Identification of biomarkers that predict responses to hypomethylating agents (HMAs) will allow optimal strategies for epigenetic therapy in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to be established. Serum miR-21 was quantitatively measured in 58 MDS patients treated with HMAs and 14 healthy controls. Serum miR-192 was an internal control, and diagnostic performance was evaluated according to receiver operating characteristics (ROCs). ROC analysis indicated that serum miR-21 levels differentiated responders from non-responders with an area under the curve of 0.648 (95% confidence, 0.49 to 0.72). The baseline level of serum miR-21 was significantly lower in the responder group than in the non-responder group (P = 0.041). The overall response rate (ORR) of the high miR-21 group was significantly lower than that of the low miR-21 group (41.2 vs. 73.2%, P = 0.021). Progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly inferior in the high group versus the low group (14.0 vs. 44.5 months, P = 0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that the initial serum miR-21 level (P = 0.001) and circulating blasts (P = 0.007) were prognostic factors for PFS. Serum miR-21 level was significantly associated with ORR and PFS in MDS patients treated with HMAs. Although validation with a large prospective study is required, serum miR-21 is a potential biomarker of epigenetic therapy in MDS patients.
To identify prognostic factors for the outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy, we performed a multicenter, prospective, observational study in immunocompromised patients with hematological malignancies.
Materials and Methods
Three hundred seventy-six patients (median age of 48) who had neutropenic fever and who received intravenous (IV) itraconazole as an empirical antifungal therapy for 3 or more days were analyzed. The patients with possible or probable categories of invasive fungal disease (IFD) were enrolled.
The overall success rate was 51.3% (196/376). Age >50 years, underlying lung disease (co-morbidity), poor performance status [Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) ≥2], radiologic evidence of IFD, longer duration of baseline neutropenic fever (≥4 days), no antifungal prophylaxis or prophylactic use of antifungal agents other than itraconazole, and high tumor burden were associated with decreased success rate in univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, age >50 years (p=0.009) and poor ECOG performance status (p=0.005) were significantly associated with poor outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy. Twenty-two patients (5.9%) discontinued itraconazole therapy due to toxicity.
We concluded that empirical antifungal therapy with IV itraconazole in immunocompromised patients is effective and safe. Additionally, age over 50 years and poor performance status were poor prognostic factors for the outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy with IV itraconazole.
Hematological malignancy; prognosis; itraconazole; empirical antifungal therapy
We assessed the success rate of empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole and evaluated risk factors for predicting the failure of empirical antifungal therapy. A multicenter, prospective, observational study was performed in patients with hematological malignancies who had neutropenic fever and received empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole at 22 centers. A total of 391 patients who had abnormal findings on chest imaging tests (31.0%) or a positive result of enzyme immunoassay for serum galactomannan (17.6%) showed a 56.5% overall success rate. Positive galactomannan tests before the initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy (P=0.026, hazard ratio [HR], 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-4.69) and abnormal findings on the chest imaging tests before initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy (P=0.022, HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.11-3.71) were significantly associated with poor outcomes for the empirical antifungal therapy. Eight patients (2.0%) had premature discontinuation of itraconazole therapy due to toxicity. It is suggested that positive galactomannan tests and abnormal findings on the chest imaging tests at the time of initiation of the empirical antifungal therapy are risk factors for predicting the failure of the empirical antifungal therapy with itraconazole. (Clinical Trial Registration on National Cancer Institute website, NCT01060462)
Hematological Malignancy; Itraconazole; Empirical Antifungal Therapy; Galactomannan Test
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination can be used to verify the presence of primary malignancies as well as cases of central nervous system (CNS) metastasis. Because of its importance, there have been several studies concerning the sensitivity of CSF cytology. To determine the practical use and reproducibility of diagnoses based on CSF cytology, we evaluated this test by analyzing cytology results from consecutive CSF samples.
Between July 2010 and June 2013, 385 CSF cytology samples from 42 patients were collected. The samples were gathered using a ventricular catheter and reservoir. CSF cytology of all patients was examined more than two times with immunocytochemistry for cytokeratin.
Primary neoplastic sites and histologic types of patients' metastatic cancer were diverse. The overall sensitivity for detecting malignancy was 41.3%. Even within short-term intervals, diagnoses frequently changed.
Our results were inconsistent, with low sensitivity, when compared to the results of previous studies. However, CSF evaluation can still provide valuable diagnostic and prognostic information because adjuvant treatments are now routinely performed in patients with CNS metastasis. Negative CSF cytology results should not be ignored, and continuous CSF follow-up is essential for following the clinical course of patients with metastatic cancer involving the CNS.
Central nervous system; Neoplasm metastasis; Cerebrospinal fluid
The aim of this study was to analyze the patterns of care and treatment outcomes in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) in a single institution.
Materials and Methods
Medical records of 29 patients with PTL treated between April 1994 and February 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Diagnosis was confirmed by biopsy (n = 17) or thyroidectomy (n = 12). Treatment modality and outcome were analyzed according to lymphoma grade.
The median follow-up was 43.2 months (range, 3.8 to 220.8 months). The median age at diagnosis was 57 years (range, 21 to 83 years) and 24 (82.8%) patients were female. Twenty-five (86.2%) patients had PTL with stage IEA and IIEA. There were 8 (27.6%) patients with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and the remaining patients had high-grade lymphoma. Patients were treated with surgery (n = 2), chemotherapy (n = 7), radiotherapy (n = 3) alone, or a combination of these methods (n = 17). Treatment modalities evolved over time and a combination of modalities was preferred, especially for the treatment of high-grade lymphoma in recent years. There was no death or relapse among MALT lymphoma patients. Among high-grade lymphoma patients, 5-year overall survival (OS) and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) were 75.6% and 73.9%, respectively. Complete remission after initial treatment was the only significant prognostic factor for OS (p = 0.037) and PFS (p = 0.003).
Patients with PTL showed a favorable outcome, especially with MALT lymphoma. Radiotherapy alone for MALT lymphoma and chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy for high-grade lymphoma can be effective treatment options for PTL.
Thyroid neoplasms; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Physician's practice pattern; Treatment outcome
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
BAFF (B cell-activating factor) and APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) are members of the tumor necrosis factor family and promote B cell survival and proliferation. We evaluated the correlation between serum concentration of BAFF or APRIL and severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
Fifteen patients who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem transplantation for leukemia and developed acute GVHD were enrolled. We determined serum concentrations of BAFF and APRIL at the onset of the first clinical manifestation of GVHD by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Nine patients had grade 2 acute GVHD, and 6 had grade 3-4 acute GVHD. The BAFF serum concentration was higher in patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD (1,093.42 in grade 2 vs. 2,171.99 pg/mL in grade 3-4), although the difference was not significant (P=0.077). However, the ratio of BAFF serum concentration to absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) (BAFF/ALC) was significantly higher in patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD (P=0.045). The APRIL serum concentration and APRIL/ALC ratio showed similar results (P=0.077 and P=0.013, respectively).
Patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD had higher BAFF/ALC and APRIL/ALC ratios than patients with grade 2 acute GVHD. These findings suggest that B cells might play an important role in the development of acute GVHD, and that the BAFF and APRIL concentrations in serum might be significant predictive factors for estimating the severity of acute GVHD. Their clinical significance should be further evaluated in a larger patient population.
B cell-activating factor (BAFF); A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL); Acute graft-versus-host disease; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The prognosis for patients with primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma (PCNSL) who relapse after the initial response is usually poor. A standard treatment for relapsed PCNSL has not yet been identified because of the heterogeneity of the therapies employed and the lack of large, prospective clinical trials. We describe a 46-year-old relapsed PCNSL patient who was successfully treated with intraventricular applications of rituximab to minimize neurotoxicity, 2 cycles of salvage chemotherapy with etoposide, ifosfamide, and cytarabine (VIA) regimen and high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue. The high-dose chemotherapy consisted of bischloroethylnitrosourea, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM) regimen. Partial remission was detected after intraventricular rituximab therapy and the patient has been in complete remission without evidence of neurotoxicity for 28 months after high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue. This case indicates a new appropriate treatment guideline in relapsed PCNSL patient after initial intensive chemo-radiotherapy.
Primary central nervous system lymphoma; salvage therapy; rituximab; high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue
The use of surgery versus stomach-preserving treatment for primary gastric lymphoma has caused controversy among doctors. This retrospective, single center study aims to evaluate the efficacy and benefit of stomach-preserving treatment against surgery for early stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of stomach.
Materials and Methods
From August 1991 to January 2006, 43 cases of early-stage diffuse large B-cell gastric lymphoma were reviewed.
Eleven cases were treated with chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus radiation (CT ± RT), 17 were treated with surgery alone (OP), and 15 were treated with surgery plus adjuvant chemotherapy (OP + CT). The complete remission and response rates were 63.6% and 90.9% in those treated with CT ± RT (7 complete responders, 3 partial responders, 1 non-responder), 100% and 100% in those treated with OP, and 100% and 100% in those treated with OP + CT, respectively. Five-year overall survival rates were 85.7%, 87.5%, and 100% in those treated by CT ± RT, OP, and OP + CT, respectively (p = 0.76). The five-year disease free survival rates were 100%, 87.5% and 100% in those treated by CT ± RT, OP, and OP + CT, respectively (p = 0.99). There was no significant difference in overall survival and disease free survival between modalities. Even though there are no definite differences in the number of complications between those treated by CT ± RT or OP, these facts reflect little concern on complications after surgery.
In preventing morbidity arising from early or late complications from surgery and promoting quality of life, chemotherapy should be a primary consideration for early stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the stomach.
Early gastric lymphoma; diffuse large B-cell; chemotherapy
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation is the frequent complication after cytotoxic chemotherapy in HBsAg-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients. Pre-chemotherapy viral load may be a risk factor and HBeAg-positive status is associated with increased viral load. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term treatment outcome of lamivudine in preventing HBV reactivation and its associated morbidity according to HBeAg status. Twenty-four adult HBsAg-positive NHL patients were taken 100 mg of lamivudine daily before the initiation of chemotherapy. The median duration of lamivudine therapy was 11.5 months (range: 1-54 months) and the median number of chemotherapy cycles was 6 (range: 1-16 cycles). The steroid containing chemotherapy regimens were used in 18 patients (75%), and the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody containing chemotherapy regimen was used in 6 patients (25%). Four patients received autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation without resultant HBV reactivation. Hepatitis related to HBV reactivation was developed in 1 patient among 14 HBeAg-positive patients and no one among 10 HBeAg-negative. One patient developed HBV reactivation after lamivudine withdrawal, and 4 patients developed the YMDD (tyrosine-methionine-aspartate-aspartate) mutation during lamivudine therapy. There were no statistical differences in HBV reactivation rate during chemotherapy according to the HBeAg status. Our results demonstrate that lamivudine should be considered preemptively before the chemotherapy for all HBsAg-positive NHL patients to prevent HBV reactivation, regardless of pre-chemotherapy HBeAg status. Finally, compared with the chronic hepatitis B patients, similar rate of HBV reactivation after lamivudine withdrawal and development of YMDD mutation was observed in NHL patients.
HBV reactivation; lamivudine; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; chemotherapy; HBeAg
Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is commonly used in relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Several trials report the role of ASCT for high risk patients. We evaluated the results and the prognostic factors influencing the therapeutic effects on the patients who were treated with high dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. We analyzed the data of 40 cases with NHL who underwent ASCT after HDC. Twenty-four patients had high-risk disease, 12 cases sensitive relapse, and two cases resistant relapse or primary refractory each. The median age of patients was 34 years (range, 14-58 years). The median follow-up duration from transplantation was 16 months (range, 0.6-94 months). Estimated overall survival and progression-free survival at 5 years were 40% and 30%, respectively. Poor prognostic factors for survival included older age (≥ 45 years), poor performance status in all patient analysis, and a longer interval between first complete remission and transplantation in high risk patients. In high risk NHL patients, transplantation should be done early after first complete remission to overcome chemo-resistance.
Transplantation; autologous; stem cells; lymphoma; non-Hodgkin
This study aimed to analyze the overall survival period of adult lymphoblastic lymphoma patients treated with various therapeutic regimens, and to assess the determinants affecting survival outcome. Twenty-five adult patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma who had been treated at Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea from June 1996 to June 2005 were analyzed retrospectively. As an initial remission induction chemotherapy, the hyper-CVAD regimen was performed in eight patients, the Stanford/Northern California Oncology Group (NCOG) regimen in five, the CAVOP regimen in four, the m-BACOP regimen in three, and the CHOP regimen in one patient. Patients were divided into two groups according to their therapeutic modalities. Twenty patients received conventional chemotherapy alone and five received subsequent PBSCT after conventional chemotherapy. Four patients of the PBSCT group underwent autologous PBSCT and one underwent allogeneic PBSCT. The overall response rate was 80% (60% showing a complete response, 20% showing a partial response) and the relapse rate was 73.3%. The overall survival (OS) rate was 55.1% at 1 year, 31.5% at 5 years, and 23.6% at 9 years. The disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 46.7% at 1 year and 30.0% at 7 years. The 5-year OS rate in relation to the regimens was 60% with the Stanford/NCOG regimen, 50% with the CAVOP regimen, and 33.3% with the m-BACOP regimen. The patients treated with the hyper-CVAD regimen had an 18.2% 2-year OS rate, and other patients with CHOP or COPBLAM-V expired early in their course. The OS rate in patients treated with conventional chemotherapy alone was 19.8%, whereas patients treated with subsequent PBSCT after chemotherapy showed 50% overall survival (p = 0.25). The age at presentation influenced the outcome of the patients (p = 0.01). The Stanford/NCOG regimen is an effective initial choice of therapy for lymphoblastic lymphoma patients, and is superior to the hyper-CVAD regimen in complete response rate and overall survival rate (p = 0.36). Addition of PBSCT after chemotherapy may be needed for achieving optimal outcomes.
Lymphoblastic lymphoma; conventional chemotherapy; peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
Hodgkin's disease (HD) is a hematologic malignancy which shows common features regardless of race, but racial differences may be considered with certain clinical characteritcs. HD in Korea shows somewhat different characteristics when compared to cases in Western countries. We evaluated the clinical and histopathologic characteristics of HD, the outcomes of various chemotherapy regimens, and prognostic factors of HD in Korea. One hundred and five patients with initial histopathologic diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease were retrospectively reviewed 20 years after diagnosis at Yonsei University College of Medicine. Nodular sclerosis was the most common histopathogic subtype (41%) and mixed cellularity was nearly as common (40%). The overall complete remission rate (CR) was 87.6%. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rate were 79.2% and 84.8% at 5-years, 70% and 79.2% at 10- and 20-years. There were no significant differences in CR rate and DFS, but OS rates were significantly higher in m-BACOP and ABVD regimen. Univariate analysis revealed that age, B-symptom, ECOG scale, Ann Arbor stage, international prognostic index, and serum β2-microglobulin level were significant prognostic factors for both DFS and OS. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that age, B symptoms, and ECOG scale were significant prognostic factors for OS only. In conclusion, the survival rates of HD patients in our center were superior to those of previous reports in Korea and Western countries. Considering the higher OS rate and decreased incidence of side effects, the ABVD regimen may be recommended for the initial treatment of Hodgkin's disease.
Hodgkin's disease; twenty year survival; chemotherapy; Korea
Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a clonal disorder of myeloid stem cells that causes thrombocytosis. As a result, ET can lead to vascular thrombosis and tissue ischemia; the association of coronary artery abnormalities such as myocardial infarction or unstable angina is rare. Here we describe a 45-year-old male patient with essential thrombocythemia who presented with unstable angina. Elective coronary angiography showed total occlusion of mid right coronary artery and mid left anterior descending coronary artery. ET was confirmed by a bone marrow biopsy; treatment was started with antiplatelet therapy including aspirin and clopidogrel along with cytostatic therapy with hydroxyurea and anagrelide. After the initiation of the treatment, the platelet count decreased to 20×104/µL. In addition, percutaneous coronary angioplasty was successfully performed with stent placement at the right coronary artery without hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications.
Angina; Unstable; Thrombocytosis; Antineoplastic agents; Platelet aggregation inhibitors
Advanced Hodgkin's disease is usually treated with six or more cycles of combination chemotherapy. Spontaneous regression of the cancer is very rarely reported in patients with Hodgkin's disease. We present an unusual case of a patient with Hodgkin's disease who experienced complete remission with a single cycle of chemotherapy, followed by pneumonia. The case was a 36-year-old man diagnosed with stage IVB mixed cellularity Hodgkin's disease in November 2000. After treatment with one cycle of COPP-ABV (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone, doxorubicin, bleomycin, and vinblastine) chemotherapy without bleomycin, the patient developed interstitial pneumonia and was cared in the intensive care unit (ICU) for two months. Follow-up chest computerized tomography (CT), performed during the course of ICU care, revealed markedly improved mediastinal lymphomatous lesions. Furthermore, follow-up whole body CT and 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed complete disappearance of the lymphomatous lesions. Four years later, the patient is well and without relapse. This report is followed by a short review of the literature on spontaneous regression of Hodgkin's disease. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of spontaneous remission of Hodgkin's disease in Korea.
Spontaneous remission; Hodgkin's disease; incomplete chemotherapy
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) is a heterogeneous group of aggressive T-cell lymphomas with poor treatment outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether lymphopenia at diagnosis would have an adverse effect on survival in patients with PTCL-NOS treated with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy.
A total of 118 patients with PTCL-NOS treated with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy from 4 Korean institutions were included.
Thirty-six patients (30.5%) had a low absolute lymphocyte count (ALC, < 1.0 × 109/L) at diagnosis. Patients with lymphopenia had shorter overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates compared with patients with high ALCs (P = 0.003, P = 0.012, respectively). In multivariate analysis, high-intermediate/high-risk International Prognostic Index (IPI) scores and lymphopenia were both associated with shorter OS and PFS. Treatment-related mortality was 25.0% in the low ALC group and 4.8% in the high ALC group (P = 0.003). In patients considered high-intermediate/high-risk based on IPI scores, lymphopenia was also associated with shorter OS and PFS (P = 0.002, P = 0.001, respectively).
This study suggests that lymphopenia could be an independent prognostic marker to predict unfavorable OS and PFS in patients with PTCL-NOS treated with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy and can be used to further stratify high-risk patients using IPI scores.
peripheral T-cell lymphoma; not otherwise specified; lymphopenia; international prognostic index; prognostic factor