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
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
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
The developmental stages of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus elegans (Copepoda: Caligidae) are described from material collected from marine ranched Korean rockfish, Sebastes schlegelii. In L. elegans, setal number on the proximal segment of the antennule increases from 3 in the copepodid to 27 in the adult. Using the number of setae as a stage marker supports the inference that the post-naupliar phase of the life cycle comprises six stages: copepodid, chalimus I, chalimus II, pre-adult I, pre-adult II, and the adult. We observed variation in body length in both of the chalimus stages which we consider represents an early expression of sexual size dimorphism. We interpret the larger specimens of chalimus I as putative females, and the smaller as putative males; similarly with chalimus II, larger specimens are putative females and the smaller are males. Two patterns of life cycle are currently recognized within the Caligidae but the evidence presented here reconciles the two. We conclude that the typical caligid life cycle comprises only eight stages: two naupliar, one copepodid, and four chalimus stages preceding the adult in Caligus, but with the four chalimus stages represented by two chalimus and two pre-adult stages in Lepeophtheirus. This is a profound change with significant implications for the aquaculture industry, given that lice monitoring protocols include counts of chalimus stages and use temperature to predict when they will moult into the more pathogenic, mobile pre-adults. Lice management strategies must be tailored to the precise life cycle of the parasite.
Caligidae; Copepoda; sea louse; life cycle; larval stages; developmental stages
Redescriptions of two pennellid copepods, Peniculus minuticaudae Shiino, 1956 and Peniculus truncatus Shiino, 1956, are provided, based on postmetamorphic adult females collected from marine ranched fishes captured at Tongyeong marine living resources research & conservation center, Korea. Peniculus minuticaudae was collected from the soft fin rays of black scraper Thamnaconus modestus. It can be distinguished from the other two closely related congeners Peniculus ostraciontis Yamaguti, 1939 and Peniculus truncatus by having a well developed triangular-shaped abdomen; the abdomen is rudimentary in other two species. This is thefirst report of the occurrence of Peniculus minuticaudae in Korea. Peniculus truncatus was collected from the dorsal fin of Korean rockfish Sebastes schlegelii. It can be distinguished from Peniculus minuticaudae by the combination of a rudimentary abdomen, long neck and setae on leg 1 and from Peniculus ostraciontis by the long neck, slender trunk, and setae on leg 1. It is also shown that Peniculus truncatus captured from the same host in Korea was misidentified as Peniculus ostraciontis and hence, this is thesecond record of the occurrence of Peniculus truncatus in Korea. A key is provided for the 14 nominal species of Peniculus.
Copepod; pennellid; parasite; redescription; black scraper; rockfish; fins; identification; key
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
AIM: To determine the efficacy of bevacizumab in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC) who have failed prior chemotherapy without bevacizumab.
METHODS: Between March 2002 and June 2010, 40 patients in South Korea with MCRC who were treated with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy as a second or later-line treatment were analyzed retrospectively for their overall response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS). The tumor responses were assessed using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors guidelines.
RESULTS: All of the patients had progressed under prior chemotherapy without bevacizumab. Three patients (7.5%) exhibited an ORR, twenty one patients (52.5%) exhibited stable disease (SD), and fifteen patients (37.5%) exhibited disease progression. The median duration of the OS and PFS were 14.0 mo and 6.13 mo respectively. The median OSs were 16.60, 14.07 and 13.00 mo for second-line, third-line and fourth- or later-line treatments, respectively. The median PFSs were 7.23, 7.30 and 3.87 mo for the second-line, third-line and fourth- or later-line treatments, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In patients with MCRC, bevacizumab combined chemotherapy may be beneficial during second- or later-line treatment.
Colorectal cancer; Metastasis; Bevacizumab; Efficacy; Second- or later-line
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
Primary intestinal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a heterogeneous disease with regard to anatomic and histologic distribution. Thus, analyses focusing on primary intestinal NHL with large number of patients are warranted.
We retrospectively analyzed 581 patients from 16 hospitals in Korea for primary intestinal NHL in this retrospective analysis. We compared clinical features and treatment outcomes according to the anatomic site of involvement and histologic subtypes.
B-cell lymphoma (n = 504, 86.7%) was more frequent than T-cell lymphoma (n = 77, 13.3%). Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was the most common subtype (n = 386, 66.4%), and extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) was the second most common subtype (n = 61, 10.5%). B-cell lymphoma mainly presented as localized disease (Lugano stage I/II) while T-cell lymphomas involved multiple intestinal sites. Thus, T-cell lymphoma had more unfavourable characteristics such as advanced stage at diagnosis, and the 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was significantly lower than B-cell lymphoma (28% versus 71%, P < 0.001). B symptoms were relatively uncommon (20.7%), and bone marrow invasion was a rare event (7.4%). The ileocecal region was the most commonly involved site (39.8%), followed by the small (27.9%) and large intestines (21.5%). Patients underwent surgery showed better OS than patients did not (5-year OS rate 77% versus 57%, P < 0.001). However, this beneficial effect of surgery was only statistically significant in patients with B-cell lymphomas (P < 0.001) not in T-cell lymphomas (P = 0.460). The comparison of survival based on the anatomic site of involvement showed that ileocecal regions had a better 5-year overall survival rate (72%) than other sites in consistent with that ileocecal region had higher proportion of patients with DLBCL who underwent surgery. Age > 60 years, performance status ≥ 2, elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase, Lugano stage IV, presence of B symptoms, and T-cell phenotype were independent prognostic factors for survival.
The survival of patients with ileocecal region involvement was better than that of patients with involvement at other sites, which might be related to histologic distribution, the proportion of tumor stage, and need for surgical resection.
intestine; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; prognosis; histopathology
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
Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) is now widely accepted and is being increasingly performed. The present study describes our experience with LLR at a single center over an eight-year period.
This retrospective study enrolled 100 patients between October 2002 and February 2010. Forty-six benign lesions and 54 malignant lesions were included. The LLR performed included 58 pure laparoscopy procedures, 18 hand-assisted laparoscopy procedures and 24 hybrid technique procedures.
The mean age of the patients was 57 years; among these patients, 31 were over 65 years of age. The mean operation time was 220 minutes. The overall morbidity was 11% and the mortality was zero. Among the 20 patients with simple hepatic cysts, 50% unexpectedly recurred. Among the 41 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, 21 patients (51%) underwent preoperative radiofrequency ablation therapy or transarterial chemoembolization. During parenchymal-transection, 11 received blood transfusion. The width of the resection margins was under 0.5 cm in 11 cases (27%); 0.5 to 1 cm in 22 cases (54%) and over 1 cm in eight cases (12%). There was no port site seeding, but argon beam coagulation-induced tumor dissemination was observed in two cases. The overall two-year survival rate was 75%.
This study suggests that the applications for LLR can be gradually expanded when assuring that the safety and curability of LLR are equivalent to that of open liver resection.
Laparoscopic liver resection; Hepatic cyst; Hapatocellular carcinoma; Resection margin
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
Cisplatin-based chemotherapy, in combination with fluoropyrimidines or taxanes, have demonstrated efficacy against advanced gastric cancer (AGC). This retrospective study was performed with the data obtained from our cancer chemotherapy registry and eight another cancer centers.
In 2008, a total of 283 AGC patients were treated with cisplatin-based doublet chemotherapy in the first-line setting: capecitabine plus cisplatin (XP, n = 77), S-1 plus cisplatin (SP, n = 97), taxanes (docetaxel, paclitaxel) plus cisplatin (TP, n = 72), and 5-fluorouracil plus platinum (FP, n = 37). The primary endpoint of this study was overall survival (OS) and the secondary endpoints were safety, response rate and progression-free survival (PFS).
The median age was 54 years with a range of 28-78 years and median delivered number of chemotherapy cycles were XP: 4, SP: 5, TP: 5 and FP: 5, respectively. Objective tumor responses (38%; 95% CI, 32-43%) were 40% for XP, 42% for SP, 36% for DP, and 24% for FP. The estimated median PFS was 4.5 months (95% CI, 3.6-5.4 months) and the median OS was 12.3 months (95% CI, 10.8-13.7 months). No statistically significant difference was found between each regimen used as first-line chemotherapy. At multivariate analysis, independent prognostic parameters for OS were prior gastrectomy, peritoneal dissemination, performance status and hemoglobin level
All of the cisplatin-based doublet chemotherapy regimens appear to be active as first-line chemotherapy for AGC. With better patient selection according to clinical parameters and molecular markers, clinical outcomes of AGC patients in first-line setting can be improved.
Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZL) is the second most common subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Korea (17.3%). Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) can develop in almost any organ as a result of exposure to a persistent stimulus, such as chronic infection or certain autoimmune processes. Under conditions of prolonged lymphoid proliferation, a malignant clone may emerge, which is followed by the development of a MALT lymphoma. Whereas MALT lymphoma of the stomach is the most common and the most extensively studied, we focus on non-gastric MZL studies conducted in Korea that highlight the most recent advances with respect to MZL definition, etiology, clinical characteristics, natural history, treatment approaches, outcomes, and prognostic factors. Moreover, we discuss current organ-specific considerations and controversies, and identify areas for future research.
Lymphoma, B-cell, marginal zone; Korea
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.
We performed multicenter study to define clinical characteristics of noncutaneous melanomas and to establish prognostic factors patients who received curative resection.
Of the 141 patients who were diagnosed of non-cutaneous melanoma at 4 institutions in Korea between June 1992 and May 2005, 129 (91.5%) satisfied the selection criteria.
Of the 129 noncutaneous melanoma patients, 14 patients had ocular melanoma and 115 patients had mucosal melanoma. For mucosal melanoma, anorectum was the most common anatomic site (n = 39, 30.2%) which was followed by nasal cavity (n = 30, 23.3%), genitourinary (n = 21, 16.3%), oral cavity (n = 14, 10.9%), upper gastrointestinal tract (n = 6, 4.7%) and maxillary sinus (n = 5, 3.9%) in the order of frequency. With the median 64.5 (range 4.3-213.0) months follow-up, the median overall survival were 24.4 months (95% CI 13.2-35.5) for all patients, and 34.6 (95% CI 24.5-44.7) months for curatively resected mucosal melanoma patients. Adverse prognostic factors of survival for 87 curatively resected mucosal melanoma patients were complete resection (R1 resection margin), and age > 50 years. For 14 ocular melanoma, Survival outcome was much better than mucosal melanoma with 73.3% of 2 year OS and 51.2 months of median OS (P = .04).
Prognosis differed according to primary sites of noncutaneous melanoma. Based on our study, noncutaneous melanoma patients should be treated differently to improve survival outcome.
A pathologic splenic rupture refers to a rupture without trauma. A splenic rupture as the initial manifestation of acute myeloid leukemia is extremely rare. In this study, we described a rare case of acute myeloid leukemia presenting principally as an acute abdomen due to a pathologic splenic rupture in a 35-year old male patient. We can assert that a pathologic splenic rupture in hematologic diseases is a potentially life-threatening complication, which necessitates immediate operative intervention. Any such patient complaining about left upper abdominal tenderness should be closely observed, and further diagnostic investigations (ultrasonograph of the abdomen, abdominal CT scan) should be initiated in order to rule out a splenic rupture. The oncologist should be aware of this rare initial presentation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) M2, as the condition generally necessitates a prompt splenectomy.
Acute myeloid leukemia M2; pathologic; splenic rupture
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
Hypoxia influences tumor growth by inducing angiogenesis and genetic alterations. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), p53, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are all important factors in the mechanisms inherent to tumor progression. In this work, we have investigated the clinicopathologic significance of HIF-1α, p53, and VEGF expression and preoperative serum VEGF (sVEGF) level in gastric cancer.
We immunohistochemically assessed the HIF-1α, p53, and VEGF expression patterns in 114 specimens of gastric cancer. Additionally, we determined the levels of preoperative serum VEGF (sVEGF).
The positive rates of p53 and HIF-1α (diffuse, deep, intravascular pattern) were 38.6% and 15.8%, respectively. The VEGF overexpression rate was 57.9%. p53 and HIF-1α were correlated positively with the depth of invasion (P = 0.015, P = 0.001, respectively). Preoperative sVEGF and p53 levels were correlated significantly with lymph node involvement (P = 0.010, P = 0.040, respectively). VEGF overexpression was more frequently observed in the old age group (≥ 60 years old) and the intestinal type (P = 0.013, P = 0.014, respectively). However, correlations between preoperative sVEGF level and tissue HIF-1α, VEGF, and p53 were not observed. The median follow-up duration after operation was 24.5 months. HIF-1α was observed to be a poor prognostic factor of disease recurrence or progression (P = 0.002).
p53, HIF-1α and preoperative sVEGF might be markers of depth of invasion or lymph node involvement. HIF-1α expression was a poor prognostic factor of disease recurrence or progression in patients with gastric cancers.