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1.  Direct targeting of MEK1/2 and RSK2 by silybin induces cell cycle arrest and inhibits melanoma cell growth 
Abnormal functioning of multiple gene products underlies the neoplastic transformation of cells. Thus, chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents with multigene targets hold promise in the development of effective anticancer drugs. Silybin, a component of milk thistle, is a natural anticancer agent. In the present study, we investigated the effect of silybin on melanoma cell growth and elucidated its molecular targets. Our study revealed that silybin attenuated the growth of melanoma xenograft tumors in nude mice. Silybin inhibited the kinase activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)-1/2 and ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK)-2 in melanoma cells. The direct binding of silybin with MEK1/2 and RSK2 was explored using a computational docking model. Treatment of melanoma cells with silybin attenuated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 and RSK2, which are regulated by the upstream kinases MEK1/2. The blockade of MEK1/2-ERK1/2-RSK2 signaling by silybin resulted in a reduced activation of nuclear factor-kappaB, activator protein-1 and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, which are transcriptional regulators of a variety of proliferative genes in melanomas. Silybin, by blocking the activation of these transcription factors, induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase and inhibited melanoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, silybin suppresses melanoma growth by directly targeting MEK- and RSK-mediated signaling pathways.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0425
PMCID: PMC3644346  PMID: 23447564
Silybin; BRAF/MEK/ERK/RSK signaling pathway; melanoma
2.  Clinicopathologic significance of expression of nuclear factor-κB RelA and its target gene products in gastric cancer patients 
AIM: To assess the prognostic significance of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and its target genes in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The tumor tissues of 115 patients with gastric cancer were immunohistochemically evaluated using monoclonal antibodies against NF-κB RelA. Preoperative serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assessed via enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay. C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) were measured via immunotrubidimetry.
RESULTS: Positive rate of NF-κB RelA was 42.6%. NF-κB RelA expression in tumor tissues was also related to serum levels of IL-6 (P = 0.044) and CRP (P = 0.010). IL-6, SAA, CRP were related to depth of invasion, VEGF and SAA were correlated with lymph node metastasis. IL-6, VEGF, SAA and CRP were related to the stage. Univariate analysis demonstrated that immunostaining of NF-κB RelA, levels of IL-6, VEGF, SAA were significantly related with both disease free survival and overall survival (OS). Multivariate analysis verified that NF-κB RelA [hazard ratio (HR): 3.40, P = 0.024] and SAA (HR: 3.39, P = 0.045) were independently associated with OS.
CONCLUSION: Increased expression of NF-κB RelA and high levels of serum SAA were associated with poor OS in gastric cancer patients.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i34.4744
PMCID: PMC3442213  PMID: 23002344
Nuclear factor-κB; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Interleukin-6; C-reactive protein; Serum amyloid A; Stomach; Carcinoma
3.  Fludarabine-based myeloablative regimen as pretransplant conditioning therapy in adult acute leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome: comparison with oral or intravenous busulfan with cyclophosphamide 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):102-108.
Background
A combination of busulfan (Bu) and cyclophosphamide (Cy) has been used as a standard myeloablative regimen for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Recent studies postulate that fludarabine (Flu) is a less toxic substitute for Cy.
Methods
Forty-two patients who were diagnosed with acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome and received BuFlu (n=17) or BuCy (n=25) from August, 1999 to July, 2009 at Dong-A University Medical Center were retrospectively analyzed.
Results
The median follow-up duration was 39.75 months. The BuFlu group showed a lower incidence of mucositis (P=0.005), but there was no significant intergroup difference in the time of engraftment, nausea/vomiting, acute/chronic graft-versus-host disease, hepatic veno-occlusive disease, or hemorrhagic cystitis. Moreover, the 2 groups showed no significant difference in the cumulative risk of relapse, event-free survival, or overall survival.
Conclusion
BuFlu administration can be employed as a preparative regimen for allogeneic HSCT and shows efficacy and transplant-adverse effects comparable to those of BuCy. However, randomized prospective studies in more patients are warranted.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.2.102
PMCID: PMC2983027  PMID: 21120188
Myeloablative regimen; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Fludarabine; Busulfan
4.  A case of subdural hematoma in patient with chronic myeloid leukemia treated with high-dose imatinib mesylate 
Imatinib mesylate (IM) is used to treat a wide range of diseases, including Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), on account of its high tolerability and low incidence of minor adverse events. Hemorrhage is thought to be a rare complication of IM. Recently, IM has been associated with reduced α2-plasmin inhibitor and platelet dysfunction. We report here the case of a 33-year-old female patient with CML who experienced subdural hematoma after an incremental increase in IM dosage due to a loss of complete molecular response. This case indicates that physicians should be alert to this atypical cause of headache in patients taking high-dose IM.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.1.73
PMCID: PMC2983009  PMID: 21120168
Chronic myeloid leukemia; Imatinib mesylate; Subdural hematoma
5.  Gastric leptomeningeal carcinomatosis: Multi-center retrospective analysis of 54 cases 
AIM: To identify the clinical features and outcomes of infrequently reported leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC) of gastric cancer.
METHODS: We analyzed 54 cases of cytologically confirmed gastric LMC at four institutions from 1994 to 2007.
RESULTS: The male-to-female ratio was 32:22, and the patients ranged in age from 28 to 78 years (median, 48.5 years). The majority of patients had advanced disease at initial diagnosis of gastric cancer. The clinical or pathologic tumor, node and metastasis stage of the primary gastric cancer was IV in 38 patients (70%). The median interval from diagnosis of the primary malignancy to the diagnosis of LMC was 6.3 mo, ranging between 0 and 73.1 mo. Of the initial endoscopic findings for the 45 available patients, 23 (51%) of the patients were Bormann type III and 15 (33%) patients were Bormann type IV. Pathologically, 94% of cases proved to be poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas. Signet ring cell component was also observed in 40% of patients. Headache (85%) and nausea/vomiting (58%) were the most common presenting symptoms of LMC. A gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging was conducted in 51 patients. Leptomeningeal enhancement was noted in 45 cases (82%). Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy was administered to 36 patients-primarily methotrexate alone (61%), but also in combination with hydrocortisone/± Ara-C (39%). The median number of IT treatments was 7 (range, 1-18). Concomitant radiotherapy was administered to 18 patients, and concomitant chemotherapy to seven patients. Seventeen patients (46%) achieved cytological negative conversion. Median overall survival duration from the diagnosis of LMC was 6.7 wk (95% CI: 4.3-9.1 wk). In the univariate analysis of survival duration, hemoglobin, IT chemotherapy, and cytological negative conversion showed superior survival duration (P = 0.038, P = 0.010, and P = 0.002, respectively). However, in our multivariate analysis, only cytological negative conversion was predictive of relatively longer survival duration (3.6, 6.7 and 14.6 wk, P = 0.030, RR: 0.415, 95% CI: 0.188-0.918).
CONCLUSION: Although these patients had a fatal clinical course, cytologic negative conversion by IT chemotherapy may improve survival.
doi:10.3748/wjg.15.5086
PMCID: PMC2768889  PMID: 19860003
Carcinomatosis; Gastric cancer; Intrathecal chemotherapy; Leptomeningeal
6.  Diagnostic Utility of Multiprobe Fluorescence in situ Hybridization Assay for Detecting Cytogenetic Aberrations in Acute Leukemia 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2014;34(3):198-202.
Background
Specific cytogenetic aberrations detected by conventional karyotyping or FISH play a major role in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of patients with acute leukemia. The FISH technique enhances the capacity of conventional karyotyping to detect subtle chromosomal aberrations. Multiprobe FISH assay (Cytocell, UK) can hybridize multiple probes to a single slide, thereby increasing the detection rate of cytogenetic aberrations. This study aimed to evaluate multiprobe FISH in detecting cytogenetic abnormalities in acute leukemia.
Methods
Thirty newly diagnosed acute leukemia patients who attended the hematology clinic at Dong-A University Hospital from October 2008 to October 2012 were enrolled in the study. The multiprobe FISH results were compared with those of G-banding.
Results
Multiprobe FISH detected the chromosomal aberrations identified by G-banding, as well as additional aberrations in 6 of 30 (20.0%) cases, which included ETV6/RUNX1 translocation, p16 deletion, TP53 deletion, and IGH break-apart.
Conclusions
The multiprobe FISH assay was a more sensitive and reliable technique compared with G-banding. It was also more cost-effective and yielded faster results.
doi:10.3343/alm.2014.34.3.198
PMCID: PMC3999317  PMID: 24790906
Multiprobe FISH; Acute leukemia; Cytogenetic aberration
7.  Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism, 2nd Edition: Korean Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(2):164-171.
In 2010, we proposed the first Korean Guidelines for the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). It was applicable to Korean patients, by modifying the contents of the second edition of the Japanese guidelines for the prevention of VTE and the 8th edition of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. From 2007 to 2011, we conducted a nationwide study regarding the incidence of VTE after major surgery using the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) database. In addition, we have considered the 9th edition of the ACCP Evidenced-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines, published in 2012. It emphasized the importance of clinically relevant events as opposed to asymptomatic outcomes with preferences for both thrombotic and bleeding outcomes. Thus, in the development of the new Korean guidelines, three major points were addressed: 1) the new guidelines stratify patients into 4 risk groups (very low, low, moderate, and high) according to the actual incidence of symptomatic VTE from the HIRA databases; 2) the recommended optimal VTE prophylaxis for each group was modified according to condition-specific thrombotic and bleeding risks; 3) guidelines are intended for general information only, are not medical advice, and do not replace professional medical care and/or physician advice.
Graphical Abstract
doi:10.3346/jkms.2014.29.2.164
PMCID: PMC3923992  PMID: 24550640
Guideline; Prevention; Venous Thromboembolism; Bleeding
8.  Working Memory Impairment in Calcineurin Knock-out Mice Is Associated with Alterations in Synaptic Vesicle Cycling and Disruption of High-Frequency Synaptic and Network Activity in Prefrontal Cortex 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(27):10938-10949.
Working memory is an essential component of higher cognitive function, and its impairment is a core symptom of multiple CNS disorders, including schizophrenia. Neuronal mechanisms supporting working memory under normal conditions have been described and include persistent, high-frequency activity of prefrontal cortical neurons. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular basis of working memory dysfunction in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. To elucidate synaptic and neuronal mechanisms of working memory dysfunction, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of a mouse model of schizophrenia, the forebrain-specific calcineurin knock-out mouse. Biochemical analyses of cortical tissue from these mice revealed a pronounced hyperphosphorylation of synaptic vesicle cycling proteins known to be necessary for high-frequency synaptic transmission. Examination of the synaptic vesicle cycle in calcineurin-deficient neurons demonstrated an impairment of vesicle release enhancement during periods of intense stimulation. Moreover, brain slice and in vivo electrophysiological analyses showed that loss of calcineurin leads to a gene dose-dependent disruption of high-frequency synaptic transmission and network activity in the PFC, correlating with selective working memory impairment. Finally, we showed that levels of dynamin I, a key presynaptic protein and calcineurin substrate, are significantly reduced in prefrontal cortical samples from schizophrenia patients, extending the disease relevance of our findings. Our data provide support for a model in which impaired synaptic vesicle cycling represents a critical node for disease pathologies underlying the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5362-12.2013
PMCID: PMC3718364  PMID: 23825400
9.  Clinical Outcomes and Prognostic Factors of Empirical Antifungal Therapy with Itraconazole in the Patients with Hematological Malignancies: A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study in Korea 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2013;55(1):9-18.
Purpose
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.1.9
PMCID: PMC3874917  PMID: 24339281
Hematological malignancy; prognosis; itraconazole; empirical antifungal therapy
10.  Success Rate and Risk Factors for Failure of Empirical Antifungal Therapy with Itraconazole in Patients with Hematological Malignancies: A Multicenter, Prospective, Open-Label, Observational Study in Korea 
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)
doi:10.3346/jkms.2014.29.1.61
PMCID: PMC3890478  PMID: 24431907
Hematological Malignancy; Itraconazole; Empirical Antifungal Therapy; Galactomannan Test
11.  Balance of calcineurin Aα and CDK5 activities sets release probability at nerve terminals 
The control of neurotransmitter release at nerve terminals is of profound importance for neurological function and provides a powerful control system in neural networks. We show that the balance of enzymatic activities of the alpha isoform of the phosphatase calcineurin (CNAα) and the kinase CDK5 has a dramatic influence over single AP-driven exocytosis at nerve terminals. Acute or chronic loss of these enzymatic activities results in a 7-fold impact on single action potential-driven exocytosis. We demonstrate that this control is mediated almost entirely through Cav2.2 (N-type) voltage-gated calcium channels as blocking these channels with a peptide toxin eliminates modulation by these enzymes. We found that a fraction of nerve terminals are kept in a presynaptically silent state with no measurable Ca2+ influx driven by single AP stimuli due to the balance of CNAα and CDK5 activities as blockade of either CNAα or CDK5 activity changes the proportion of presynaptically silent nerve terminals. Thus CNAα and CDK5 enzymatic activities are key determinants of release probability.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4288-12.2013
PMCID: PMC3808255  PMID: 23699505
12.  Prognostic significance of thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase expression in biliary tract cancer patients receiving adjuvant 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(6):987-994.
Biliary tract cancer (BTC) is a relatively uncommon type of cancer, accounting for ∼4% of the malignant neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract. The aim of this study was to determine whether the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS), thymidine phosphorylase (TP) and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) predict clinical outcome in BTC patients treated with adjuvant 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy. TS and TP expression were found to be significantly correlated with cancer location (P=0.044 and 0.031, respectively). The multivariate analysis revealed that age [hazard ratio (HR)=2.157, P=0.008], stage (HR=2.234, P<0.001), resection margin status (HR=2.748, P=0.004) and TP expression (HR=2.014, P=0.039) were independently associated with overall survival (OS).
doi:10.3892/mco.2013.166
PMCID: PMC3915652  PMID: 24649282
biliary tract cancer; 5-fluorouracil; thymidine phosphorylase
13.  Prognostic significance of neutrophil lymphocyte ratio and platelet lymphocyte ratio in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with FOLFOX chemotherapy 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:350.
Background
Several inflammatory response materials could be used for prediction of prognosis of cancer patients. The neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and the platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have been introduced for prognostic scoring system in various cancers. The objective of this study was to determine whether the NLR or the PLR would predict the clinical outcomes in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with oxaliplatin/ 5-fluorouracil (FOLFOX).
Methods
The study population consisted of 174 advanced gastric cancer patients. Patients were treated with 85 mg/m2 of oxaliplatin as a 2-h infusion at day 1 plus 20 mg/m2 of leucovorin over 10 min, followed by 5-FU bolus 400 mg/m2 and 22-h continuous infusion of 600 mg/m2 at days 1-2. Treatment was repeated in 2-week intervals. The NLR and PLR were calculated from complete blood counts in laboratory test before and after first cycle of chemotherapy.
Results
NLR was a useful prognostic biomarker for predicting inferior overall survival (OS) (p = 0.005), but was not associated with progression free survival (PFS) (p = 0.461). The normalization of NLR after one cycle of chemotherapy was found to be in association with significant improvement in PFS (5.3 months vs. 2.4 months, p < 0.001), and OS (11.9 months vs. 4.6 months, p < 0.001). The normalization of PLR was also associated with longer PFS (5.6 months vs. 3.4 months, p = 0.006), and OS (16.9 months vs. 10.9 months, p = 0.002). In multivariate analysis, changes in NLR were associated with PFS (Hazard ratio (HR): 2.297, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.429-3.693, p = 0.001). The NLR, (HR: 0.245, 95% CI: 0.092-0.633, p = 0.004), PLR (HR: 0.347, 95% CI: 0.142-0.847, p = 0.020), changes in NLR (HR: 2.468, 95% CI: 1.567-3.886, p < 0.001), and changes in PLR (HR: 1.473, 95% CI: 1.038-2.090, p = 0.030) were independent prognostic markers for OS.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that NLR, PLR, and changes in NLR or PLR are independent prognostic factor for OS in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with chemotherapy. These specific factors may also help in identifying the patients, who are more sensitive to FOLFOX regimen.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-350
PMCID: PMC3729814  PMID: 23876227
Neutrophil; Lymphocyte; Platelet; Gastric neoplasm
14.  Molecular mechanism of sequence-dependent stability of RecA filament 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(16):7738-7744.
RecA is a DNA-dependent ATPase and mediates homologous recombination by first forming a filament on a single-stranded (ss) DNA. RecA binds preferentially to TGG repeat sequence, which resembles the recombination hot spot Chi (5′-GCTGGTGG-3′) and is the most frequent pattern (GTG) of the codon usage in Escherichia coli. Because of the highly dynamic nature of RecA filament formation, which consists of filament nucleation, growth and shrinkage, we need experimental approaches that can resolve each of these processes separately to gain detailed insights into the molecular mechanism of sequence preference. By using a single-molecule fluorescence assay, we examined the effect of sequence on individual stages of nucleation, monomer binding and dissociation. We found that RecA does not recognize the Chi sequence as a nucleation site. In contrast, we observed that it is the reduced monomer dissociation that mainly determines the high filament stability on TGG repeats. This sequence dependence of monomer dissociation is well-correlated with that of ATP hydrolysis, suggesting that DNA sequence dictates filament stability through modulation of ATP hydrolysis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt570
PMCID: PMC3763553  PMID: 23804763
15.  Third-line docetaxel chemotherapy for recurrent and metastatic gastric cancer 
Background/Aims
To determine the efficacy and toxicity of docetaxel as a third-line therapy for patients with relapsed gastric cancer who have undergone modified oxaliplatin-fluorouracil (m-FOLFOX)-4 and modified irinotecan-fluorouracil (m-FOLFIRI) regimens.
Methods
We analyzed 33 patients who had been histologically diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the stomach and who had progressed after m-FOLFOX-4 and m-FOLFIRI regimens. Patients were treated with cycles of 75 mg/m2 docetaxel on day 1 every 3 weeks.
Results
The median age of the patients was 56.0 years (range, 31.0 to 74.0), and 73% of the patients (24/33) had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. All patients were evaluated in terms of tumor response: five (15%), nine (27%), and 19 (58%) patients experienced a partial response, stable disease, and progressive disease, respectively. The median time to progression was 2.1 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.63 to 2.58), and overall survival was 4.7 months (95% CI, 3.20 to 6.20), from the start of the docetaxel regimen. Assessing patients' toxicity profiles, the median number of cycles was 2.0 (range, 1.0 to 12.0). The major hematologic toxicities included grade 3 to 4 neutropenia (19/33, 58%), grade 3 to 4 thrombocytopenia (2/33, 6%), and grade 3 to 4 anemia (5/33, 15%). Neutropenic fever developed in three patients (3/33, 9%). The nonhematological toxicities were nausea and vomiting (10/33, 30%), abdominal pain (4/33, 12%), skin rash (1/33, 3%), and fluid retention (3/33, 9%).
Conclusions
Docetaxel is a feasible third-line therapy regimen for patients with advanced gastric cancer after m-FOLFIRI and m-FOLFOX-4 regimens.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2013.28.3.314
PMCID: PMC3654129  PMID: 23682225
Advanced gastric cancer; Docetaxel; Salvage therapy
16.  The relationship of Vascular endothelial growth factor gene polymorphisms and clinical outcome in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with FOLFOX: VEGF polymorphism in gastric cancer 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:43.
Background
The aim of this study is to evaluate the associations between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and clinical outcome in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and leucovorin (FOLFOX).
Methods
Genomic DNA was isolated from whole blood, and six VEGF (−2578C/A, -2489C/T, -1498 T/C, -634 G/C, +936C/T, and +1612 G/A) gene polymorphisms were analyzed by PCR. Levels of serum VEGF were measured using enzyme-linked immunoassays.
Results
Patients with G/G genotype for VEGF -634 G/C gene polymorphism showed a lower response rate (22.2%) than those with G/C or C/C genotype (32.3%, 51.1%; P = 0.034). Patients with the VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism G/C + C/C genotype had a longer progression free survival (PFS) of 4.9 months, compared with the PFS of 3.5 months for those with the G/G (P = 0.043, log-rank test). By multivariate analysis, this G/G genotype of VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism was identified as an independent prognostic factor (Hazard ratio 1.497, P = 0.017).
Conclusion
Our data suggest that G/G genotype of VEGF -634 G/C polymorphism is related to the higher serum levels of VEGF, and poor clinical outcome in advanced gastric cancer patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-43
PMCID: PMC3573956  PMID: 23374220
VEGF; Polymorphism; Gastric cancer
17.  Early Response to Bortezomib Combined Chemotherapy Can Help Predict Survival in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Who Are Ineligible for Stem Cell Transplantation 
Novel agents to treat multiple myeloma (MM) have increased complete respone (CR) rates compared with conventional chemotherapy, and the quality of the response to treatment has been correlated with survival. The purpose of our study was to show how of early response to bortezomib combined chemotherapy influences survival in patients with newly diagnosed MM who are ineligible for stem cell transplantation. We assessed patient responses to at least four cycles of bortezomib using the International Myeloma Working Group response criteria. The endpoints were comparisons of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between early good response group (A group) and poor response group (B group). We retrospectively analyzed data from 129 patients registered by the Korean Multiple Myeloma Working Party, a nationwide registration of MM patients. The 3 yr PFS for the A and B groups was 55.6% and 18.4%, respectively (P < 0.001). The 3 yr OS for the A and B groups was 65.3% and 52.9%, respectively (P = 0.078). The early response to at least four cycle of bortezomib before next chemotherapy may help predict PFS in patients with MM who are ineligible stem cell transplantation.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.1.80
PMCID: PMC3546109  PMID: 23341716
Early Response; Multiple Myeloma; Bortezomib; Survival
18.  Over-expression of extracellular superoxide dismutase in mouse synovial tissue attenuates the inflammatory arthritis 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2012;44(9):529-535.
Oxidative stress such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the inflamed joint have been indicated as being involved as inflammatory mediators in the induction of arthritis. Correlations between extracellular-superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) and inflammatory arthritis have been shown in several animal models of RA. However, there is a question whether the over-expression of EC-SOD on arthritic joint also could suppress the progression of disease or not. In the present study, the effect on the synovial tissue of experimental arthritis was investigated using EC-SOD over-expressing transgenic mice. The over-expression of EC-SOD in joint tissue was confirmed by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The degree of the inflammation in EC-SOD transgenic mice was suppressed in the collagen-induced arthritis model. In a cytokine assay, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as, IL-1β, TNFα, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) was decreased in fibroblast-like synoviocyte (FLS) but not in peripheral blood. Histological examination also showed repressed cartilage destruction and bone in EC-SOD transgenic mice. In conclusion, these data suggest that the over-expression of EC-SOD in FLS contributes to the activation of FLS and protection from joint destruction by depressing the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and MMPs. These results provide EC-SOD transgenic mice with a useful animal model for inflammatory arthritis research.
doi:10.3858/emm.2012.44.9.060
PMCID: PMC3465746  PMID: 22718219
arthritis, experimental; reactive oxygen species; rheumatoid arthritis; superoxide dismutase; synovial membrane
19.  Identification of genes underlying different methylation profiles in refractory anemia with excess blast and refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia in myelodysplastic syndrome 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):186-193.
Background
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.186
PMCID: PMC3464335  PMID: 23071473
Myelodysplastic syndrome; DNA methylation; GSTM5; ANGPTL2; BIK
20.  Should we still use Camitta's criteria for severe aplastic anemia? 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):126-130.
Background
The criteria by Camitta for diagnosis in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has been used since 1976. However, there has been no attempt to verify the Camitta's criteria, that the survival in patients with SAA may differ by absolute neutrophil count (ANC), platelet count (PLT), and corrected reticulocyte count (CRC), which are components of the Camitta's criteria.
Methods
117 SAA patients diagnosed by the Camitta's criteria were analyzed, retrospectively. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the factors affecting overall survival (OS).
Results
Response by immunosuppressive therapy (IST) or stem cell transplantation (SCT) significantly affected OS (P=0.001). Therefore, we excluded treatment responders for analysis. Finally, 92 SAA patients including treatment non-responders by IST or SCT and conservative care group were analyzed by using univariate and multivariate analyses. The median age of analyzed patients was 54.5 years. Male to female ratio was 1:1. The median follow-up duration was 74.23 months (range, 54.71-93.74 months). The median ANC, PLT, and CRC were 394/µL, 12,000/µL, and 0.39%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, ANC <500/µL or ≥500/µL (P=0.015, HR 2.694, 95% CI: 1.20-6.01) and age (P=0.015, HR 1.022, 95% CI: 1.00-1.04) were the significant factors for OS.
Conclusion
ANC could be an essential, not an optional criterion for diagnosing SAA. This study suggests the possibility that the Camitta's criteria be modified. Studies in large cohorts are needed to transform the Camitta's criteria.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.126
PMCID: PMC3389061  PMID: 22783359
Camitta's criteria; Severe aplastic anemia; Absolute neutrophil count
21.  Is radioimmunotherapy a 'magic bullet'? 
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.85
PMCID: PMC3389069  PMID: 22783351
22.  Frequency of BRAF Mutation and Clinical Relevance for Primary Melanomas 
Korean Journal of Pathology  2012;46(3):246-252.
Background
This study was conducted to clarify the frequency of the BRAF mutation in primary melanomas and its correlation with clinicopathologic parameters.
Methods
We analyzed the frequency of BRAF mutation in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma (n=58) or non-cutaneous one (n=27) by performing dual priming oligonucleotide-based multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction to isolate and to purify the DNA from the formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tumors.
Results
The BRAF mutation was found in 17.2% (10/58) of patients with primary cutaneous melanoma and 11.1% (3/27) of those with non-cutaneous melanoma. The frequency of BRAF mutation was not correlated with any clinicopathologic parameters with the exception of the patient age. The frequency of the BRAF mutation was significantly higher in patients younger than 60 years as compared with those older than 60 years (p=0.005).
Conclusions
Compared with previous reports, our results showed that the frequency of the BRAF mutation was relatively lower in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. Besides, our results also showed that the frequency of the BRAF mutation had an inverse correlation with the age. Further studies are warranted to exclude methodological bias, to elucidate the difference in the frequency of the BRAF mutation from the previous reports from a Caucasian population and to provide an improved understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of malignant melanoma.
doi:10.4132/KoreanJPathol.2012.46.3.246
PMCID: PMC3479764  PMID: 23110010
Melanoma; BRAF; Mutation; Frequency
23.  Frzb-1 Is a Secreted Antagonist of Wnt Signaling Expressed in the Spemann Organizer 
Cell  1997;88(6):747-756.
Summary
Frzb-1 is a secreted protein containing a domain similar to the putative Wnt-binding region of the frizzled family of transmembrane receptors. Frzb-1 is widely expressed in adult mammalian tissues. In the Xenopus gastrula, it is expressed and regulated as a typical Spemann organizer component. Injection of frzb-1 mRNA blocks expression of XMyoD mRNA and leads to embryos with enlarged heads and shortened trunks. Frzb-1 antagonizes the effects of Xwnt-8 ectopic expression in a non-cell-autonomous manner. Cultured cells transfected with a membrane-tethered form of Wnt-1 bind epitope-tagged Frzb-1 in the 10−10 M range. The results strengthen the view that the Spemann organizer is a source of secreted inhibitory factors.
PMCID: PMC3061830  PMID: 9118218
24.  Lineage-specific chimerism analysis in nucleated cells, T cells and natural killer cells after myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
Background
Chimerism analysis is an important tool for assessing the origin of hematopoietic cells after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) and can be used to detect impending graft rejection and the recurrence of underlying malignant or nonmalignant diseases.
Methods
This study included 24 patients who underwent myeloablative allo-SCT. DNA was extracted from nucleated cells (NCs), T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells, and the chimerism status of these cell fractions was determined by STR-PCR performed using an automated fluorescent DNA analyzer.
Results
Twenty-three out of the 24 patients achieved engraftment. Mixed chimerism (MC) in NCs, but not in T cells and NK cells, was significantly correlated with disease relapse. MC in all cell fractions was correlated with mortality. Ten patients (41.6%) developed extensive chronic GVHD. Six patients had MC in T cells, and 3 of them had chronic GVHD. Four patients with MC and relapse received donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), and among them, 3 had secondary relapse. Further, the chimerism status differed among different cell lineages in 6 patients with myeloid malignancies.
Conclusion
The implications of MC in lymphocyte subsets are an important area for future research. Chimerism analysis in lineage-specific cells permits detection of relapse and facilitates the monitoring of therapeutic interventions. These results can provide the basic data for chimerism analysis after myeloablative SCT.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.1.18
PMCID: PMC3065621  PMID: 21461299
Lineage-specific chimerism; Myeloablative stem cell transplantation; T cells; Natural killer cells
25.  Incidence and clinical characteristics of clonal cytogenetic abnormalities of acquired aplastic anemia in adults 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(4):242-246.
Background
Cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) have been reported frequently in patients with otherwise typical aplastic anemia (AA), but their implications in the prognosis and in the evolution to hematologic malignancies are controversial.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed 127 adult AA patients who had successful cytogenetic analysis at initial diagnosis.
Results
The patients were classified into 3 groups according to the initial and follow-up results of cytogenetic profiles. Group 1 included patients who had persistent AA with normal cytogenetic profiles (N=117); Group 2, those who had a normal cytogenetic profile at initial diagnosis but later acquired CA (N=4, 3.1%); and Group 3, those who had CA at the initial diagnosis, regardless of follow-up cytogenetic status (N=6,4.7%). In Group 2, 2 patients later developed CA without progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); the other 2 patients later progressed to AML. None of the patients in Group 3 progressed to AML or MDS. There was no significant difference in overall survival between Groups 1 and 3.
Conclusion
AA patients with CA at initial diagnosis or follow-up may not be at greater risk for evolution to AML or MDS, or show shorter survival periods. Prospective studies and a larger patient samples are needed to establish the clinical relevance of CA.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2010.45.4.242
PMCID: PMC3023049  PMID: 21253425
Aplastic anemia; Cytogenetic abnormality

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