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1.  Advancements in the treatment of pediatric acute leukemia and brain tumor - continuous efforts for 100% cure 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(10):434-439.
Treatment outcomes of pediatric cancers have improved greatly with the development of improved treatment protocols, new drugs, and better supportive measures, resulting in overall survival rates greater than 70%. Survival rates are highest in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, reaching more than 90%, owing to risk-based treatment through multicenter clinical trials and protocols developed to prevent central nervous system relapse and testicular relapse in boys. New drugs including clofarabine and nelarabine are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and other targeted agents are continuously being developed. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells are now attracting interest for the treatment of recurrent or refractory disease. Stem cell transplantation is still the most effective treatment for pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, in order to reduce treatment-related death after stem cell transplantation, there is need for improved treatments. New drugs and targeted agents are also needed for improved outcome of AML. Surgery and radiation therapy have been the mainstay for brain tumor treatment. However, chemotherapy is becoming more important for patients who are not eligible for radiotherapy owing to age. Stem cell transplant as a means of high dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue is a new treatment modality and is often repeated for improved survival. Drugs such as temozolomide are new chemotherapeutic options. In order to achieve 100% cure in children with pediatric cancer, every possible treatment modality and effort should be considered.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2014.57.10.434
PMCID: PMC4219945  PMID: 25379043
Pediatrics; Neoplasms; Survival rate; Leukemia; Brain neoplasms
2.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.12.1788
PMCID: PMC3857376  PMID: 24339710
Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Validation Studies; Child Psychology; Neoplasms; Survivors
3.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.11.1645
PMCID: PMC3835508  PMID: 24265529
α-Thalassemia; β-Thalassemia; Genotype; Phenotype; Child; Korea
4.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.11.1378
PMCID: PMC3492674  PMID: 23166421
Primary CNS Lymphoma; Children; Irradiation
5.  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.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.142
PMCID: PMC3389064  PMID: 22783362
Acute myeloid leukemia; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Graft versus host disease; Intestinal obstruction
6.  Clinical Outcome of Relapsed or Refractory Burkitt Lymphoma and Mature B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children and Adolescents 
Purpose
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.4143/crt.2013.047
PMCID: PMC4206068  PMID: 25043820
Burkitt lymphoma; Recurrence; Children
7.  Clinical Results of Chemotherapy based Treatment in Retinoblastoma Patients: A Single Center Experience 
Purpose
Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy in children. Since the 1990s, chemotherapy was indicated for intraocluar disease to reduce the frequency of enucleation and spare the complications associated with external beam radiation. In this study, we analyzed treatment results of retinoblastoma in our institute.
Materials and Methods
Datas from children diagnosed with retinoblastoma and treated at Seoul National University Children's Hospital between 1986 and 2008 were analyzed retrospectively. We utilized cyclophosphamide, vincristine, adriamycin, and methotrexate (CVAM) for OPD-based adjuvant chemotherapy. From 1990, primary chemotherapy was administered to patients with intraocular disease for eyeball-saving and patients received a combination of etoposide, vincristine, cisplatin (or ifosfamide) as a moderately intensive regimen, or a combination of cisplatin, doxorubicin, etoposide, and cycophosphamide (CDEC) as a highly intensive regimen.
Results
One hundred eighteen children were analyzed. There were 68 unilateral and 50 bilateral diseases. The median age at diagnosis was 1 year and Reese-Ellsworth stage V was the most common stage at the time of diagnosis. All patients were treated by chemotherapy-based multimodality methods, and primary chemotherapy was administered to 80 patients. The 10-year overall and event-free survival rate of all patients were 93.9% and 91.6%, respectively. Two patients who died were in the CDEC regimen group, but there was no significant statistical difference in survival rates by chemotherapy regimens. Fifty-six of 114 eyeballs were saved after primary chemotherapy-based treatment, and the eyeball-saving rate was 49.1%. Six patients relapsed after enucleation and 2 patients were treated successfully after autologous PBSCT. Osteosarcoma occurred in 2 patients as a secondary malignancy, and facial asymmetry after radiotherapy was the most common long-term sequelae.
Conclusions
In this study, the overall and event-free survival rates of retinoblastoma were satisfactory and eye-saving was possible with primary chemotherapy. Development of new chemotherapeutic regimens and a team approach are necessary to improve the eyeball-saving rate.
doi:10.4143/crt.2008.40.4.164
PMCID: PMC2697477  PMID: 19688125
Retinoblastoma; Chemotherapy; Radiotherapy; Enucleation; Survival rate; Eyeball-saving
8.  Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Results of Pediatric Osteosarcoma: The Role of High Dose Chemotherapy with Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation 
Purpose
In this study, we investigated the clinical characteristics and treatment results of osteosarcoma during the past 7 years, and evaluated the role of high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of patients who were diagnosed as osteosarcoma at our center from January, 2000 to December, 2007.
Results
The 5-year overall survival and event-free survival of the patients were 72.6% and 55.9%, respectively. Seventeen (41.5%) patients showed disease progression during treatment or relapse after the end of treatment. The patients who had metastasis at diagnosis or who had a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed decreased overall and event-free survival. Four patients received ASCT after HDCT, and 3 of them are alive without disease.
Conclusions
The patients who relapsed or had refractory osteosarcoma or who had metastasis at diagnosis or a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed poor prognosis. HDCT with ASCT could be an alternative treatment option for these patients.
doi:10.4143/crt.2008.40.4.172
PMCID: PMC2697476  PMID: 19688126
Osteosarcoma; Autologous stem cell transplantation; High dose chemotherapy; Pediatrics
9.  Initial Response to Treatment was Highly Associated with the Prognosis of Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Retrospective Analysis of a Single Center Experience in Korea 
Purpose
Following the introduction of a multimodal approach to diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) has markedly improved over the last three decades. However, there are few data on treatment outcomes in Korean patients.
Materials and Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of 77 patients with RMS diagnosed and treated at Seoul National University Children's Hospital between 1986 and 2005.
Results
The overall 5-year survival and event-free survival rates for all patients were 77% and 59%, respectively. The Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study clinical grouping and initial response to treatment (20-week response) were important prognostic factors.
Conclusions
The outcome of childhood RMS was closely associated with the initial staging and the initial response to treatment. Modulating therapies according to initial responses and risk factors is critical, and new treatment strategies for high-risk patients are needed.
doi:10.4143/crt.2008.40.3.111
PMCID: PMC2697467  PMID: 19688116
Rhabdomyosarcoma; Prognosis; Korea; Child
10.  Low Levels of Vitamin D in Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder: Association with Disease Disability 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107274.
Patients with autoimmune disorders often have low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D3], which correlates with disability or disease activity. Vitamin D may play a role in neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD), as an important factor involved in immunological pathways. We investigated the relationship between vitamin D levels and disease related disability and clinical activity in patients with NMOSD. Blood samples from 51 patients with NMOSD who were positive for anti-aquaporin4-antibody (AQP4-ab) and 204 healthy controls were collected for 25(OH)D3 measurement. Clinical parameters, including expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score, annualized relapse rate (ARR) and time of blood sampling relative to attack, were determined in patients with NMOSD. We found that 25(OH)D3 levels were significantly lower in patients with NMOSD compared to healthy controls. There was no difference between 25(OH)D3 levels in blood samples taken at relapse or remission, and no association between 25(OH)D3 levels and ARR, but there was an inverse correlation between 25(OH)D3 levels and EDSS scores in patients with NMOSD. It remains to be determined whether low vitamin D levels predispose to NMO and/or modify disease severity, or are secondary to neurological disability. In either case the results could also be of relevance to other neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis as well as NMO.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107274
PMCID: PMC4161425  PMID: 25211011
11.  Outcome of Intravenous Azithromycin Therapy in Patients with Complicated Scrub Typhus Compared with That of Doxycycline Therapy Using Propensity-Matched Analysis 
There are no well-matched, controlled studies comparing azithromycin with doxycycline for the treatment of complicated scrub typhus. A retrospective propensity score-matched case-control study was performed for patients who presented with complicated scrub typhus and were treated with doxycycline or azithromycin between 2001 and 2011. Data on comorbidities, clinical manifestations, laboratory studies, treatments, and outcomes were extracted for analysis. The clinical characteristics and outcomes of the azithromycin-treated group (n = 73) were compared to those of the doxycycline-treated group (n = 108). Of 181 patients, 73 from each group were matched by propensity scores. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the matched groups. The treatment success and survival rates were not significantly different (89% [65/73 patients] versus 96% [70/73 patients] and 96% [70/73 patients] versus 96% [70/73 patients], respectively [P > 0.05]). No difference was observed in the time to defervescence or length of hospital stay between the two groups (P > 0.05). In complicated scrub typhus patients (n = 181), multivariate analysis showed that only APACHE II score was an independent risk factor for mortality (95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.56; P < 0.001). Our data suggest that outcomes of azithromycin therapy are comparable to those of doxycycline therapy in patients with complicated scrub typhus.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01996-13
PMCID: PMC3957884  PMID: 24366734
12.  Improved Survival in Patients with Recurrent Wilms Tumor: the Experience of the Seoul National University Children's Hospital 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(3):436-440.
The survival in cases with relapsed Wilms tumor is dismal. Recently, however the introduction of new therapeutic agents and experimental strategies has improved the survival. We analysed the survival of patients with relapsed Wilms tumor according to the treatment period. During the early period 1983-1993, patients who had received two drugs were treated with doxorubicin and the others were treated with cisplatin and etoposide, whereas during the late period 1994-2004, patients were treated with combinations of cyclophosphamide/etoposide and carboplatin/etoposide. During the early period, 8 of 57 experienced relapse, and 8 of 41 relapsed during the late period. Only 2 patients treated during the early period survived in complete response (CR), whereas during the late period, 5 patients remained alive in CR, and 3 of those received high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous peripheral stem cell rescue (SCR). The estimated 5 yr event-free survival rate was 37.5% in the entire study group, 50% for patients in the late period, and 25% for patients in the early period (p=0.38). The survival in patients with relapsed Wilms tumor dramatically improved during the late period and HDC with SCR was one of the effective salvage strategies.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2006.21.3.436
PMCID: PMC2729947  PMID: 16778385
Wilms Tumor; Nephroblastoma; Recurrence; Salvage Therapy; Stem Cells
13.  Trends in the Aggressiveness of End-of-Life Care for Korean Pediatric Cancer Patients Who Died in 2007–2010 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99888.
Background
In light of the Korean Supreme Court's 2009 ruling favoring a patient's right to die with dignity, we evaluated trends in aggressive care in a cohort of pediatric cancer patients.
Methods We conducted a population-based retrospective study that used administrative data for patients who died in 2007–2010 among the 5,203 pediatric cancer patients registered at the Korean Cancer Central Registry (KCCR) during 2007–2009.
Results
In the time period covered, 696 patients died. The proportion who had received chemotherapy in the last 30 days of life decreased from 58.1% to 28.9% (P<0.001), those who received new chemotherapy in the same time period decreased from 55.2% to 15.1% (P<0.001), and those who received treatment in the last 2 weeks of life decreased from 51.4% to 21.7% (P<0.001). In the last 30 days of life, the proportion of patients whose hospital admission period was over 14 days increased from 70.5% to 82.5% (P = 0.03), the proportion who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation decreased from 28.6% to 9.6% (P<0.001), and we found no statistically significant trends in the proportion of emergency department visits, intensive care unit admissions, or mechanical ventilation.
Conclusions
In this study, in contrast with earlier ones, the aggressiveness of end-of-life care of Korean pediatric cancer patients decreased dramatically.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099888
PMCID: PMC4055703  PMID: 24923320
14.  Discordance between Perceived and Actual Cancer Stage among Cancer Patients in Korea: A Nationwide Survey 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e90483.
Purpose
We assessed the accuracy of communication between doctors and patients by evaluating the consistency between patient perception of cancer stage and the medical records, and analyzed the most influential factors of incongruence among cancer patients at 10 cancer centers across Korea.
Methods
Information was gathered from cancer patients at the National Cancer Center and nine regional cancer centers located in every province of Korea between 1 July 2008 and 31 August 2008. Data were analyzed using Pearson's χ2 test and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results
The stages of cancer reported by the 1,854 patients showed a low degree of congruence with the stages given in medical records (k = 0.35, P<0.001). Only 57.1% of the patients had accurate knowledge of their cancer stage. In total, 18.5% underestimated their stage of disease, and the more advanced the cancer stage, the more likely they were to underestimate it, in order of local (14.2%), regional (23.7%), and distant (51.6%). Logistic regression analysis showed that congruence was lower in patients with cervical cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30–0.87), recurrence (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.50–0.83), and treatment at the National Cancer Center (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.39–0.72).
Conclusion
There are knowledge gaps between patients' perceived and actual stage of cancer. Patients with cervical cancer, recurrence, and who received treatment at a regional cancer center showed less understanding of their cancer stage.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090483
PMCID: PMC4015901  PMID: 24817193
15.  Cancer Incidence and Survival among Adolescents and Young Adults in Korea 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96088.
Background
In Korea, cancer is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults (AYAs). However, cancer incidence and survival trends among AYAs (15–29 years) have never been studied in Korea. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the incidence and relative survival rates and their trends among AYAs in Korea.
Materials and Methods
Cancer incidence data from 1999–2010 were obtained from the Korea Central Cancer Registry (KCCR). Each cancer was classified into subgroups according to the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) AYA site recode. Percent distributions, age-specific incidence rates, age-standardized incidence rates per million, and annual percent changes (APCs) were calculated for AYAs according to sex. Five-year relative survival rates were estimated for cases diagnosed between 1993 and 2010 and followed up to 2011.
Results
The age-standardized incidence rates of all cancers combined were 196.4 and 367.8 per million for males and females, respectively (male-to-female (M/F) ratio: 0.5). The age-standardized incidence rates increased from 208.7 per million in 1999 to 396.4 per million in 2010, and the APC was 6.3% (P<0.001). The five most common cancers among AYAs were thyroid carcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stomach carcinoma, breast carcinoma, and acute myeloid leukemia. In males, the 5-year relative survival rate improved, from 46.5% in 1993–1995 to 75.9% in 2006–2010. In females, the 5-year relative survival rate also improved, from 66.7% in 1993–1995 to 89.1% in 2006–2010.
Conclusions
Our study showed increases in cancer incidence and improvements in the 5-year relative survival rate among Korean AYAs. This study also provides additional data regarding temporal and geographic trends in cancer that may enhance future efforts to identify factors affecting cancer incidence and responses to treatment among AYAs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096088
PMCID: PMC4006908  PMID: 24789075
16.  Design and Methodology for the Korean Observational and Escitalopram Treatment Studies of Depression in Acute Coronary Syndrome: K-DEPACS and EsDEPACS 
Psychiatry Investigation  2014;11(1):89-94.
Depression is common after acute coronary syndrome (ACS), adversely affecting cardiac course and prognosis. There have been only a few evidence-based treatment options for depression in ACS. Accordingly, we planned the Korean Depression in ACS (K-DEPACS) study, which investigated depressive disorders in patients with ACS using a naturalistic prospective design, and the Escitalopram for DEPACS (EsDEPACS) trial, which assessed the efficacy and safety of escitalopram for treating major or minor depression in patients with ACS. Participants in the K-DEPACS study were consecutively recruited from patients with ACS who were recently hospitalized at Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, South Korea. Diagnoses were confirmed by coronary angiography from 2005. Data on depressive and cardiovascular characteristics were obtained at 2 weeks, 3 months, 12 months, and every 6 months thereafter following the index ACS admission. The K-DEPACS participants who met the DSM-IV criteria for major or minor depressive disorder were randomly assigned to groups in the 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled EsDEPACS trial beginning in 2007. The outcome of treatments for depressive and other psychiatric symptoms, issues related to safety, including general adversity, and cardiovascular factors were assessed. The K-DEPACS study can significantly contribute to research on the complex relationships between depression and ACS. The results of the EsDEPACS trial provide an additional treatment option for clinicians treating these patients.
doi:10.4306/pi.2014.11.1.89
PMCID: PMC3942557  PMID: 24605129
Acute coronary syndrome; Depression; Observational study; Clinical trial; Escitalopram
17.  Hereditary hemolytic anemia in Korea from 2007 to 2011: A study by the Korean Hereditary Hemolytic Anemia Working Party of the Korean Society of Hematology 
Blood research  2013;48(3):211-216.
Background
The number of patients diagnosed with hereditary hemolytic anemia (HHA) has increased since the advent of novel diagnostic techniques that accurately identify this disorder. Here, we report data from a survey on the prevalence and characteristics of patients diagnosed with HHA in Korea from 2007 to 2011.
Methods
Information on patients diagnosed with HHA in Korea and their clinical and laboratory results were collected using a survey questionnaire. Globin gene and red blood cell (RBC) enzyme analyses were performed. In addition, we analyzed data collected by pediatricians.
Results
In total, 195 cases of HHA were identified. Etiologies identified for HHA were RBC membranopathies, hemoglobinopathies, and RBC enzymopathies, which accounted for 127 (64%), 39 (19.9%), and 26 (13.3%) cases, respectively. Of the 39 patients with hemoglobinopathies, 26 were confirmed by globin gene analysis, including 20 patients with β-thalassemia minor, 5 patients with α-thalassemia minor, and 1 patient with unstable hemoglobin disease.
Conclusion
The number of patients diagnosed with hemoglobinopathies and RBC enzymopathies has increased considerably since the previous survey on HHA in Korea, dated from 1997 to 2006. This is likely the result of improved diagnostic techniques. Nevertheless, there is still a need for more sensitive diagnostic tests utilizing flow cytometry and for better standardization of test results to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of RBC membranopathies in Korea. Additionally, more accurate assays for the identification of RBC enzymopathies are warranted.
doi:10.5045/br.2013.48.3.211
PMCID: PMC3786282  PMID: 24086942
Congenital hemolytic anemia; Hereditary spherocytosis; Thalassemia; Congenital nonspherocytic anemia
18.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064114
PMCID: PMC3667856  PMID: 23737969
19.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.1.106
PMCID: PMC3546088  PMID: 23341720
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Growth; Radiotherapy; Total Body Irradiation; Acute Myeloid Leukemia
20.  Trends in the Incidence of Hospitalized Acute Myocardial Infarction and Stroke in Korea, 2006-2010 
This study attempted to calculate and investigate the incidence of hospitalized acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke in Korea. Using the National Health Insurance claim data, we investigated patients whose main diagnostic codes included AMI or stroke during 2006 to 2010. As a result, we found out that the number of AMI hospitalized patients had decreased since 2006 and amounted to 15,893 in 2010; and that the number of those with stroke had decreased since 2006 and amounted to 73,501 in 2010. The age-standardized incidence rate of hospitalized AMI, after adjustment for readmission, was 41.6 cases per 100,000-population in 2006, and had decreased to 29.4 cases in 2010 (for trend P < 0.001). In the case of stroke was estimated at 172.8 cases per 100,000-population in 2006, and had decreased to 135.1 cases in 2010 (for trend P < 0.001). In conclusion, the age-standardized incidence rates of both hospitalized AMI and stroke in Korea had decreased continuously during 2006 to 2010. We consider this decreasing trend due to the active use of pharmaceuticals, early vascular intervention, and the national cardio-cerebrovascular disease care project as the primary and secondary prevention efforts.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.1.16
PMCID: PMC3546096  PMID: 23341707
Epidemiology; Acute Myocardial Infarction; Stroke; Patient Readmission
21.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.1.36
PMCID: PMC3546101  PMID: 23341709
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Respiratory Virus; Respiratory Infections
22.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045558
PMCID: PMC3454425  PMID: 23029095
23.  Clinical and hematologic manifestations in patients with Diamond Blackfan anemia in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):131-135.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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%).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.131
PMCID: PMC3389062  PMID: 22783360
Diamond Blackfan anemia; Anemia; Congenital defects
24.  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.
doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-14
PMCID: PMC3361468  PMID: 22458355
Plerixafor; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization; Pediatrics; Complications; Interstitial Lung Diseases
25.  Gender differences in the association between self-rated health and hypertension in a Korean adult population 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:135.
Background
Self-rated health (SRH) has been reported as a predictor of mortality in previous studies. This study aimed to examine whether SRH is independently associated with hypertension and if there is a gender difference in this association.
Methods
16,956 community dwelling adults aged 20 and over within a defined geographic area participated in this study. Data on SRH, socio-demographic factors (age, gender, marital status, education) and health behaviors (smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity) were collected. Body mass index and blood pressure were measured. Logistic regression models were used to determine a relationship between SRH and hypertension.
Results
32.5% of the participants were found to have hypertension. Women were more likely than men to rate their SRH as poor (p < 0.001), and the older age groups rated their SRH more negatively in both men and women (p < 0.001). While the multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR, 95% CI) of participants rating their SRH as very poor for hypertension in men was OR 1.70 (1.13-2.58), that in women was OR 2.83 (1.80-4.44). Interaction between SRH and gender was significant (p < 0.001).
Conclusions
SRH was independently associated with hypertension in a Korean adult population. This association was modified by gender.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-135
PMCID: PMC3306731  PMID: 22340138

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