Adenomyoepithelioma (AME) of the breast is an uncommon tumor characterized by its dual differentiation into luminal cells and myoepithelial cells. In most cases these tumors have a benign clinical course, but distant metastases have been reported. We present the case of a 51-year-old woman diagnosed with malignant AME. The patient underwent a right modified radical mastectomy, and pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of malignant AME. Ten months after the operation, multiple hepatic, pleural, and abdominal wall metastases were detected. A number of palliative chemotherapeutic agents were tried, including anthracycline and taxanes. However, the disease continued to progress, and superior vena cava syndrome developed as a result of direct tumor invasion. The patient received salvage eribulin monotherapy. After two cycles of this treatment, her clinical symptoms were ameliorated, and a computed tomography scan showed a partial response. Eribulin chemotherapy was thus effective in treating malignant AME in this case.
Breast; Eribulin; Malignant adenomyoepithelioma; Neplasm metastasis
This study investigated whether patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) truly fulfill the diagnostic criteria of overt disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), as proposed by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) and the Korean Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis (KSTH), and analyzed which component of the criteria most contributes to bleeding diathesis.
A single-center retrospective analysis was conducted on newly diagnosed APL patients between January 1995 and May 2012.
A total of 46 newly diagnosed APL patients were analyzed. Of these, 27 patients (58.7%) showed initial bleeding. The median number of points per patient fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of overt DIC by the ISTH and the KSTH was 5 (range, 1 to 7) and 3 (range, 1 to 4), respectively. At diagnosis of APL, 22 patients (47.8%) fulfilled the overt DIC diagnostic criteria by either the ISTH or KSTH. In multivariate analysis of the ISTH or KSTH diagnostic criteria for overt DIC, the initial fibrinogen level was the only statistically significant factor associated with initial bleeding (p = 0.035), but it was not associated with overall survival (OS).
Initial fibrinogen level is associated with initial presentation of bleeding of APL patients, but does not affect OS.
Leukemia, promyelocytic, acute; Disseminated intravascular coagulation; Fibrinogen
In cutaneous malignant melanoma (MM) with clinically uninvolved regional lymph nodes, sentinel lymph node (SLN) status is the most powerful indicator of both overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). However, no studies on the long-term survival and clinical follow-up of Korean patients with acral lentiginous MM (ALM) undergoing SLN biopsy (SLNB) have been published.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical prognosis and long-term survival of Korean patients with ALM according to SLN status.
Thirty-four ALM patients undergoing SLNB were included in this study. We evaluated clinical and histopathological follow-up data such as the stage of disease, treatment, recurrence, and metastasis, and analyzed OS and DFS according to SLN status.
The median follow-up time was 60.5 months (range 3~127 months). Positive SLNs were noted in 14 patients (41.2%). Patients with negative SLNs had better OS and DFS than those with positive SLNs (p<0.05). Increased Breslow thickness was associated with short OS and DFS (p<0.05), and female patients showed better DFS than male patients (p<0.05).
To our knowledge, this is the first study on the long-term survival and clinical follow-up of patients undergoing SLNB for ALM in Korea. Our findings show that SLN status is an important prognostic factor for predicting OS and DFS.
Acral lentiginous malignant melanoma; Prognosis; Sentinel lymph node biopsy; Survival
In the majority of melanomas, the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway is constitutively activated, due to oncogenic mutations in the BRAF and NRAS genes. The BRAF mutation has been mainly described in Caucasian melanomas. However, there is a lack of study evaluating the status, and the clinical significance, of BRAF mutation in the Asian population.
This study was aimed to determine the frequency of BRAF mutation, and to evaluate the correlation of BRAF status with clinicopathologic features and outcomes, in Korean primary acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) patients.
ALM samples (n=36) were analyzed for the BRAF V600E mutation, by dual-priming oligonucleotide (DPO) based real-time polymerase chain reaction. The clinicopathologic features and prognosis of the patients were analyzed with BRAF mutation status.
The incidence of BRAF V600E mutation was 19.4% (7/36). The BRAF V600E mutations were not associated with clinicopathologic features, except for the age factor. All of the BRAF-mutant patients survived without recurrence or metastasis, and have a better clinical outcome than BRAF wild-type patients.
In Korean primary ALM, a low frequency of BRAF mutation was shown; and BRAF mutation presented with a favorable prognosis. These results indicate that other distinctive genetic mechanisms may have more important roles in the development and progression of disease. Further multicenter study with large sample size is firmly needed, to confirm the results of our preliminary study.
Acral lentiginous melanoma; BRAF mutation; Korean; Prognosis
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).
biliary tract cancer; 5-fluorouracil; thymidine phosphorylase
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).
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.
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.
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.
Neutrophil; Lymphocyte; Platelet; Gastric neoplasm
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.
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.
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%).
Docetaxel is a feasible third-line therapy regimen for patients with advanced gastric cancer after m-FOLFIRI and m-FOLFOX-4 regimens.
Advanced gastric cancer; Docetaxel; Salvage therapy
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).
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.
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).
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.
VEGF; Polymorphism; Gastric cancer
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.
Nuclear factor-κB; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Interleukin-6; C-reactive protein; Serum amyloid A; Stomach; Carcinoma
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
The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors for survival in patients with primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the adrenal gland.
Thirty one patients diagnosed with primary adrenal DLBCL from 14 Korean institutions and treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone) were analyzed.
Complete remission (CR) and overall response rate after R-CHOP chemotherapy were 54.8% and 87.0%. The 2-year estimates of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 68.3% and 51.1%. In patients achieving CR, significant prolongations of OS (P = 0.029) and PFS (P = 0.005) were observed. Ann Arbor stage had no influence on OS. There was no significant difference in OS between patients with unilateral involvement of adrenal gland and those with bilateral involvement. When staging was modified to include bilateral adrenal involvement as one extranodal site, early stage (I or II) significantly correlated with longer OS (P = 0.021) and PFS (P <0.001).
Contrary to prior reports, our data suggests that outcomes of primary adrenal DLBCL are encouraging using a regimen of R-CHOP, and that achieving CR after R-CHOP is predictive of survival. Likewise, our modified staging system may have prognostic value.
Primary adrenal lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Prognostic factor; R-CHOP
Numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities are common in hematological malignancies. Near-triploidy (58-80 chromosomes) is a numerical abnormality observed in 3% of adult cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Near-triploidy is rare in myeloid lineage hematologic malignancies and compared to near-triploidy in lymphoid malignancies, near-triploidy in myeloid malignancies is associated with poor outcomes. Few studies on near-triploidy in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) have been reported, and the clinicopathologic significance of this condition is still unclear. Here, we report a novel case of MDS with near-triploidy and multiple structural chromosomal abnormalities: del(5q) combined with del(1p) and del(13q). These abnormalities were detected by cytogenetic analysis with array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Our results suggest that array CGH can be a useful tool for detecting chromosomal abnormalities in patients with MDS.
Near-triploidy; Myelodysplastic syndrome; Array CGH
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.
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).
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.
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.
Camitta's criteria; Severe aplastic anemia; Absolute neutrophil count
This study was conducted to clarify the frequency of the BRAF mutation in primary melanomas and its correlation with clinicopathologic parameters.
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.
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).
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.
Melanoma; BRAF; Mutation; Frequency
Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) of colorectal cancer (CRC) is common and is the second most common cause of death. Clinical studies regarding chemotherapy for CRC with PC have been classically rather limited in scope. We evaluated the efficacy of modified oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and fluorouracil (m-FOLFOX4) regimen for PC of CRC origin.
Materials and Methods
CRC patients with PC were treated with cycles of oxaliplatin at 85 mg/m2 on day 1, leucovorin 20 mg/m2 followed by 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) via a 400 mg/m2 bolus and a 22 hours continuous infusion of 600 mg/m2 5-FU on days 1-2 at 2-week intervals.
Forty patients participated in this study. Median age was 55 years. Thirty-two patients (80.0%) received previous operation, and 60.0% of PC occurred synchronously. Thirty-five patients (87.5%) were assessable and exhibited measurable lesions. Two patients (5.7%) demonstrated complete response and five patients (14.3%) showed partial response. The median time to progression was 4.4 months (95% confidence interval, 2.5 to 6.3 months), the median overall survival time was 21.5 months (95% confidence interval, 17.2 to 25.7 months). There was no treatment related death. Presence of liver metastasis (p=0.022), performance status (p=0.039), and carcinoembryonic antigen level (p=0.016) were related to the time to progression. Patients with low carcinoembryonic antigen level (37.2 months vs. 15.6 months, p=0.001) or good performance status (22.5 months vs. 6.8 months, p=0.040) showed better overall survival.
The m-FOLFOX4 regimen was determined to be effective for CRC patients with PC.
Colorectal neoplasms; Peritoneum; Carcinoma; Drug therapy
To assess the usefulness of adenosine triphosphate-based chemotherapy response assay (ATP-CRA) results in advanced gastric cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.
Materials and Methods
Sixty-two patients underwent curative surgical resection between January, 2006 and December, 2008. Their highly purified surgical specimens were evaluated by ATP-CRAs. Of the 62, 49 had successful assay results and they received either oral 5-fluorouracil or other chemotherapies. We retrospectively analyzed data for 24 patients who were treated with oral 5-fluorouracil and whose assays were successful.
The median observation time was 24.6 months (range, 10.1 to 40.9 months). The median treatment time was 11.2 months (range, 1.2 to 17.7 months). The median age was 66 years (range, 30 to 81 years). Patients were grouped into sensitive- and resistant-groups according to adenosine triphosphate-based chemotherapy response results for fluorouracil. The sensitive-group showed a significantly longer time to relapse (not reached in the sensitive-group vs. 24.8 months in the resistant-group, p=0.043) and longer overall survival compared to the resistant-group (not reached in the sensitive-group vs. 35.7 months in the resistant-group, p=0.16, statistically insignificant).
Patients who receive curative surgical resection significantly benefit from sensitive adjuvant chemotherapy according to ATP-CRA results for time to relapse.
Adenosine triphosphate; Chemotherapy response assay; Gastric cancer; Fluorouracil; Adjuvant chemotherapy
The role of first-line trastuzumab-based therapy has been firmly established in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) positive metastatic breast cancer. In this trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of a vinorelbine and trastuzumab combination chemotherapy in patients who were pretreated with anthracyclines and taxanes.
Thirty-three patients with HER2 overexpressing metastatic breast cancer, all of whom had previously been treated with anthracyclines and taxanes, were included in this study. The patients were treated with 25 mg/m2 of vinorelbine (over a 15-minute infusion) on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks. Additionally, trastuzumab was administered at an initial dose of 4 mg/kg over 90 minutes, and was subsequently administered at weekly doses of 2 mg/kg (over 30 minutes).
The median age of the patients was 53 years (range, 39-72 years). The overall response rate was 30.3% (10 patients; 95% confidence interval [CI], 23-57%). The median time to progression was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.3-8.2 months). The median overall survival was 12.4 months (95% CI, 10.3-14.6 months). In the 194 cycles of treatment, the incidence rates of grade ≥3 neutropenia and anemia were 7.2% and 1.0%, respectively. Neutropenic fever was detected in three cycles (1.5%). The non-hematological toxicities were not severe: grade 1 or 2 nausea or vomiting was detected in 15.2%, and grade 2 neuropathy was noted in 6.1% of patients. None of the patients experienced any serious cardiac toxicity, and no treatment-related deaths occurred.
These results show that a combination chemotherapy consisting of vinorelbine and trastuzumab is useful in patients with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer who were pretreated with anthracyclines and taxanes, with a favorable toxicity profile.
Breast neoplasms; Metastasis; Trastuzumab; Vinorelbine
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.
We retrospectively analyzed 127 adult AA patients who had successful cytogenetic analysis at initial diagnosis.
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.
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.
Aplastic anemia; Cytogenetic abnormality
Patients with reduced dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) activity are at risk for experiencing serious adverse effects following 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) based chemotherapy. Neurotoxicity is considered an extremely rare side effect of 5-FU. We report here on an unusual case of 5-FU induced encephalopathy. A 38-year-old woman with advanced gastric carcinoma was treated with adjuvant chemotherapy that consisted of infused 5-FU (1,000 mg/m2) for 5 days and cisplatin (60 mg/m2) on day 1 following total gastrectomy. Nineteen days after starting chemotherapy, the patient displayed a sudden onset of slurred speech, confusion, cognitive disturbances and paranoia. A magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the brain showed no structural abnormalities, and the other laboratory tests provided no explanations for her symptoms, other than a slightly elevated ammonia level. The patient was treated with a lactulose retention enema and thiamine infusion, the 5-FU was halted and her symptoms then recovered after 7 days.
5-FU; Neurotoxicity; Encephalopathy
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.
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.
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.
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.
Myeloablative regimen; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Fludarabine; Busulfan
Angiogenesis is a multistep process in which many growth factors and cytokines have an essential role. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic agent that acts as a specific mitogen for vascular endothelial cells through specific cell surface receptors. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway is another mechanism linking angiogenesis to malignancy. C-reactive protein (CRP), a representative marker for inflammation, is known for its association with disease progression in many cancer types. The aim of this study was to determine preoperative serum levels of VEGF, IL-6, and CRP in colorectal carcinoma, and to correlate them with disease status and prognosis.
A 132 of 143 patients who underwent curative resection for colorectal cancer were enrolled in this study. 11 patients with resection margin positive were excluded. Factors considered in analysis of the relationship between VEGF, IL-6, and CRP and histological findings. Patient prognosis was investigated. Serum levels of VEGF and IL-6 were assessed using Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA), and CRP was measured using immunoturbidimetry.
Median follow-up duration was 18.53 months (range 0.73-43.17 months) and median age of the patients was 62 years (range, 26-83 years). Mean and median levels of VEGF and CRP in colorectal cancer were significantly higher than in the normal control group; 608 vs. 334 pg/mL and 528 (range 122-3242) vs. 312 (range 16-1121) (p < 0.001); 1.05 mg/dL vs. 0.43 mg/dL and 0.22 (range 0.00-18.40) vs. 0.07 (range 0.02-6.94) (p = 0.002), respectively. However mean and median level of IL-6 in patients were not significantly higher than in control; 14.33 pg/mL vs. 5.65 pg/mL and 6.00 (range 1.02-139.17) vs. 5.30 (4.50-13.78) (p = 0.327). Although IL-6 and CRP levels were not correlated with other pathological findings, VEGF level was significantly correlated with tumor size (p = 0.012) and CEA (p = 0.038). When we established the cutoff value for VEGF (825 pg/mL), IL-6 (8.09 pg/mL), and CRP (0.51 mg/dL) by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, we noted that high VEGF levels tended to reduce overall survival (p = 0.053), but not significantly. However, IL-6 and CRP demonstrated no significance with regard to disease free survival (p = 0.531, p = 0.701, respectively) and overall survival (p = 0.563, p = 0.572, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that VEGF (p = 0.032), CEA (p = 0.012), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.002), and TNM stage (p = 0.025) were independently associated with overall survival.
Preoperative serum VEGF and CRP level increased in colorectal cancer patients. High VEGF level has been proposed as a poor prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with colorectal cancer.
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.
Chronic myeloid leukemia; Imatinib mesylate; Subdural hematoma
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.
Carcinomatosis; Gastric cancer; Intrathecal chemotherapy; Leptomeningeal
The interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway is one of the mechanisms that link inflammation and angiogenesis to malignancy. Because the C-reactive protein (CRP) is a representative marker for inflammation, CRP has recently been associated with the progression of disease in many cancer types. The principal objective of this study was to determine the preoperative serum levels of IL-6 and CRP in gastric carcinoma, and to correlate them with disease status and prognosis.
A total of 115 patients who underwent gastrectomy were enrolled in this study. Serum levels of IL-6 were assessed via Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA), and CRP was measured via immunoturbidimetry. Histological findings included tumor size, depth of tumor invasion, lymph node (LN) metastasis, and TNM stage (6th AJCC Stage Groupings: The staging systems; Primary tumor, regional LN, metastasis).
Increases in cancer invasion and staging are generally associated with increases in preoperative serum IL-6 levels. IL-6 and CRP levels were correlated with invasion depth (P < 0.001, P = 0.001), LN metastasis (P < 0.001, P = 0.024) and TNM stage (P < 0.001, P < 0.001). The presence of peritoneal seeding metastasis is associated with IL-6 levels (P = 0.012). When we established the cutoff value for IL-6 level (6.77 pg/dL) by ROC curve, we noted significant differences in time to progression (TTP; P < 0.001) and overall survival (OS; P = 0.010). However, CRP evidenced no significance with regard to patients' TTP and OS levels. Serum IL-6 levels were correlated positively with CRP levels (r2 = 0.049, P = 0.018).
Preoperative serum IL-6 and CRP levels might be markers of tumor invasion, LN metastasis, and TNM stage. Preoperative high IL-6 levels were proposed as a poor prognostic factor for disease recurrence and overall survival in patients with gastric cancers.
Metastatic breast cancer patients are usually exposed to taxane and anthracycline as neoadjuvant, adjuvant and palliative chemotherapeutic agents. This study was designed to determine the efficacy and safety of the use of a gemcitabine and cisplatin (GP) combination treatment in patients with metastatic breast cancer that were pretreated with anthracycline and taxane.
Materials and Methods
We evaluated the use of a GP regimen (1,000 mg/m2 gemcitabine administered on days 1 and 8 plus 60 mg/m2 cisplatin administered on day 1 every 3 weeks) in 38 breast cancer patients who had received prior chemotherapy with anthracycline and taxane as an adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy, or as a palliative therapy.
The median patient age was 49 years (age range, 35~69 years). The overall response rate was 28.9% in 11 patients (95% confidence interval [CI], 14~44%). The median time to progression was 5.2 months (95% CI, 3.6~6.8 months). Median survival was 19.5 months (95% CI, 11.2~27.8 months). Major grade 3/4 hematological toxicity was due to leukopenia (36 of 157 cycles, 23.1%). Non-hematological toxicity was rarely severe; grade1/2 nausea and vomiting were observed in 37.8% of the patients. There were no treatment related deaths.
Our results suggest that the use of gemcitabine plus cisplatin appears to be effective and has an acceptable toxicity profile in patients with advanced breast cancer that have been pretreated with anthracycline and taxane.
Breast neoplasms; Anthracycline; Taxane; Gemcitabine; Cisplatin