction could have been avoided had the principles of evidence based plasma therapy, which we herein review, been followed and if the etiology of the mildly elevated INR been investigated before the day of her surgery.
Plasma; FFP; Transfusion; Allergic; Reaction; Complication
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a noncardiogenic pulmonary edema that occurs during or within 6 hours after transfusion. Risk factors for TRALI, which is relatively common in critically ill patients, include recent surgery, hematologic malignancy, and sepsis. Here, we report a case of TRALI induced by anti-human leukocyte antigen (anti-HLA) class II antibodies (HLA-DR) occurring after transfusion of platelet concentrates in a patient with acute leukemia. Although most patients with TRALI show improvement within 48-96 hours, our patient's condition rapidly worsened, and he did not respond to supportive treatment. TRALI is a relatively common and serious adverse transfusion reaction that requires prompt diagnosis and management.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI); Transfusion; Anti-human leukocyte antigen (anti-HLA) antibody
Castleman and Towne described a disease presenting as a mediastinal mass resembling thymoma. It is also known as "giant lymph node hyperplasia", "lymph node hamartoma", "angiofollicular mediastinal lymph node hyperplasia", and "angiomatous lymphoid hyperplasia". The pathogenesis is unknown, but the bulk of evidence points toward faulty immune regulation, resulting in excessive B-lymphocyte and plasma-cell proliferation in lymphatic tissue. In addition to the mediastinal presentation, extrathoracic involvement in the neck, axilla, mesentery, pelvis, pancreas, adrenal gland, and retroperitoneum also have been described. There are 2 major pathologic variations of Castleman disease: (1) hyaline-vascular variant, the most frequent, characterized by small hyaline-vascular follicles and capillary proliferation; and (2) the plasma-cell variant, in which large lymphoid follicles are separated by sheets of plasma cells. The hyaline-vascular cases usually are largely asymptomatic, whereas the less common plasma-cell variant may present with fever, anemia, weight loss, and night sweats, along with polyclonal hypergamma-globulinemia. Castleman disease is a rare lymphoproliferative disorders. Few cases have been described world widely. In this article we reviewed the classification, pathogenesis, pathology, radiological features and up to date treatment with special emphasis on the role of viral stimulation, recent therapeutic modalities and the HIV-associated disease.
Castleman disease; Hyaline vascular variant; Plasma cell variant; Unicentric; Multicentric Castleman disease; Human immunodeficiency virus
The overexpression of Aurora A kinase (AurA) has been reported in various malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the expression of AurA and the effects of AurA inhibition in cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood. We investigated the expression and inhibition of AurA in AML stem cells (CD34+/CD38-).
Expression of AurA was investigated in cell lines (NB4 and KG1) that express high levels of CD34 and low levels of CD38. Primary AML cells were harvested from 8 patients. The expression of AurA and cell death induced by inhibition of AurA were analyzed in CD34+/CD38- cells.
AurA was shown to be overexpressed in both primary AML cells and leukemia stem cells (LSCs) compared to normal hematopoietic stem cells. Inhibition of AurA plus cytarabine treatment in LSCs resulted in increased cytotoxicity compared to cytarabine treatment alone. Additional stimulation with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) increased the cell death caused by AurA inhibition plus cytarabine treatment.
To our knowledge, this is the first report describing increased expression of AurA in LSCs. Our results suggest that selective AurA inhibition may be used to reduce LSCs, and this reduction may be enhanced by stimulation with G-CSF. Further exploration of relationship between nuclear factor kappa-B and AurA inhibition and the potential of AurA inhibition for use in leukemia treatment is needed.
Acute myeloid leukemia; Leukemia stem cell; Aurora kinase
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a preleukemic condition that transforms into acute myeloid leukemia. However, the genetic events underlying this transformation remain poorly understood. Aberrant DNA methylation may play a causative role in the disease and its prognosis. Thus, we compared the DNA methylation profiles in refractory anemia with excess blast (RAEB) to those in refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (RCMD).
Bone marrow samples were collected from 20 patients with primary MDS (9 with RAEB and 11 with RCMD), and peripheral blood samples were collected from 4 healthy controls. These samples were assessed using a commercial whole genome-wide methylation assay. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect the methylation of candidate gene promoters in RAEB and RCMD.
Microarray data revealed significant hypermethylation in 69 genes within RAEB but not RCMD. Candidate genes were mapped to 5 different networks, and network 1 had the highest score due to its involvement in gene expression, cancer, and cell cycle. Five genes (GSTM5, BIK, CENPH, RERG, and ANGPTL2) were associated with malignant disease progression. Among them, the methylated promoter pairs of GSTM5 (55.5% and 20%), BIK (20% and 0%), and ANGPTL2 (44.4% and 10%) were observed more frequently in RAEB.
DNA methylation of GSTM5, BIK, and ANGPTL2 may induce epigenetic silencing and contribute to the increasing blasts and resulting MDS progression; however, the functions of these genes were not determined. Further study focusing on epigenetic silencing using various detection modalities is required.
Myelodysplastic syndrome; DNA methylation; GSTM5; ANGPTL2; BIK
Iron is essential for cell proliferation and viability. It has been reported that iron depletion by a chelator inhibits proliferation of some cancer cells. Deferasirox is a new oral iron chelator, and a few reports have described its effects on lymphoma cells. The goal of this study was to determine the anticancer effects of deferasirox in malignant lymphoma cell lines.
Three human malignant lymphoma cell lines (NCI H28:N78, Ramos, and Jiyoye) were treated with deferasirox at final concentrations of 20, 50, or 100 µM. Cell proliferation was evaluated by an MTT assay, and cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the relative activity of various apoptotic pathways. The role of caspase in deferasirox-induced apoptosis was investigated using a luminescent assay.
The MTT assay showed that deferasirox had dose-dependent cytotoxic effects on all 3 cell lines. Cell cycle analysis showed that the sub-G1 portion increased in all 3 cell lines as the concentration of deferasirox increased. Early apoptosis was also confirmed in the treated cells by Annexin V and PI staining. Western blotting showed an increase in the cleavage of PARP, caspase 3/7, and caspase 9 in deferasirox-treated groups.
We demonstrated that deferasirox, a new oral iron-chelating agent, induced early apoptosis in human malignant lymphoma cells, and this apoptotic effect is dependent on the caspase-3/caspase-9 pathway.
Deferasirox; Malignant lymphoma; Apoptosis
Extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma is a subtype of lymphoma that is derived from NK cells. It is considered as an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma because of frequent relapses and resistance to treatment. Relapsed NK/T-cell lymphoma often follows a fulminant course that is refractory to conventional chemotherapy treatment.
Several patients with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma showed long-term survival in spite of frequent relapses. Thus, the medical records of patients diagnosed with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma from 1995 to 2007 were reviewed and assessed.
Of the 140 cases reviewed, 6 were selected (4.29%). Each of these patients had a minimum of 3 relapses or disease progression during the follow-up period, and their median overall survival was 66 months (range, 42-89 months). They were grouped according to the atypical clinical behavior observed: (1) repeated relapses or progression (≥3 times) during follow-up; and (2) long-term survival of more than 40 months, as the longest overall survival median was previously considered at approximately 40 months. The clinicopathological and laboratory characteristics of these patients were similar to those of other extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma patients. However, 5 of the studied cases involved relatively lower expression of the proliferation-related antigen Ki-67 (<40-50%), indicating less proliferative activity. Clinically, they showed delayed relapse for at least 20 months after the initial complete remission.
Our observations suggest that the clinical behavior of some extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma patients differs from the typical clinical course.
Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma; Relapse; Survival; Indolent