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1.  Association of systolic blood pressure drop with intravenous administration of itraconazole in children with hemato-oncologic disease 
Although few adverse effects have been reported for itraconazole, a widely used antifungal therapy for febrile neutropenia, we found intravenous (IV) itraconazole to be associated with serious cases of blood pressure (BP) drop. We therefore evaluated the incidence and risk factors for BP drop during IV administration of the drug.
Materials and methods
We reviewed the medical records of children with hemato-oncologic disease who were treated with IV itraconazole from January 2012 to December 2013. By analyzing systolic BP (SBP) measurements made from 4 hours before through to 4 hours after itraconazole administration, we evaluated the changes in SBP and the risk factors for an SBP drop, especially clinically meaningful (≥20%) drops.
Itraconazole was administered 2,627 times to 180 patients. The SBP during the 4 hours following itraconazole administration was lower than during the 4 hours before administration (104 [53.0–160.33 mmHg] versus 105 [59.8–148.3 mmHg]; P<0.001). The decrease in SBP was associated with the application of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) (P=0.012) and the use of inotropic (P=0.005) and hypotensive drugs (P=0.021). A clinically meaningful SBP drop was seen in 5.37% (141 out of 2,627) of the administrations, and the use of inotropics (odds ratio [OR] 6.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.22–13.92; P<0.001), reducing the dose of inotropics (OR 8.08; 95% CI 1.39–46.94; P=0.02), CRRT (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.41–6.81; P=0.005), and bacteremia (OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.32–5.51; P=0.007) were risk factors, while age was a protective factor (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89–0.97; P<0.001).
A decrease in SBP was associated with IV administration of itraconazole. It was particularly significant in younger patients with bacteremia using inotropic agents and during application of CRRT. Careful attention to hypotension is warranted during IV administration of itraconazole in this group of patients.
PMCID: PMC4687612  PMID: 26719674
itraconazole; blood pressure; hemato-oncologic disease; hypotensive drug; inotropics; CRRT
2.  Extra-cranial Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor in Children: A Single Institute Experience 
Malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT) is a rare and highly aggressive tumor that affects young children. Due to its extreme rarity, most of the available data are based on retrospective case series. To add to the current knowledge of this disease, we reviewed the patients treated for extra-cranial MRT in our institute.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective medical record review was conducted on children treated for pathologically confirmed extra-cranial MRT at Seoul National University Children’s Hospital between January 2003 and May 2013.
Eleven patients (7 boys, 4 girls) were diagnosed with extra-cranial MRT at a median age of 9 months old. INI1 staining was important in the pathological confirmation. Six patients (55%) had renal MRT and five (45%) had soft tissue MRT. Five patients (45%) had metastases at diagnosis. All patients underwent chemotherapy, eight patients (73%) underwent surgery, six patients (55%) received therapeutic radiotherapy, and four patients (36%) underwent high dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) with melphalan, etoposide, and carboplatin. Five patients (45%) died of disease following progression (n=3) or relapse (n=2), however, there was no treatment related mortality. The overall survival of the cohort was 53.0% and the event-free survival was 54.5% with a median follow-up duration of 17.8 months (range, 2.3 to 112.3 months).
Extra-cranial MRT is still a highly aggressive tumor in young children. However, the improved survival of our cohort is promising and HDCT/ASCR with melphalan, etoposide, and carboplatin may be a promising treatment option.
PMCID: PMC4614222  PMID: 25672587
Rhabdoid tumor; Kidney neoplasms; Soft tissue neoplasms; Neoplasm metastasis
3.  Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis diagnosed by brain biopsy 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2015;58(9):358-361.
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is characterized by fever, splenomegaly, jaundice, and pathologic findings of hemophagocytosis in bone marrow or other tissues such as the lymph nodes and liver. Pleocytosis, or the presence of elevated protein levels in cerebrospinal fluid, could be helpful in diagnosing HLH. However, the pathologic diagnosis of the brain is not included in the diagnostic criteria for this condition. In the present report, we describe the case of a patient diagnosed with HLH, in whom the brain pathology, but not the bone marrow pathology, showed hemophagocytosis. As the diagnosis of HLH is difficult in many cases, a high level of suspicion is required. Moreover, the pathologic diagnosis of organs other than the bone marrow, liver, and lymph nodes may be a useful alternative.
PMCID: PMC4623456  PMID: 26512263
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; Central nervous system; Brain
4.  Clinical Outcome of Relapsed or Refractory Burkitt Lymphoma and Mature B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children and Adolescents 
Despite the rapid improvement in survival rate from Burkitt lymphoma and mature B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in children, a small subset of patients do not respond to first-line chemotherapy or experience relapse (RL). Herein, we report the clinical characteristics and outcomes of these patients.
Materials and Methods
RL or refractory Burkitt lymphoma and mature B-ALL in 125 patients diagnosed from 1990 to 2009 were retrospectively analyzed.
Nineteen patients experienced RL or progressive disease (PD). Among them, 12 patients had PD or RL less than six months after initial treatment and seven had late RL. Seven patients achieved complete response (CR), 11 had PD, and one had no more therapy. Six patients who achieved CR survived without evidence of disease and four of them underwent high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) followed by stem cell transplantation (SCT). However, 11 patients who failed to obtain CR eventually died of their disease. Five-year overall survival (OS) was 31.6±10.7%. OS of patients with late RL was superior to that of patients with early RL (57.1±18.7%, vs. 16.7±10.8%, p=0.014). Achievement of CR after reinduction had significant OS (p < 0.001). OS for patients who were transplanted was superior (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, achievement of CR after reinduction chemotherapy showed an association with improved OS (p=0.05).
Late RL and chemotherapy-sensitive patients have the chance to achieve continuous CR using HDC/SCT, whereas patients who are refractory to retrieval therapy have poor prognosis. Therefore, novel salvage strategy is required for improvement of survival for this small set of patients.
PMCID: PMC4206068  PMID: 25043820
Burkitt lymphoma; Recurrence; Children
6.  Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Korean Version of the Minneapolis-Manchester Quality of Life Instrument-Adolescent Form 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(12):1788-1795.
We verified the reliability and validity of the Korean version of the Minneapolis-Manchester Quality of Life Instrument-Adolescent Form (KMMQL-AF) among Korean childhood cancer survivors. A total of 107 childhood cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment and 98 childhood cancer survivors who completed cancer treatment were recruited. To assess the internal structure of the KMMQL-AF, we performed multi-trait scaling analyses and exploratory factor analysis. Additionally, we compared each domains of the KMMQL-AF with those of the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale and the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS). Internal consistency of the KMMQL-AF was sufficient (Cronbach's alpha: 0.78-0.92). In multi-trait scaling analyses, the KMMQL-AF showed sufficient construct validity. The "physical functioning" domain showed moderate correlation with Karnofsky scores and the "psychological functioning" domain showed moderate-to-high correlation with the RCMAS. The KMMQL-AF discriminated between subgroups of different adolescent cancer survivors depending on treatment completion. The KMMQL-AF is a sufficiently reliable and valid instrument for measuring quality of life among Korean childhood cancer survivors.
PMCID: PMC3857376  PMID: 24339710
Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Validation Studies; Child Psychology; Neoplasms; Survivors
7.  Clinical Characteristics of Pediatric Thalassemia in Korea: A Single Institute Experience 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(11):1645-1649.
Few literatures have elaborated on the clinical characteristics of children with thalassemia from low-prevalence areas. A retrospective analysis was conducted on children genetically confirmed with thalassemia at Seoul National University Children's Hospital in Korea. Nine children (1α thalassemia trait, 6β thalassemia minor, 2β thalassemia intermedia) were diagnosed with thalassemia at median age of 4.3 yr old with median hemoglobin of 9.7 g/dL. Seven (78%) children were incidentally found to be anemic and only 2 with β thalassemia intermedia had presenting symptoms. Five children (56%) were initially misdiagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Despite the comorbidities due to α thalassemia mental retardation syndrome, the child with α thalassemia trait had mild hematologic profile. Children with β thalassemia intermedia had the worst phenotypes due to dominantly inherited mutations. None of the children was transfusion dependent and most of them had no complications associated with thalassemia. Only 1 child (11%) with codon 60 (T→A) mutation of the HBB gene needed red blood cell transfusions. He also had splenomegaly, cholelithiasis, and calvarial vault thickening. Pediatricians in Korea must acknowledge thalassemia as a possible diagnosis in children with microcytic hypochromic hemolytic anemia. High level of suspicion will allow timely diagnosis and managements.
PMCID: PMC3835508  PMID: 24265529
α-Thalassemia; β-Thalassemia; Genotype; Phenotype; Child; Korea
8.  Pharmacogenetic Study of Deferasirox, an Iron Chelating Agent 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64114.
Transfusion-associated iron overload induces systemic toxicity. Deferasirox, a convenient long acting oral agent, has recently been introduced in clinical practice with a promising efficacy. But there are some patients who experience drug-related toxicities and cannot tolerate it. To investigate effect of genetic variations on the toxicities and find optimal target population, we analyzed the genetic polymorphisms of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1A) subfamily, multi-drug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). A total of 20 functional genetic polymorphisms were analyzed in 98 patients who received deferasirox to reduce transfusion-induced iron overload. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records to find out the drug-related toxicities. Fifteen (15.3%) patients developed hepatotoxicity. Patients without wild-type allele carrying two MRP2 haplotypes containing −1774 del and/or −24T were at increased risk of developing hepatotoxicity compared to patients with the wild-type allele on multivariate analysis (OR = 7.17, 95% CI = 1.79–28.67, P = 0.005). Creatinine elevation was observed in 9 patients (9.2%). Body weight ≥40 kg and homozygosity for UGT1A1*6 were risk factors of creatinine elevation (OR = 8.48, 95% CI = 1.7–43.57, P = 0.010 and OR = 14.17, 95% CI = 1.34–150.35, P = 0.028). Our results indicate that functional genetic variants of enzymes to metabolize and transport deferasirox are associated with drug-related toxicities. Further studies are warranted to confirm the results as the pharmacogenetic biomarkers of deferasirox.
PMCID: PMC3667856  PMID: 23737969
9.  Growth after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(1):106-113.
Previous studies have shown that hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may result in growth impairment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the growth during 5 yr after HSCT and to determine factors that influence final adult height (FAH). We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients who received HSCT. Among a total of 37 eligible patients, we selected 24 patients who began puberty at 5 yr after HSCT (Group 1) and 19 patients who reached FAH without relapse (Group 2). In Group 1, with younger age at HSCT, sex, steroid treatment, hypogonadism and hypothyroidism were not significantly associated with growth impairment 5 yr after HSCT. History of radiotherapy (RT) significantly impaired the 5 yr growth after HSCT. Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) only temporarily impaired growth after HSCT. In Group 2, with younger age at HSCT, steroid treatment and hypogonadism did not significantly reduce FAH. History of RT significantly reduced FAH. Growth impairment after HSCT may occur in AML patients, but in patients without a history of RT, growth impairment seemed to be temporary and was mitigated by catch-up growth.
PMCID: PMC3546088  PMID: 23341720
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Growth; Radiotherapy; Total Body Irradiation; Acute Myeloid Leukemia
10.  Respiratory Viral Infections after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children 
This study was performed to characterize respiratory viral infections in pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Study samples included 402 respiratory specimens obtained from 358 clinical episodes that occurred in the 116 children of the 175 consecutive HSCT cohort at Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Korea from 2007 to 2010. Multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions were performed for rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses (PIVs), adenovirus, human coronavirus (hCoV), influenza viruses and human metapneumovirus. Viruses were identified in 89 clinical episodes that occurred in 58 patients. Among the 89 clinical episodes, frequently detected viruses were rhinovirus in 25 (28.1%), RSV in 23 (25.8%), PIV-3 in 16 (18.0%), adenovirus in 12 (13.5%), and hCoV in 10 (11.2%). Lower respiratory tract infections were diagnosed in 34 (38.2%). Neutropenia was present in 24 (27.0%) episodes and lymphopenia was in 31 (34.8%) episodes. Sixty-three percent of the clinical episodes were hospital-acquired. Three patients died of respiratory failure caused by respiratory viral infections. Respiratory viral infections in pediatric patients who have undergone HSCT are common and are frequently acquired during hospitalization. Continuous monitoring is required to determine the role of respiratory viruses in immunocompromised children and the importance of preventive strategies.
PMCID: PMC3546101  PMID: 23341709
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Respiratory Virus; Respiratory Infections
11.  Successful Treatment of Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma without Irradiation in Children: Single Center Experience 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(11):1378-1384.
Primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) is a very uncommon disease in children, and usually treated by chemotherapy, combined with focal or craniospinal radiotherapy (RT). However, adverse effects of RT are a concern. We evaluated the outcomes of childhood PCNSL, treated with systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy, but without RT. For fifteen years, six patients among 175 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma were diagnosed as PCNSL in Seoul National University Children's Hospital and we analyzed their medical records retrospectively. Their male:female ratio was 5:1, and median age was 10.1 yr. The primary sites were the sellar area in three patients, parietal area in one, cerebellum in one, and multiple areas in one. Their pathologic diagnoses were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in three patients, Burkitt lymphoma in two, and undifferentiated B-cell lymphoma in one. Five were treated with the LMB96 treatment protocol, and one was treated with the CCG-106B protocol. None had RT as a first-line treatment. One patient had a local relapse and received RT and salvage chemotherapy, without success. No patient had treatment-related mortality. Their estimated 5-yr event-free and overall survival rates were both 83.3%. In conclusion, PCNSL is a rare disease in childhood, but successfully treated by chemotherapy without RT.
PMCID: PMC3492674  PMID: 23166421
Primary CNS Lymphoma; Children; Irradiation
12.  Pharmacogenetic Analysis of Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Possible Association between Survival Rate and ITPA Polymorphism 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45558.
Genetic polymorphisms are important factors in the effects and toxicity of chemotherapeutics. To analyze the pharmacogenetic and ethnic differences in chemotherapeutics, major genes implicated in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were analyzed. Eighteen loci of 16 genes in 100 patients with ALL were analyzed. The distribution of variant alleles were CYP3A4*1B (0%), CYP3A5*3 (0%), GSTM1 (21%), GSTP1 (21%), GSTT1 (16%), MDR1 exon 21 (77%), MDR1 exon 26 (61%), MTHFR 677 (63%), MTHFR 1298 (29%), NR3C1 1088 (0%), RFC1 80 (68%), TPMT combined genotype (7%), VDR intron 8 (11%), VDR FokI (83%), TYMS enhancer repeat (22%) and ITPA 94 (30%). The frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 10 loci were statistically different from those in Western Caucasians. Dose percents (actual/planned dose) or toxicity of mercaptopurine and methotrexate were not related to any SNPs. Event free survival (EFS) rate was lower in ITPA variants, and ITPA 94 AC/AA variant genotypes were the only independent risk factor for lower EFS in multivariate analysis, which was a different pharmacogenetic implication from Western studies. This study is the first pharmacogenetic study in Korean pediatric ALL. Our result suggests that there are other possible pharmacogenetic factors besides TPMT or ITPA polymorphisms which influence the metabolism of mercaptopurine in Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC3454425  PMID: 23029095
13.  Clinical and hematologic manifestations in patients with Diamond Blackfan anemia in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):131-135.
Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), characterized by impaired red cell production, is a rare condition that is usually symptomatic in early infancy. The purpose of this study was to assess nationwide experiences of DBA encountered over a period of 20 years.
The medical records of 56 patients diagnosed with DBA were retrospectively reviewed from November 1984 to July 2010. Fifteen institutions, including 13 university hospitals, participated in this study.
The male-to-female ratio of patients with DBA was 1.67:1. The median age of diagnosis was 4 months, and 74.1% were diagnosed before 1 year of age. From 2000 to 2009, annual incidence was 6.6 cases per million. Excluding growth retardation, 38.2% showed congenital defects: thumb deformities, ptosis, coarctation of aorta, ventricular septal defect, strabismus, etc. The mean hemoglobin concentration was 5.1±1.9 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume was 93.4±11.6 fL, and mean number of reticulocytes was 19,700/mm3. The mean cellularity of bone marrow was 75%, with myeloid:erythroid ratio of 20.4:1. After remission, 48.9% of patients did not need further steroids. Five patients with DBA who received hematopoietic transplantation have survived. Cancer developed in 2 cases (3.6%).
The incidence of DBA is similar to data already published, but our study had a male predilection. Although all patients responded to initial treatment with steroids, about half needed further steroids after remission. It is necessary to collect further data, including information regarding management pathways, from nationwide DBA registries, along with data on molecular analyses.
PMCID: PMC3389062  PMID: 22783360
Diamond Blackfan anemia; Anemia; Congenital defects
14.  Chronic graft versus host disease with small bowel obstruction after unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a patient with acute myeloid leukemia 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):142-145.
Chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a frequent complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), but simultaneous small bowel obstruction is rare. Here, we report a child with acute myeloid leukemia who received an allogeneic HSCT from an unrelated matched donor. After HSCT, the patient developed severe chronic GVHD involving the small intestine, leading to obstruction of the terminal ileum. Small bowel resection was performed, and the symptoms improved without severe complications. Bowel obstruction should be considered as a possible complication of chronic GVHD; surgery may be a valuable corrective measure.
PMCID: PMC3389064  PMID: 22783362
Acute myeloid leukemia; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Graft versus host disease; Intestinal obstruction
15.  Successful mobilization using a combination of plerixafor and G-CSF in pediatric patients who failed previous chemomobilization with G-CSF alone and possible complications of the treatment 
Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) mobilization, which uses plerixafor (AMD 3100), a newly developed specific inhibitor of the CXCR4 receptor, in combination with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor(G-CSF), has been shown to enhance the stem cell mobilization in adult patients, but pediatric data are scarce. We documented our experience with this drug in 6 Korean pediatric patients who had failed in chemomobilization, using G-CSF, alone. All patients were mobilized CD34+ cells (median, 11.08 × 106/kg: range, 6.34-28.97 × 106/kg) successfully within 2 to 3 cycles of apheresis, without complications. A total of 7 autologous transplantations were performed, including 1 tandem transplantation. However, 2 patients with brain tumors showed severe pulmonary complications, including spontaneous pneumomediastinum. This is the first study of PBSC mobilization with plerixafor in Asian pediatric patients. Furthermore our study suggests that mobilization with plerixafor may be effective in Korean pediatric patients, who have previously been heavily treated and have failed PBSC mobilization with classical chemomobilization, using G-CSF. However, further studies are needed to examine the possible complications of autologous transplantation, using a mobilized plerixafor product in children.
PMCID: PMC3361468  PMID: 22458355
Plerixafor; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization; Pediatrics; Complications; Interstitial Lung Diseases
16.  Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Young Children with Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor of the Central Nervous System 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(2):135-140.
The feasibility and effectiveness of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) were evaluated in children younger than 3 yr of age with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Tandem HDCT/autoSCT was administered following six cycles of induction chemotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was administered if the tumor relapsed or progressed, otherwise, it was administered after 3 yr of age. Tumors relapsed or progressed during induction chemotherapy in 5 of 9 patients enrolled; 3 of these 5 received tandem HDCT/autoSCT as a salvage treatment. One patient died from sepsis during induction chemotherapy. The remaining 3 patients proceeded to tandem HDCT/autoSCT; however, 2 of these patients showed tumor relapse/progression after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. All 7 relapses/progressions occurred at primary sites even in patients with leptomeningeal seeding. Toxicities during tandem HDCT/autoSCT were manageable. A total of 5 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 20 (range 16-70) months from diagnosis. Four of 5 patients who received RT after relapse/progression are alive. The probability of overall survival at 3 yr from diagnosis was 53.3% ± 17.3%. Our tandem HDCT/autoSCT is feasible; however, early administration of RT prior to tandem HDCT/autoSCT should be considered to improve the outcome after tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
PMCID: PMC3271285  PMID: 22323859
Rhabdoid Tumor; Central Nervous System; Drug Therapy; Stem Cell Transplantation; Radiotherapy; Child
17.  Treatment outcomes in children with Burkitt lymphoma and L3 acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated using the lymphoma malignancy B protocol at a single institution 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2011;46(2):96-102.
We compared the outcomes of patients with Burkitt lymphoma and French-American-British (FAB) L3 acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated using Lymphoma Malignancy B (LMB) or other treatment protocols.
Thirty-eight patients diagnosed between July 1996 and December 2007 were treated using LMB 96, and 22 patients diagnosed between January 1991 and May 1998 (defined as the early period) were treated using the D-COMP or CCG-106B protocols. We retrospectively reviewed their medical records and analyzed cumulative survival according to the treatment period by using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
There were no intergroup differences in the distribution of age, disease stage, or risk group. The median follow-up period of the 33 live patients in the LMB group was 72 months (range, 36-170 months). Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) of patients treated using LMB 96 were 86.8%±5.5% and 81.6%±6.3%, respectively, whereas OS and EFS of patients treated in the early period were 72.7%±9.6% and 68.2%±9.9%, respectively. In the LMB 96 group, OS of cases showing non-complete response (N=8) was 62.5%±17.1%, and OS of relapsed or primary refractory cases (N=6) was 33.3%±19.3%. Central nervous system (CNS) disease, high lactate dehydrogenase levels at diagnosis, and treatment response were significant prognostic factors.
Survival outcome has drastically improved over the last 2 decades with short-term, dose-intensive chemotherapy. However, CNS involvement or poor response to chemotherapy was worse prognostic factors; therefore, future studies addressing this therapeutic challenge are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3128907  PMID: 21747881
Burkitt lymphoma; L3 lymphocytic leukemia; Treatment outcome; Prognosis
18.  The impact of HLA matching on unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Korean children 
The impact of HLA matching on outcomes of unrelated donor (URD) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) varies in different racial or ethnic groups. Since little is known about the impact of such matching on URD HSCT in Korean children, we analyzed this issue.
We analyzed the outcomes of 142 patients who underwent URD HSCT at 4 Korean medical centers. All patient donor pairs were fully typed for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DR alleles.
At a median follow-up of 22 months, 3-year survival rates for patients with 8, 7, and ≤6 matched alleles were 88.4%, 70.7%, and 53.6%, respectively. A single mismatch (Mm) at HLA-B or -C was associated with lower survival compared with that associated with 8 matched alleles. No significant differences were observed between single-allele and single-antigen Mms with respect to survival rate or acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) incidence rates. HLA disparity had a greater impact on the survival of patients with high-risk malignancy than of those with low-risk malignancy. Among pairs with a single Mm, only locus A showed a significant association and higher risk of grade III-IV aGVHD compared to those in patients with 8 matched alleles.
Disparity in HLA class I, regardless of antigen or allele Mm, adversely affected both survival and grade III-IV aGVHD development. An increased number of HLA Mms was associated with a higher risk of post-transplantation complications. Further investigations using larger cohorts are required to confirm the effects of HLA mismatching on URD HSCT patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3065620  PMID: 21461298
URD HSCT; HLA; Korean children
20.  Visual Prognosis of Retinoblastoma in the Posterior Pole Treated with Primary Chemotherapy Plus Local Treatments 
To evaluate the visual outcomes of retinoblastoma in the posterior pole (RBPP) treated with chemotherapy plus local treatments and to address the prognostic factors that influence such outcomes.
The medical records of patients with RBPP diagnosed at the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Seoul National University Children's Hospital between August 1987 and September 2007 were reviewed retrospectively. Only those patients treated via primary chemotherapy plus local treatments were included. The presence of foveal involvement and tumors in the posterior pole before and after treatment, the type of regression pattern and the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of each patient were evaluated.
A total of 13 eyes in 12 patients were included. The mean final BCVA for treated RBPP was 20/210 (range, hand motion to 20/16). However, eight eyes (61.5%) had an acuity of 20/200 or better and seven eyes (53.8%) had an acuity of 20/50 or better. The mean final BCVA was significantly better in cases with negative foveal involvement; however, four eyes (37.5%) with positive foveal involvement had an acuity of 20/200 or better. Tumors area in the posterior pole and the type of regression pattern were not significantly related to final BCVA.
Over one half of the studied RBPP patients had working vision. Although the eyes had RBPP with positive foveal involvement, about one-third of the patients had working vision. Vision preservation should be considered when deciding on RBPP treatment.
PMCID: PMC2992562  PMID: 21165233
Fovea; Macula; Posterior pole; Prognosis; Retinoblastoma
21.  Efficacy of High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Relapsed Medulloblastoma: A Report on The Korean Society for Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (KSPNO)-S-053 Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(8):1160-1166.
The efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/ASCT) were investigated for improving the outcomes of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma. A total of 15 patients with relapsed medulloblastoma were enrolled in the KSPNO-S-053 study from May 2005 to May 2007. All patients received approximately 4 cycles of salvage chemotherapy after relapse. Thirteen underwent HDCT/ASCT; CTE and CM regimen were employed for the first HDCT (HDCT1) and second HDCT (HDCT2), respectively, and 7 underwent HDCT2. One transplant related mortality (TRM) due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred during HDCT1 but HDCT2 was tolerable with no further TRM. The 3-yr overall survival probability and event-free survival rates ±95% confidence intervals (CI) were 33.3±12.2% and 26.7% ±11.4%, respectively. When analysis was confined to only patients who had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) prior to HDCT, the probability of 3-yr overall survival rates ±95% CI was 40.0±15.5%. No patients with stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD) survived. Survival rates from protocol KSPNO-S-053 are encouraging and show that tumor status prior to HDCT/ASCT is an important factor to consider for improving survival rates of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2908784  PMID: 20676326
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
22.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for children with newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):120-126.
In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
PMCID: PMC2983022  PMID: 21120191
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
23.  Long Term Follow-up Results of External Beam Radiotherapy as Primary Treatment for Retinoblastoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(4):546-551.
The authors reviewed their experiences of external beam radiotherapy (EBR) as an initial treatment in retinoblastoma patients to determine its long-term effect on subsequent tumor control and complications. A total of 32 eyes in 25 patients that underwent EBR for retinoblastoma were reviewed retrospectively. The patients consisted of 21 boys and 4 girls of median age at treatment of 7.1 months. Radiation doses ranged from 35 to 59.4 Gy. The 10-yr ocular and patient survivals were 75.4% and 92.3%, respectively. Nine of the 32 eyes progressed; 7 of these were enucleated and 2 were salvaged by focal treatment. According to the Reese-Ellsworth classification, 4 of 5 eyes of Group II, 13 of 16 Group III eyes, 2 of 4 Group IV eyes, and 5 of 7 Group V eyes were retained, and of the 32 eyes, 13 had visual acuity better than 20/200. Eleven patients experienced a radiation-induced complication. No patient developed a second malignancy during follow-up. Despite the limited number of patients enrolled, EBR may provide a mean of preserving eyeball and vision for some advanced lesions.
PMCID: PMC2844604  PMID: 20357996
Retinoblastoma; External Beam Radiotherapy; Complication
24.  The Survival of Osteosarcoma Patients 10 Years Old or Younger Is Not Worse than the Survival of Older Patients: A Retrospective Analysis 
This study aimed to assess whether a young age at the time of diagnosis with osteosarcoma has value to predict the prognosis.
Materials and Methods
Sixty-seven children with stage II osteosarcoma were stratified according to the age of 10. There were 32 preadolescents (≤10 years) and 35 adolescents (10
After a median follow-up of 54 months (range: 6~153 months), the 5-year EFS of the preadolescent and adolescent groups was 64.5±9.3% and 58.2±9.1%, respectively, and age did not have any statistical significance for survival (p=0.55). Cox regression analysis revealed that both the serum level of alkaline phosphatase and the histologic response to preoperative chemotherapy were significantly related to survival of the 67 patients. Those patients aged less than 7 years responded poorly to preoperative chemotherapy and their rate of amputation was 43%. However, their 5-year EFS was not statistically different from the older patients (57.1±18.7 vs 67.7±6.3%, respectively, p=0.58).
We could not find any statistical difference in the clinical characteristics and survival from osteosarcoma for the preadolescents and adolescents, so the current approach of having the same protocol for both groups of patients seems to be reasonable.
PMCID: PMC2739368  PMID: 19746238
Osteosarcoma; Age; Preadolescents; Prognosis

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