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1.  Incidences and Prognostic Impact of c-KIT, WT1, CEBPA, and CBL Mutations, and Mutations Associated With Epigenetic Modification in Core Binding Factor Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Multicenter Study in a Korean Population 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2015;35(3):288-297.
To identify potential molecular prognostic markers in core binding factor (CBF) AML, we analyzed incidences and prognostic impacts of mutations in c-KIT, WT1, CEBPA, CBL, and a number of epigenetic genes in CBF AML.
Seventy one and 21 AML patients with t(8;21) and inv(16) were enrolled in this study, respectively. NPM1, CEBPA, c-KIT, IDH1/2, DNMT3A, EZH2, WT1, and CBL mutations were analyzed by direct sequencing. Patients were categorized with respect to c-KIT and WT1 mutation status, and both clinical features and prognoses were compared.
The incidences of FLT3 internal tandem duplication (ITD), NPM1, CEBPA, IDH1/2, DNMT3A, EZH2, and CBL mutations were low (≤5%) in CBF AML patients. However, c-KIT and WT1 mutations occurred frequently (10.9% and 13.8%, respectively). t(8;21) patients with c-KIT mutations showed significantly shorter overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) periods than those without mutations (P<0.001, for both); however, although the limited number of t(8;21) patients were analyzed, WT1 mutation status did not affect prognosis significantly. Relapse or death during follow-up occurred more frequently in t(8;21) patients carrying c-KIT mutations than in those without the mutation, although the difference was significant only in a specific patient subgroup with no WT1 mutations (P=0.014).
The incidences of mutations in epigenetic genes are very low in CBF AML; however, c-KIT and WT1 mutations occur more frequently than others. The poor prognostic impact of c-KIT mutation in t(8;21) AML patients only applies in a specific patient subgroup without WT1 mutations. The prognostic impact of WT1 mutation in CBF AML is not evident and further investigation is required.
PMCID: PMC4390696  PMID: 25932436
Acute myeloid leukemia; Core binding factor; c-KIT; Epigenetic modification; Incidence; Prognosis; WT1
2.  Clinical characteristics, pathological distribution, and prognostic factors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma of Waldeyer's ring: nationwide Korean study 
In Asia, the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has increased in recent decades. Waldeyer's ring (WR) is the most common site of NHL involving the head and neck. In this study, the pathological distribution of WR-NHL and its clinical features were analyzed retrospectively.
From January 2000 through December 2010, we analyzed the medical records of 328 patients from nine Korean institutions who were diagnosed with WR-NHL.
The study group comprised 197 male and 131 female patients with a median age of 58 years (range, 14 to 89). The rate of localized disease (stage I/II) was 64.9%, and that of low-risk disease (low/low-intermediate, as defined by the International Prognostic Index) was 76.8%. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL; 240 patients, 73.2%) was the most common pathologic subtype, followed by peripheral T-cell lymphoma (14 patients, 4.3%) and nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma (14 patients, 4.3%). WR-NHL occurred most frequently in the tonsils (199 patients, 60.6%). Extranodal involvement was greater with the T-cell subtype (20 patients, 42.5%) compared with the B-cell subtype (69 patients, 24.5%). Multivariate analyses showed that age ≥ 62 years, T-cell subtype, and failure to achieve complete remission were significant risk factors for overall survival.
DLBCL was found to have a higher incidence in Korea than those incidences reported by other WR-NHL studies. T-cell lymphoma occurred more frequently than did follicular lymphoma. T-cell subtype, age ≥ 62 years, and complete remission failure after first-line treatment were significant poor prognostic factors for overall survival according to the multivariate analysis.
PMCID: PMC4028525  PMID: 24851070
Head and neck; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; T-cell lymphoma
3.  Maximum standardized uptake value on positron emission tomography/computed tomography predicts clinical outcome in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
Blood research  2015;50(2):97-102.
Few clinical studies have clarified the prognostic factors that affect clinical outcomes for patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after immunochemotherapy.
A total of 158 patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL were enrolled. All patients underwent positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) before and after salvage therapy. All enrolled patients previously received the ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide regimen. Clinical outcomes were compared according to several factors (age ≥ 65 years, low age-adjusted International Prognostic Index [aa-IPI], maximum standardized uptake value [SUVmax] <6.0 on PET/CT, time to relapse ≥12 months, complete response after salvage therapy). A low aa-IPI, SUVmax <6.0, and time to relapse ≥ 12 months were independent prognostic factors for survival.
In univariate analysis and multivariate analysis, SUVmax below 6.0 (P<0.001 for progression-free survival (PFS), P<0.001 for overall survival (OS)) and low aa-IPI (P<0.001 for PFS, P<0.001 for OS) were independent prognostic factors associated with favorable outcome.
The aa-IPI and initial SUVmax were powerful prognostic factors in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC4486165  PMID: 26157779
Positron emission tomography; SUVmax; aa-IPI
4.  Risk-Reducing Genetic Variant of Wilms Tumor 1 Gene rs16754 in Korean Patients With BCR-ABL1-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasm 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2015;35(3):348-351.
The genetic variant rs16754 of Wilms tumor gene 1 (WT1) has recently been described as an independent prognostic factor in AML patients. It is of great interest to test whether WT1 single nucleotide polymorphism can be used as a molecular marker in other types of cancer, to improve risk and treatment stratification. We performed sequencing analysis of exons 7 and 9 of WT1, which are known mutational hotspots, in a total of 73 patients with BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) and 93 healthy controls. No previously reported WT1 mutations were identified in the present study. In Korean patients with BCR-ABL1-negative MPN, WT1 genetic variant rs16754 had no significant impact on clinical outcomes. We observed a significant difference in the allelic frequencies of WT1 rs16754 in Koreans between BCR-ABL1-negative MPN cases and healthy controls. Individuals carrying variant G alleles of WT1 rs16754 showed a relatively low prevalence of BCR-ABL1-negative MPN, compared with those carrying wild A alleles of WT1 rs16754 (Hazard ratio 0.10-0.65, P<0.05). Therefore, possession of the variant G allele of WT1 rs16754 may reduce the risk of developing BCR-ABL1-negative MPN.
PMCID: PMC4390704  PMID: 25932444
Myeloproliferative neoplasm; WT1; rs16754
5.  Incidence, Clinical Features, and Prognostic Impact of CALR Exon 9 Mutations in Essential Thrombocythemia and Primary Myelofibrosis: An Experience of a Single Tertiary Hospital in Korea 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2015;35(2):233-237.
We evaluated the incidence, clinical characteristics, and prognostic impact of calreticulin (CALR) mutations in essential thrombocythemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) patients. In all, 48 ET and 14 PMF patients were enrolled, and the presence of CALR mutations was analyzed by direct sequencing. Patients were classified into three subgroups according to Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F and CALR mutation status, and their clinical features and prognosis were compared. CALR mutations were detected in 15 (24.2%) patients, and the incidence increased to 50.0% in 30 JAK2 V617F mutation-negative cases. These included 11 patients with three known mutations (c.1092_1143del [seven cases], c.1154_1155insTTGTC [three cases], and c.1102_1135del [one case]) and 4 patients with novel mutations. ET patients carrying CALR mutation were younger, had lower white blood cell counts, and experienced less thrombosis during follow-up than those carrying JAK2 V617F mutation, while both patient groups showed similar clinical features and prognosis. In ET patients without JAK2 V617F mutation, CALR mutation did not significantly affect clinical manifestation and prognosis. In conclusion, CALR mutation analysis could be a useful diagnostic tool for ET and PMF in 50% of the cases without JAK2 V617F mutations. The prognostic impact of CALR mutations needs further investigation.
PMCID: PMC4330174  PMID: 25729726
CALR; Clinical feature; Essential thrombocythemia; Incidence; Mutation; Primary myelofibrosis; Prognosis
6.  Incidence and Prognostic Impact of DNMT3A Mutations in Korean Normal Karyotype Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:723682.
Background. DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) mutation was recently introduced as a prognostic indicator in normal karyotype (NK) AML and we evaluated the incidence and prognostic impact of DNMT3A mutations in Korean NK AML patients. Methods. Total 67 NK AML patients diagnosed during the recent 10 years were enrolled. DNMT3A mutations were analyzed by direct sequencing and categorized into nonsynonymous variations (NSV), deleterious mutations (DM), and R882 mutation based on in silico analysis results. Clinical features and prognosis were compared with respect to DNMT3A mutation status. Results. Three novel (I158M, K219V, and E177V) and two known (R736H and R882H) NSVs were identified and the latter three were predicted as DMs. DNMT3A NSVs, DMs, and R882 mutation were identified in 14.9%–17.9%, 10.3%–10.4%, and 7.5% of patients, respectively. DNMT3A mutations were frequently detected in FLT3 ITD mutated patients (P = 0.054, 0.071, and 0.071 in NSV, DMs, and R882 mutation, resp.) but did not affect clinical features and prognosis significantly. Conclusions. Incidences of DNMT3A NSVs, DMs, and R882 mutation are 14.9%–17.9%, 10.3%–10.4%, and 7.5%, respectively, in Korean NK AML patients. DNMT3A mutations are associated with FLT3 ITD mutations but do not affect clinical outcome significantly in Korean NK AML patients.
PMCID: PMC4306257  PMID: 25650308
7.  Monosomal and complex karyotypes as prognostic parameters in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System higher risk myelodysplastic syndrome treated with azacitidine 
Blood research  2014;49(4):234-240.
Azacitidine (AZA) is standard care for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who have not had allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Chromosomal abnormalities (CA) including complex karyotype (CK) or monosomal karyotype (MK) are associated with clinical outcome in patients with MDS.
We investigated which prognostic factors including CAs would predict clinical outcomes in patients with International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) higher risk MDS treated with AZA, retrospectively. CK was defined as the presence of three or more numerical or structural CAs. MK was defined as the presence of two or more distinct autosomal monosomies or single autosomal monosomy with at least one additional structural CA.
A total of 243 patients who treated with AZA, were enrolled. CK was present in 124 patients and MK was present in 90 patients. Bone marrow blasts ≥15% and CK were associated with poorer response (P=0.038, P=0.007) and overall survival (OS) (P<0.001, P<0.001) independently. Although MK in CK group was not associated with prognosis, non-MK status in non-CK group reflected favorable OS (P=0.005). The group including >3 CAs was associated with poorer OS (group including <3 CAs vs. only three CAs, P=0.001; group with >3 CAs vs. only three CAs, P=0.001).
CK was an important prognostic parameter associated with worse outcome. MK may predict poor survival in only non-CK status. The higher number of CAs was associated with poorer survival.
PMCID: PMC4278004  PMID: 25548756
Myelodysplastic syndrome; Azacitidine; Complex karyotype; Monosomal karyotype; Chromosomal abnormalities
8.  Influence of NK cell count on the survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with R-CHOP 
Blood research  2014;49(3):162-169.
Although adding rituximab to the chemotherapy regimen of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and prednisone (R-CHOP) has improved clinical outcomes of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), several recent studies have shown that the effect of rituximab is dominantly in the non-germinal center (non-GC) subtype compared to the germinal center (GC) subtype. Natural killer (NK) cell count, a surrogate marker of immune status, is associated with clinical outcomes in DLBCL patients in the rituximab era. We investigated whether the impact of NK cells on clinical outcomes differed according to the immunophenotype of DLBCL.
This study analyzed 72 DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP between January 2010 and January 2014.
Low NK cell counts (<100/µL) were associated with poor progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) compared to high NK cell counts. In multivariate analysis, low NK cell count was an independent prognostic factor for PFS and OS. However, survival did not significantly differ between the GC and non-GC subtypes. We examined the clinical influence of NK cells according to the immunophenotype and found that low NK cell counts were significantly associated with poor PFS and OS in non-GC cases, but not in GC cases.
Low NK cell counts at diagnosis are associated with poor clinical outcomes in DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP therapy. However, the impact is significant only in non-GC subtype DLBCL, not in the GC subtype.
PMCID: PMC4188781  PMID: 25325035
Natural killer cell coun; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Rituximab; Germinal center type; Non-germinal center type
9.  Anesthetic management of transoral natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery: two cases report 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2014;67(2):148-152.
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is an evolving field of minimally invasive surgery. NOTES reaches the target organ by inserting the endoscope through a natural orifice (e.g. mouth, anus, urethra, vagina) and offers advantages of less postoperative pain and lower complication rate. Since its first description in 2004, NOTES has progressed from use on animal models to humans. We experienced anesthetic care of two patients who underwent transoral NOTES under general anesthesia.
PMCID: PMC4166389  PMID: 25237454
Anesthesia; Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery
10.  Clinical Factors Associated with Response or Survival after Chemotherapy in Patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia in Korea 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:253243.
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a B-cell proliferative malignancy characterized by immunoglobulin M monoclonal gammopathy and bone marrow infiltration by lymphoplasmacytic cells. Clinical features and cytogenetics of WM in Asia including Republic of Korea remain unclear. Moreover, no study has reported treatment outcomes in patients with WM treated with novel agent combined with conventional chemotherapy. This study investigated clinical features and assessed treatment outcomes with novel agent and conventional chemotherapy in Republic of Korea. Data from all (n = 71) patients with newly diagnosed WM at 17 hospitals who received chemotherapy between January 2005 and December 2012 were collected retrospectively. The median age of patients was 66 years (range: 37–92 years) and male to female ratio was 5 : 1. Patients treated with novel agent combined chemotherapy displayed higher overall response rate (ORR) compared to conventional chemotherapy alone (92.9% versus 52.6%, P = 0.006). The 5-year overall survival rate was 62.6% (95% confidence interval: 34.73–111.07). Use of novel agents produced higher ORR but survival benefit was not apparent due to the small number of patients and short follow-up duration. Further studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of novel agents in patients with WM.
PMCID: PMC4065725  PMID: 24995279
11.  Clinical Outcomes and Prognostic Factors of Empirical Antifungal Therapy with Itraconazole in the Patients with Hematological Malignancies: A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study in Korea 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2013;55(1):9-18.
To identify prognostic factors for the outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy, we performed a multicenter, prospective, observational study in immunocompromised patients with hematological malignancies.
Materials and Methods
Three hundred seventy-six patients (median age of 48) who had neutropenic fever and who received intravenous (IV) itraconazole as an empirical antifungal therapy for 3 or more days were analyzed. The patients with possible or probable categories of invasive fungal disease (IFD) were enrolled.
The overall success rate was 51.3% (196/376). Age >50 years, underlying lung disease (co-morbidity), poor performance status [Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) ≥2], radiologic evidence of IFD, longer duration of baseline neutropenic fever (≥4 days), no antifungal prophylaxis or prophylactic use of antifungal agents other than itraconazole, and high tumor burden were associated with decreased success rate in univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, age >50 years (p=0.009) and poor ECOG performance status (p=0.005) were significantly associated with poor outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy. Twenty-two patients (5.9%) discontinued itraconazole therapy due to toxicity.
We concluded that empirical antifungal therapy with IV itraconazole in immunocompromised patients is effective and safe. Additionally, age over 50 years and poor performance status were poor prognostic factors for the outcomes of empirical antifungal therapy with IV itraconazole.
PMCID: PMC3874917  PMID: 24339281
Hematological malignancy; prognosis; itraconazole; empirical antifungal therapy
12.  The First Korean Case of Sphingobacterium spiritivorum Bacteremia in a Patient with Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2013;33(4):283-287.
Sphingobacterium spiritivorum has been rarely isolated from clinical specimens of immunocompromised patients, and there have been no case reports of S. spiritivorum infection in Korea to our knowledge. We report a case of S. spiritivorum bacteremia in a 68-yr-old woman, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and subsequently received chemotherapy. One day after chemotherapy ended, her body temperature increased to 38.3℃. A gram-negative bacillus was isolated in aerobic blood cultures and identified as S. spiritivorum by an automated biochemical system. A 16S rRNA sequencing analysis confirmed that the isolate was S. spiritivorum. The patient received antibiotic therapy for 11 days but died of septic shock. This is the first reported case of human S. spiritivorum infection in Korea. Although human infection is rare, S. spiritivorum can be a fatal opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients.
PMCID: PMC3698308  PMID: 23826566
Sphingobacterium spiritivorum; Bacteremia; Immunocompromised patient; 16S rRNA sequencing
13.  Clinical significance of standardized uptake value and maximum tumor diameter in patients with primary extranodal diffuse large B cell lymphoma 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):207-212.
Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and maximum tumor diameter (MTD) have been shown to reflect survival outcome in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, applying these values to primary extranodal DLBCL is difficult because they are separate nosological entities with differences in genetic origin. We therefore decided to evaluate whether SUVmax and MTD on 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) would affect the survival outcome in primary extranodal DLBCL.
From October 2005 to November 2010, 76 primary extranodal DLBCL patients receiving R-CHOP therapy were analyzed. All patients had undergone an initial 18-FDG PET/CT and conventional computed tomography (CT) of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis for staging. Median follow-up period was 35 months.
The SUVmax and MTD cut-off values were 11.0 and 7.5 cm, respectively. SUVmax≥11.0 predicted a short progression free survival (PFS, P=0.002) and overall survival (OS, P=0.002). MTD≥7.5 cm was associated with poor PFS (P=0.003) and OS (P=0.003). High International Prognostic Index (IPI) was also associated with the survival outcome (PFS, P=0.046; OS, P=0.030). Multivariate analysis revealed that SUVmax≥11.0 (PFS, hazard ratio [HR]=10.813, P=0.024; OS, HR=6.312, P=0.015); MTD≥7.5 cm (PFS, HR=5.631, P=0.008; OS, HR=4.072, P=0.008); and high IPI (PFS, P=0.027; OS, P=0.046) were independent prognostic factors.
It appears that both MTD and SUVmax can be independent prognostic factors in primary extranodal DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3464338  PMID: 23071476
Lymphoma; Large B-cell; Extranodal
14.  Prognostic factors in primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of adrenal gland treated with rituximab-CHOP chemotherapy from the Consortium for Improving Survival of Lymphoma (CISL) 
The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors for survival in patients with primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the adrenal gland.
Thirty one patients diagnosed with primary adrenal DLBCL from 14 Korean institutions and treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone) were analyzed.
Complete remission (CR) and overall response rate after R-CHOP chemotherapy were 54.8% and 87.0%. The 2-year estimates of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 68.3% and 51.1%. In patients achieving CR, significant prolongations of OS (P = 0.029) and PFS (P = 0.005) were observed. Ann Arbor stage had no influence on OS. There was no significant difference in OS between patients with unilateral involvement of adrenal gland and those with bilateral involvement. When staging was modified to include bilateral adrenal involvement as one extranodal site, early stage (I or II) significantly correlated with longer OS (P = 0.021) and PFS (P <0.001).
Contrary to prior reports, our data suggests that outcomes of primary adrenal DLBCL are encouraging using a regimen of R-CHOP, and that achieving CR after R-CHOP is predictive of survival. Likewise, our modified staging system may have prognostic value.
PMCID: PMC3445827  PMID: 22889180
Primary adrenal lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Prognostic factor; R-CHOP
15.  Clinical significance of metabolic tumor volume by PET/CT in stages II and III of diffuse large B cell lymphoma without extranodal site involvement 
Annals of Hematology  2011;91(5):697-703.
The objective of this study was to investigate whether metabolic tumor volume (MTV) by positron emission tomography (PET) can be a potential prognostic tool when compared with Ann Arbor stage, in stages II and III nodal diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We evaluated 169 patients with nodal stages II and III DLBCL who underwent measurements with PET prior to rituximab combined with cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP). Cutoff point of MTV was measured using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. During a median period of 36 months, stage II was 59.2% and III was 40.8%. Using the ROC curve, the MTV of 220 cm3 was the cutoff value. The low MTV group (<220 cm3) had longer progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), compared with the high MTV group (≥220 cm3) (p < 0.001, p < 0.001). Stage II patients had longer survival than those in stage III (PFS, p = 0.011; OS, p = 0.001). The high MTV group had lower PFS and OS patterns, regardless of stage, compared with the low MTV group (p < 0.001, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed an association of the high MTV group with lower PFS and OS (PFS, hazard ratio (HR) = 5.300, p < 0.001; OS, HR = 7.009, p < 0.001), but not stage III (PFS, p = 0.187; OS, p = 0.054). Assessment of MTV by PET had more potential predictive power than Ann Arbor stage in the patients that received R-CHOP.
PMCID: PMC3319905  PMID: 22071570
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Positron emission tomography; Rituximab
16.  Predictive Value of Post-Transplant Bone Marrow Plasma Cell Percent in Multiple Myeloma Patients Undergone Autologous Transplantation 
Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has become the treatment of choice for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Studies have shown that maintenance treatment with interferon-alpha is associated with improved survival rates following ASCT. However, despite these recent advances in regimes, relapses are inevitable; thus, the prediction of relapse following ASCT requires assessment.
We retrospectively analyzed 39 patients who received ASCT between 2003 and 2008. All patients received chemotherapy with vincristine, adriamycin, and dexamethasone (VAD), and ASCT was performed following high-dose melphalan conditioning therapy. We evaluated the influence of the post-transplant day +14 (D+14) bone marrow plasma cell percent (BMPCp) (≥ 2 vs. < 2%), international scoring system (ISS) stage (II vs. III), response after 3 cycles of VAD therapy (complete response [CR] vs. non-CR), deletion of chromosome 13q (del[13q]) (presence of the abnormality vs. absence), and BMPCp at diagnosis (≥ 50 vs. < 50%) on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
During the median follow-up of 28.0 months, the median PFS and OS were 29.1 and 42.1 months, respectively. By univariate analysis, ISS stage III at diagnosis, BMPCp ≥ 50% at diagnosis, CR after 3 cycles of VAD therapy, del (13q) by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and BMPCp ≥ 2% at post-transplant D+14 were correlated with PFS and OS. A multivariate analysis revealed that a post-transplant D+14 BMPCp ≥ 2% (PFS, hazard ratio [HR] = 4.426, p = 0.008; OS, HR = 3.545, p = 0.038) and CR after 3 cycles of VAD therapy (PFS, HR = 0.072, p = 0.014; OS, HR = 0.055, p = 0.015) were independent prognostic parameters.
Post-transplant D+14 BMPCp is a useful parameter for predicting the outcome for patients with MM receiving ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3056259  PMID: 21437166
Multiple myeloma; Stem cell transplantation; Bone marrow; Plasma cell
17.  The risk factors for herpes zoster in bortezomib treatment in patients with multiple myeloma 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(3):188-192.
Bortezomib has significant activity in treating multiple myeloma (MM). The risk of herpes zoster (HZ) has been reported to increase significantly with bortezomib treatment, but the predisposing factors for HZ are not clear. This study is a retrospective analysis of the relevant risk factors for HZ in Korean MM patients treated with bortezomib.
Sixty-six patients with refractory or relapsed MM who underwent chemotherapy with bortezomib were included in the study. Prophylactic antiviral drugs were not used for treatment. The following parameters were reviewed: age, gender, stage and type of MM, extent of previous treatment, history of HZ, duration from the time of diagnosis to the time of bortezomib treatment initiation, and absolute lymphocyte counts (ALC) at the time of bortezomib treatment initiation.
The incidence of HZ was 16.7%. There were no intergroup differences between the HZ-positive and the HZ-negative groups with regard to a history of HZ, number of previous treatments, and exposure to steroids before bortezomib treatment. The median duration from the time of MM diagnosis to the time of bortezomib treatment initiation in the HZ-positive group was significantly shorter than that in the HZ-negative group. The median ALC at the time of bortezomib initiation in the HZ-positive group was significantly lower than that in the HZ-negative group.
Bortezomib itself might act as a risk factor for HZ by inhibiting cell-mediated immunity, and patients with low ALC at the time of bortezomib treatment initiation were at greater risk of HZ during bortezomib treatment.
PMCID: PMC2983043  PMID: 21120208
Multiple myeloma; Protease inhibitors; Herpes zoster
18.  Clinical Characteristics of Monomorphic Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorders 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(4):523-526.
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) are a heterogeneous group of lymphoproliferative disorders associated with immunosuppression and Epstein-Barr virus infection. PTLD is classified into three major categories: early lesions, polymorphic PTLD, and monomorphic PTLD. The majority of monomorphic PTLD cases are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of B-cell origin. This retrospective study was conducted to investigate the incidence, clinical manifestation, treatment, and outcomes of monomorphic PTLD among 5,817 recipients of solid organ or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from five institutions. Fourteen patients with monomorphic PTLD were identified (male:female 11:3; median age 42.6 yr, range 24-60). The overall incidence rate was 0.24%. The most common disease type was diffuse large B cell lymphoma (n=7). The median time between the transplant and diagnosis of PTLD was 85.8 months. However, all cases of PTLD after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation occurred within 1 yr after transplantation. Ten of the 14 patients had EBV-positive tumor. Fourteen patients received combination systemic chemotherapy and four patients were treated with radiation therapy. Ten patients achieved a complete response (CR) and two patients a partial response (PR). The median follow-up period for surviving patients was 36.6 months. Nine patients remain alive (eight CR, one PR). Nine of 11 solid organ transplantations preserved graft function. The present study indicates a lower incidence rate and a longer median time before the development of PTLD than those of previous reports. Careful monitoring was needed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for PTLD.
PMCID: PMC2844611  PMID: 20357991
Monomorphic Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorders
19.  Elevation of Serum Ferritin is Associated with the Outcome of Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma 
Serum ferritin is a marker of acute phase reactions and iron storage. In addition, hematologic malignancies are associated with elevated serum ferritin levels. Other studies have suggested that ferritin is a surrogate for advanced disease and has an impact on relapse, because elevated serum ferritin predicts overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival following autologous stem cell transplantation for lymphomas.
We studied 89 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma to determine the value of serum ferritin in comparison with known prognostic factors.
The OS in the elevated serum ferritin group (≥300 ng/mL) was shorter than that in the normal serum ferritin group (<300 ng/mL, p<0.001) after a median follow-up of 25 months. In univariate analysis, elevated ferritin was correlated with poor survival in the patients (relative risk [RR], 2.588; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.536 to 4.358; p<0.001). Furthermore, multivariate analysis showed that elevated serum ferritin was an independent predictor of mortality in patients with multiple myeloma (RR, 2.594; 95% CI, 1.403 to 4.797; p=0.002).
The serum ferritin can a prognostic parameter of survival as well as disease activity in patients with multiple myeloma.
PMCID: PMC2784982  PMID: 19949737
Ferritin; Multiple myeloma; Survival
20.  Influence of Lactate Dehydrogenase and Cyclosporine A Level on the Incidence of Acute Graft-versus-host Disease After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(4):555-560.
Previous reports have suggested that a high serum cyclosporine A (CsA) level could result in a lower incidence of acute-graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). An elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level has been reported to be an adverse predictor of outcome in stem cell transplantation (SCT) for acute myeloid leukemia. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the records of 24 patients who received allogeneic SCT from an HLA-matched sibling donor for acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia. Univariate analysis showed that two factors (the serum CsA level at the third week after SCT and the LDH level at the third week after SCT) were significantly associated with the incidence of aGVHD among several variables (age, sex, stem cell source, cell dose, C-reactive protein, absolute lymphocyte count, conditioning regimens, and time to engraftment). A higher serum level of CsA and lower serum LDH level at the third week after SCT were associated with a lower incidence of aGVHD (P=0.015, 0.030). In multivariate analysis, the serum CsA level (hazard ratio [HR], 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.022-0.652, P=0.0014) and serum LDH level (HR, 6.59; 95% CI, 1.197-36.316, P=0.030) at the third week after SCT were found to be independent factors that were significantly associated with the development of aGVHD. We conclude that a high CsA level and low LDH level might predict a low cumulative incidence of aGVHD after allogeneic transplantation from a matched sibling donor.
PMCID: PMC2719215  PMID: 19654932
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Cyclosporine; Graft vs Host Disease
21.  The Clinical Outcome of FLAG Chemotherapy without Idarubicin in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(3):498-503.
A refractory and resistant disease to conventional induction chemotherapy and relapsed disease are considered as the most important adverse prognostic factors for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Sixty-one patients (median age, 33.6 yr) with relapsed or refractory AML were treated with the FLAG regimen that consisted of fludarabine (30 mg/m2, days 1-5), cytarabine (2.0 g/m2, days 1-5) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Of the treated patients 29 patients (47.5%) achieved complete remission (CR). Higher CR rates were observed for patients with a first or second relapse as compared to patients with a primary refractory response or relapse after stem cell transplantation (HSCT). There was a significant difference in the response rates according to the duration of leukemia-free survival (pre-LFS) before chemotherapy (P=0.05). The recovery time of both neutrophils (≥500/µL) and platelets (≥20,000/µL) required a median of 21 and 18 days, respectively. Treatment-related mortality (TRM) occurred in seven patients (11.4%), of which 71.4% of TRM was caused by an invasive aspergillosis infection. After achieving CR, 18 patients underwent consolidation chemotherapy and six patients underwent allogeneic HSCT. In conclusion, FLAG chemotherapy without idarubicin is a relatively effective and well-tolerated regimen for relapsed or refractory AML and the use of FLAG chemotherapy has allowed intensive post-remission therapy including HSCT.
PMCID: PMC2698199  PMID: 19543516
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; FLAG Chemotherapy; Toxicity
22.  Gemcitabine, Etoposide, Cisplatin, and Dexamethasone in Patients With Refractory or Relapsed Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 
To date, an effective salvage chemotherapy regimen for the treatment of refractory or relapsing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) has not been discovered. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine, etoposide, cisplatin, and dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory NHL patients.
All patients had histologically proven relapsed or refractory NHL. Treatments consisted of gemcitabine 700 mg/m2 by continuous i.v. on days 1 and 8; etoposide 40 mg/m2 by i.v. on days 1-4; cisplatin 60 mg/m2 by i.v. on day 1; or dexamethasone 40 mg by i.v. on days 1-4 (GEPD) every 21 days. The primary end point was the patient response rate following two cycles of treatment. After two cycles, stem cells were harvested using mobilizing regimens (ESHAP or GEPD plus filgrastim), and this was followed by autologous stem cell transplantation or four additional cycles of GEPD.
Between January 2005 and January 2006, 20 patients (13 males and 7 females) were enrolled in the study. The median age was 53 (range 16-75) years. The most common histology was diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n=10). The median follow-up duration was 5.2 (range 1.0-16.0) months. After two cycles, the overall response rate was 50.0% (10/20), including two complete responses and eight partial responses. The dose-limiting toxicity was myelosuppression. Grade IV neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 13 (65.0%) and 6 patients (30.0%), respectively. The median number of CD34-positive cells collected was 6.0 (range, 2.8-11.6) ×106/kg. Of the 17 patients < 66 years of age, 4 (23.5%) proceeded to autologous stem cell transplantation.
GEPD chemotherapy in patients with refractory or relapsed NHL was effective as a salvage therapy and helpful for stem cell harvest followed by autologous transplantation.
PMCID: PMC2687646  PMID: 19270480
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Refractory or relapsed; Gemcitabine
23.  Outcome of Immunosuppressive Therapy with Helicobacter pylori Eradication Therapy in Patients with Chronic Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(3):445-451.
We initiated this study to investigate whether combining Helicobacter pylori eradication with immunosuppressive therapy provides an additional benefit to patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) that has relapsed or has not responded to steroid and/or danazol therapy in patients who have H. pylori infection. Thirty-four patients with chronic ITP that had relapsed or failed to steroid and/or danazol therapy were assessed for H. pylori infection. Of the 21 confirmed cases, 12 patients were given H. pylori eradication therapy alone (EA), while 9 patients received eradication therapy combined with immunosuppressive therapy (EI). The response rate was not significantly different between patients in the EA and those in the EI group (41.7% in the EA group vs. 66.7% in the EI group, p=0.345). The median platelet count at 6 months after therapy was higher in the EI group patients (75×109/L in the EI group patients vs. 18×109/L in the EA group patients, p=0.028). The median response duration was also longer in the EI group patients (9 months in the EI group patients vs. 3 months in the EA group patients, p=0.049). These results show that a significant benefit is gained by the use of H. pylori eradication combined with immunosuppressive therapy over the use of eradication therapy alone for patients with chronic ITP.
PMCID: PMC2526507  PMID: 18583881
Helicobacter pylori; Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic; Eradication
24.  Treatment Outcomes with CHOP Chemotherapy in Adult Patients with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(3):439-444.
The objective of the current study was to investigate the treatment outcomes for the use of cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP) chemotherapy in adult patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Seventeen HLH patients older than 18 yr of age were treated with CHOP chemotherapy. A response evaluation was conducted for every two cycles of chemotherapy. With CHOP chemotherapy, complete response was achieved for 7/17 patients (41.2%), a partial response for 3/17 patients (17.6%), and the overall response rate was 58.8%. The median response duration (RD) was not reached and the 2-yr RD rate was 68.6%, with a median follow-up of 100 weeks. Median overall survival (OS) was 18 weeks (95% CI, 6-30 weeks) and the 2-yr OS rate was 43.9%. Reported grade 3 or 4 non-hematological toxicities were increased serum liver enzyme levels and stomatitis. Grade 3 or 4 hematological toxicities were leukopenia (50.8%), anemia (20%), and thrombocytopenia (33.9%). Neutropenic fever was observed in 21.6% of patients (14/65 cycles), and most of the cases were resolved with supportive care including treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. CHOP chemotherapy seems to be effective in adult HLH patients and the toxicities are manageable.
PMCID: PMC2526520  PMID: 18583880
Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic; Herpesvirus 4, Human; Lymphoma; CHOP Protocol
25.  Induction Chemotherapy of Docetaxel and Cisplatin for the Elderly Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck 
Although concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) has been considered as a standard treatment for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), this treament is associated with increased toxicities such as mucositis and dermatitis. As a result, the dose intensity can be reduced and interruptions of radiotherapy are more common for CCRT than for sequential treatment, especially for the elderly patients. This prospective study was performed to assess the efficacy and safety profiles of the induction chemotherapy of docetaxel and cisplatin for elderly patients with locally advanced SCCHN.
Materials and Methods
Patients over 65 years of age with locally advanced SCCHN were treated with docetaxel (70 mg/m2) and cisplatin (75 mg/m2) every 21 days. The chemotherapy consisted of two cycles with a third cycle that was administered to the responding patients. Patients who did not respond to initial chemotherapy underwent radiotherapy as a definitive local treatment.
Fifty patients were enrolled in this study and 44 patients were assessable for response and toxicity. The overall response rate was 88%, 16 patients (36%) achieved a complete response and 23 patients (52%) achieved a partial response. After a median follow-up of 24 months (range: 9~38 months) the median disease free period and overall survival period had not yet been reached. The one year and two year survival rates were 89% and 70%, respectively. The most common grade 3/4 adverse event was neutropenia, which occurred in 33 patients (75%) and 4 patients had febrile neutropenia.
Combination chemotherapy of docetaxel and cisplatin is an effective regimen with an acceptable safety profile as the induction treatment for elderly patients suffering with SCCHN.
PMCID: PMC2739362  PMID: 19746234
Docetaxel; Cisplatin; Head and neck cancer; Induction chemtherapy

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