Therapy-related AML (t-AML) occurs as a late complication of chemotherapy administered to treat a prior disorder. Prognostic factors affecting the clinical outcome in t-AML have not yet been clearly defined; therefore, we evaluated these factors in this study.
Forty-eight patients diagnosed with t-AML within the past 10 years were enrolled, and their chemotherapy regimens categorized into 4 groups: alkylating agents (AK) only, topoisomerase II inhibitors (TI) and AK, TI only, and others. The prognostic factors affecting clinical outcome were evaluated.
Five (10.4%), 21 (43.8%), 9 (18.8%), and 13 (27.0%) patients were treated with AK only, AK and TI, TI only, and others, respectively. Patients with an AML M3 phenotype showed significantly longer overall survival (OS; 55.1 vs. 14.3 months, P=0.040) and disease-free survival (DFS; 61.2 vs. 17.5 months, P=0.049) than other phenotypes. In contrast, patients with a complex karyotype showed significantly shorter OS (7.9 vs. 31.3 months, P=0.008) and DFS (9.5 vs. 38.6 months, P=0.046); additionally, patients with chromosome 5 or 7 abnormalities showed significantly shorter OS (9.1 vs. 30.7 months, P=0.011) than other phenotypes. Only the presence of a complex karyotype or AML M3 phenotype retained prognostic impact in a multivariate analysis.
Only the AML M3 phenotype was identified as having a good prognosis, and this might suggest that it exhibits unique clinical features in t-AML patients. Moreover, our findings indicated that karyotype was the strongest prognostic indicator and predicted a poor prognosis for t-AML patients with a complex karyotype.
Prognosis; Therapy; Related; AML
We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using the allele burden of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F as a criterion for discriminating 3 subtypes of Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (Ph-MPN): polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF).
We collected 70 peripheral blood (PB) and 81 bone marrow (BM) samples from patients diagnosed with Ph-MPN. Real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) and Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS) assays were performed for each sample. We compared the allele burden of JAK2 V617F for each subtype of Ph-MPN and determined the concordance rates of the results between the 2 tests.
The JAK2 V617F allele burden differed significantly among the 3 disease categories in both PB (P=0.045) and BM (P=0.011) samples. Subsequent subgroup analysis revealed that the median allele burden of JAK2 V617F for ET (21.71% for PB and 24.95% for BM) was significantly lower than that for PV (56.88% for PB, P=0.047; 72.66% for BM, P=0.003) and PMF (56.16% for PB, P=0.050; 59.04% for BM, P=0.049). Concordance rate between the RQ-PCR and ARMS data was 90.7%. Of the 14 discrepant cases, 12 were RQ-PCR(+)/ARMS(-) and 2 were RQ-PCR(-)/ARMS(+).
The allele burden of JAK2 V617F was significantly lower for ET than that for PV or PMF in both PB and BM samples. The JAK2 V617F allele burden is a diagnostic tool for differentiating PV or PMF from ET.
Allele; Discrimination; Janus Kinase 2; Mutation; Myeloproliferative disorders; Real-time polymerase chain reaction
We report here a case of a 59-yr-old man with CD4+ T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia (T-LGL). Peripheral blood examination indicated leukocytosis (45×109 cells/L) that consisted of 34% neoplastic lymphoid cells. Other laboratory results indicated no specific abnormalities except for serum antinuclear antibody titer (1:640), glucose (1.39 g/L), and hemoglobin A1c (7.7%) levels. Computed tomography indicated multiple small enlarged lymph nodes (<1 cm in diameter) in both the axillary and inguinal areas, a cutaneous nodule (1.5 cm in diameter) in the left suboccipital area, and mild hepatosplenomegaly. Bone marrow examination revealed hypercellular marrow that consisted of 2.4% neoplastic lymphoid cells. The neoplastic lymphoid cells exhibited a medium size, irregularly shaped nuclei, a moderate amount of cytoplasm, and large granules in the cytoplasm. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated CD3+, CD4+, T-cell receptor βF1+, granzyme B+, and TIA1+. Flow cytometric analysis of the neoplastic lymphoid cells revealed CD3+, cytoplasmic CD3+, CD4+, and CD7+. Cytogenetic analysis indicated an abnormal karyotype of 46,XY,inv(3)(p21q27),t(12;17)(q24.1;q21),del(13)(q14q22)/46,XY. The patient was diagnosed with CD4+ T-LGL and received chemotherapy (10.0 mg methotrexate). This is the second case of CD4+ T-LGL that has been reported in Korea.
CD4+ T-LGL skin lesion; Leukocytosis
Multiparametric flow cytometry (MFC) allows discrimination between normal and neoplastic plasma cells (NeoPCs) within the bone marrow plasma cell (BMPC) compartment. This study sought to characterize immunophenotypes and quantitate the proportion of NeoPCs in BMPCs to diagnose plasma cell myeoma (PCM) and evaluate the prognostic impact of this method. We analyzed the MFC data of the bone marrow aspirates of 76 patients with PCM and 33 patients with reactive plasmacytosis. MFC analysis was performed using three combinations: CD38/CD138/-/CD45; CD56/CD20/CD138/CD19; and CD27/CD28/CD138/CD117. The plasma cells of patients with reactive plasmacytosis demonstrated normal immunophenotypic patterns. Aberrant marker expression was observed in NeoPCs, with negative CD19 expression observed in 100% of cases, CD56+ in 73.7%, CD117+ in 15.2%, CD27- in 10.5%, CD20+ in 9.2%, and CD28+ in 1.3%. In PCM patients, more than 20% of NeoPCs/BMPCs were significantly associated with factors suggestive of poor clinical outcomes. Patients who were CD27- or CD56+/CD27-, demonstrated shorter overall survival than patients of other CD56/CD27 combinations. Our results support the clinical value of immunophenotyping and quantifying NeoPCs in PCM patients. This strategy could help to reveal poor prognostic categories and delineate surrogate markers for risk stratification in PCM patients.
Multiple Myeloma; Flow Cytometry; Immunophenotyping; Neoplastic Cells; Plasma Cells
In up to 40% of systemic mastocytosis (SM) cases, an associated clonal hematological non-mast cell lineage disease such as AML is diagnosed before, simultaneously with, or after the diagnosis of SM. A 40-yr-old man was diagnosed with AML with t(8;21)(q22;q22). Mast cells were not noted at diagnosis, but appeared as immature forms at relapse. After allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), leukemic myeloblasts were not observed; however, neoplastic metachromatic blasts strikingly proliferated during the state of bone marrow aplasia, and finally, aleukemic mast cell leukemia developed. As the disease progressed, we observed serial morphologic changes from immature mast cells with myeloblasts to only metachromatic blasts and atypical mast cells as mast cell leukemia; FISH analysis showed that the neoplastic mast cells originated from the same clone as the leukemic myeloblasts of AML.
Systemic mastocytosis; Acute myeloid leukemia; Aleukemic mast cell leukemia; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The prognostic impact of the presence of differentiating neuroblasts in bone marrow (BM) remains unclear in BM metastatic neuroblastoma (NB). We aimed to identify the prognostic impact of differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and after chemotherapy.
A total of 51 patients diagnosed with BM metastatic NB at Asan Medical Center between January 1990 and July 2005 were enrolled. BM histology and laboratory data along with overall survival (OS) were compared with regard to the differentiation status of neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and after chemotherapy.
Among the 51 patients, 13 (25.5%) exhibited differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis and 17/51 (33.3%) exhibited them after chemotherapy. The only significant difference among patient groups was the improved OS in patients with differentiated neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis (P=0.021). In contrast, the differentiation status of neuroblasts in BM after chemotherapy did not affect OS (P=0.852).
Our study is the first report describing the presence of differentiating neuroblasts in BM. The presence of differentiating neuroblasts in BM at diagnosis may be a favorable prognostic factor for patients with BM metastatic NB; however, the same phenomenon after chemotherapy is irrelevant to prognosis.
Differentiating neuroblasts; Neuroblastoma; Bone marrow; Metastasis; Prognosis
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
Multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (mRT-PCR) has recently emerged as an alternative to cytogenetics. We designed and used simplified mRT-PCR system as a molecular screen for acute leukemia. Fifteen fusion transcripts were included: BCR-ABL1, PML-RARA, ZBTB16-RARA, RUNX1-RUNX1T1, CBFB-MYH11, DEK-NUP214, TCF3-PBX1, ETV6-RUNX1, MLL-AFF1, MLL-MLLT4, MLL-MLLT3, MLL-MLLT10, MLL-ELL, MLL-MLLT1, and MLL-MLLT6. A total of 121 diagnostic acute leukemia specimens were studied, comparing the mRT-PCR system with standard cytogenetics. Fifty-six cases (46.3%) had fusion transcripts revealed by our mRT-PCR assay. The concordance rate between mRT-PCR and cytogenetics was 91.7%. However, false negative results were found in three cases who have inv(16), t(4;11) or t(11;19)(q23;p13.1), respectively. Seven cryptic translocations including ETV6-RUNX1, MLL-MLLT3, MLL-MLLT4, and PML-RARA were detected. This mRT-PCR assay is a useful screening tool in acute leukemia because it provides rapid and reliable detection of clinically important chimeric transcripts. In addition, cryptic translocations provide additional genetic information that could be clinically useful.
Acute Leukemia; Multiplex RT-PCR; Cytogenetics; Cryptic Translocations
It is critical to differentiate heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) from disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in heparinized intensive care unit (ICU) patients with thrombocytopenia because the therapeutic approach differs based on the cause. We investigated the usefulness of PF4/heparin antibody tests in these patients.
A total of 127 heparinized ICU patients whose platelet counts were <150×109/L or reduced by >50% after 5-10 days of heparin therapy were enrolled. PF4/heparin antibodies were measured using 2 immunoassays. We assessed the probability of HIT by using Warkentin's 4T's scoring system for antibody positive patients and compared routinely performed coagulation test results between patients with and without antibodies to evaluate the ability of these tests to discriminate between HIT and DIC.
Positive results were obtained for 14 (11.0%) and 11 (8.7%) patients in the 2 assays. The analysis performed using the 4T's scoring system revealed that 11 of 20 (15.7%) patients with antibodies in at least 1 assay had intermediate or greater probability of HIT. Patients without antibodies had significantly higher levels of D-dimer than those with antibodies. However, there were no intergroup differences in platelet counts, PT, aPTT, fibrinogen, DIC score, and rate of overt DIC.
Seropositivity for PF4/heparin antibody was 8.7-11.0% in the patients with thrombocytopenia, and more than a half of them had an increased probability of HIT. Among the routine coagulation tests, only D-dimer was informative for differentiating HIT from DIC. PF4/heparin antibody test is useful to ensure appropriate treatment for thrombocytopenic heparinized ICU patients.
Intensive care units; Platelet factor 4; Heparin; Antibody; Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
Myelomatous pleural effusion (MPE) is rare in myeloma patients. We present a consecutive series of patients with MPE in a single institution.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 19 patients diagnosed with MPE between 1989 and 2008 at the Asan Medical Center. Diagnoses were confirmed by cytologic identification of malignant plasma cells in the pleural fluid.
Our patients showed dominance of IgA (36.8%) and IgD (31.6%) subtypes. Of 734 myeloma patients, the incidence of MPE was remarkably high for the IgD myeloma subtype (16.7%), compared to the other subtypes (1.4% for IgG and 4.6% for IgA). At the time of diagnosis of MPE, elevated serum β2-microglobulin, anemia, elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase, and elevated creatinine levels were found in 100%, 89.5%, 83.3%, and 57.9% of the patients, respectively. Approximately one-third (31.3%) of the patients had adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities in their pleural fluid exceeding the upper limit of the reported cutoff values for tuberculous pleural effusion (55.8 U/L). Chromosome 13 abnormality was seen in 77.8% of the tested patients. The median survival period from the development of MPE was 2.8 months.
Patients with MPE have aggressive clinical and laboratory characteristics. The preponderance of IgD myeloma in MPE patients is a noteworthy finding because IgD myeloma is a rare subtype. Elevated ADA activity in the pleural fluid is also noteworthy, and may be helpful for detecting MPE. Physicians treating myeloma patients should monitor the development of MPE and consider the possibility of a worse clinical course.
Myelomatous pleural effusion; IgD myeloma; Adenosine deaminase; Chromosome 13 abnormality
Lineage switch in acute leukemia is an uncommon event at relapse, and therefore rarely reported in the literature. Here, we have described the clinical laboratory features of four cases in which the cell lineage switched from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). One patient was initially diagnosed with B-ALL, switched to T-ALL at the first relapse, and eventually, AML at the second relapse. A lineage switch represented either relapse of the original clone with heterogeneity at the morphologic level or emergence of a new leukemic clone. Further sequential phenotypic and cytogenetic studies may yield valuable insights into the mechanisms of leukemic recurrence, with possible implications for treatment selection.
Lineage Switch; Acute Leukemia
Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3 ITD) mutation is related to poor prognosis in normal-karyotype acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic significance of the mutation at relapse has not been adequately investigated. We investigated the prognostic significance of the FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse in normal-karyotype AML patients.
We analyzed 69 normal-karyotype AML patients, in whom paired bone marrow samples taken at initial diagnosis and subsequent relapse were analyzed for the FLT3 ITD mutation at the Asan Medical Center between 1995 and 2009.
Forty patients showed a persistent wild-type genotype, 11 showed the FLT3 ITD mutation at diagnosis and relapse, and 9 lost and another 9 acquired the mutation at relapse. The mutation status at relapse affected the overall survival (OS), with the mutation group showing shorter OS and survival after relapse than the wild-type group did (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively), despite having received more frequent stem cell transplantation after relapse than the wild-type group did. However, no difference was detected in the OS and survival after relapse with regard to the mutation status at diagnosis.
The patients with FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse showed poorer prognoses than those without the mutation. However, mutation status at diagnosis did not affect the outcome. These results suggest that, in normal-karyotype AML patients with relapse, the prognostic significance of FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse is greater than that of the mutation status at diagnosis.
AML; Prognosis; FLT3 ITD; Relapse; Normal karyotype
AML relapsing as ALL has rarely been reported. We describe the case of a 62-yr-old man who was diagnosed with erythroleukemia with a complex karyotype and achieved complete hematologic and cytogenetic remission after induction chemotherapy. However, 4 months after the initial diagnosis, he showed relapse with blasts showing a different morphology and immunophenotype and was diagnosed with precursor B-cell ALL. The relapsing precursor B-cell ALL presented with the same leukemic clones as the primary erythroleukemia. Cytogenetic analysis of his bone marrow (BM) at the time of the primary erythroleukemia showed complex karyotypic abnormalities, including monosomy 5 and monosomy 7. At relapse, his BM showed reemergence of these leukemic clones of complex karyotypic abnormalities with clonal switch. To our knowledge, this is the first case of a lineage switch from erythroleukemia to ALL.
Erythroleukemia; Lineage switch; Precursor B cell lymphoblastic leukemia
Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is rare, and the presence of CNS symptoms at the time of diagnosis of APL is even rarer. We report 2 cases of APL presenting with CNS involvement. A 43-yr-old woman presented with easy bruising and stuporous mentality. Her complete blood count (CBC) revealed leukocytosis with increased blasts. Bone marrow (BM) analysis was carried out, and the diagnosis of APL was confirmed. This was done by cytogenetic analysis and demonstration of PML-RARα rearrangement by reverse transcriptase PCR in the BM cells. A lumbar puncture was performed to investigate the cause of her stuporous mentality, and her cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed 97% leukemic promyelocytes. Despite systemic and CNS therapy, she died due to septic shock by infection and rapid disease progression only 3 days after her admission. Another patient, a 3-yr-old girl, presented with easy bruising and epistaxis, and her CBC showed pancytopenia with increased blasts. BM studies confirmed APL. Quantitative PCR for PML-RARα in the BM cells revealed a PML-RARα/ABL ratio of 0.33 and CSF analysis revealed 9.5% leukemic promyelocytes (2 of 21 cells). She received induction chemotherapy and intrathecal therapy and achieved complete remission (CR) in the BM and CNS. She has been maintained in the CR status for the past 31 months. Thus, patients with APL must be evaluated for CNS involvement if any neurological symptoms are present at the time of diagnosis.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Central nervous system involvement; Disease presentation
Our study attempted to determine the prognostic significance of minimal residual disease (MRD) detected by a simplified flow cytometric assay during induction chemotherapy in children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
A total of 98 patients were newly diagnosed with precursor B-ALL from June 2004 to December 2008 at the Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea). Of those, 37 were eligible for flow cytometric MRD study analysis on day 14 of their induction treatment. The flow cytometric MRD assay was based on the expression intensity of CD19/CD10/CD34 or aberrant expression of myeloid antigens by bone marrow nucleated cells.
Thirty-five patients (94.6%) had CD19-positive leukemic cells that also expressed CD10 and/or CD34, and 18 (48.6%) had leukemic cells with aberrant expression of myeloid antigens. Seven patients with ≥1% leukemic cells on day 14 had a significantly lower relapse-free survival (RFS) compared to the 30 patients with lower levels (42.9% [18.7%] vs. 92.0% [5.4%], P=0.004). Stratification into 3 MRD groups (≥1%, 0.1-1%, and <0.1%) also showed a statistically significant difference in RFS (42.9% [18.7%] vs. 86.9% [8.7%] vs. 100%, P=0.013). However, the MRD status had no significant influence on overall survival. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the MRD level on day 14 was an independent prognostic factor with borderline significance.
An MRD assay using simplified flow cytometry during induction chemotherapy may help to identify patients with B-ALL who have an excellent outcome and patients who are at higher risk for relapse.
Lymphoblastic leukemia; Acute; Childhood; Minimal residual disease; Flow cytometry
Therapy-related myeloid neoplasm (t-MN) is a distinct class of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Both AML and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) may develop after treatment for primary cancer. Topoisomerase inhibitors are commonly used to treat breast cancer patients and are well-known for their effect on leukemogenesis of therapy-related acute leukemias (t-AL).
We retrospectively evaluated bone marrow test results, chromosomal findings, and clinical characteristics of 12 patients who received topoisomerase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment and later developed acute leukemia.
Fourteen patients (0.2%) developed t-AL after treatment for breast cancer. Topoisomerase inhibitors were administered to 12 patients. Among them, 9 patients (75%, 9/12) were diagnosed with therapy-related AML (t-AML) and 3 patients (25%, 3/12) with therapy-related ALL (t-ALL). Eight patients (67%, 8/12) showed translocation involving 11q23 and 3 different partner genes, 19p13.1 (37.5%, 3/8), 9p22 (37.5%, 3/8), and 4q21 (25%, 2/8). The median interval between completion of chemotherapy for breast cancer and occurrence of t-AL was 25 months. Patients with 11q23 translocation showed markedly poorer event-free survival than the group without involvement of 11q23.
The incidence rate of t-AL after treatment for breast cancer was 0.2% in a tertiary hospital in Korea. Translocation involving the MLL gene was frequently found in t-AL caused by a topoisomerase inhibitor and was related to poor prognosis.
Therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia; Breast cancer; Topoisomerase inhibitors; 11q23
Standardization of medical terminology is essential in data transmission between health care institutes and in maximizing the benefits of information technology. The purpose of this study was to standardize medical terms for laboratory observations. During the second year of the study, a standard database of concept names for laboratory terms that covered those used in tertiary health care institutes and reference laboratories was developed. The laboratory terms in the Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes (LOINC) database were adopted and matched with the electronic data interchange (EDI) codes in Korea. A public hearing and a workshop for clinical pathologists were held to collect the opinions of experts. The Korean standard laboratory terminology database containing six axial concept names, components, property, time aspect, system (specimen), scale type, and method type, was established for 29,340 test observations. Short names and mapping tables for EDI codes and UMLS were added. Synonym tables were prepared to help match concept names to common terms used in the fields. We herein described the Korean standard laboratory terminology database for test names, result description terms, and result units encompassing most of the laboratory tests in Korea.
Standard; Terminology; Laboratory Medicine; Korea
The prognostic significance of multidrug resistance (MDR) gene expression is controversial. We investigated whether multidrug resistance gene 1 (MDR1), multidrug resistance-related protein (MRP) and lung resistance protein (LRP) mRNA expression are associated with outcomes in acute leukemia patients. At diagnosis we examined MDR1, MRP and LRP mRNA expression in bone marrow samples from 71 acute leukemia patients (39 myeloid, 32 lymphoblastic) using nested RT-PCR. The expression of each of these genes was then expressed as a ratio in relation to β-actin gene expression, and the three genes were categorized as being either 0, 1+, 2+ or 3+. MDR1, MRP and LRP mRNA expression was detected in 23.9%, 83.1% and 45.1%, respectively. LRP mRNA expression was significantly associated with resistance to induction chemotherapy in acute leukemia patients, and in the AML proportion (p=0.02 and p=0.03, respectively). MRP and high MDR1 mRNA expression was associated with poorer 2-yr survival (p=0.049 and p=0.04, respectively). Patients expressing both MRP and LRP mRNA had poorer outcomes and had worse 2-yr survival. The present data suggest that MDR expression affects complete remission and survival rates in acute leukemia patients. Thus, determination of MDR gene expression at diagnosis appears likely to provide useful prognostic information for acute leukemia patients.
Genes, MDR; Multidrug Resistance Gene 1; P-Glycoprotein Multidrug Resistance-related Protein 1; lung resistance protein; Prognosis; Leukemia