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1.  The Efficacy and Safety of Platinum/Vinorelbine as More Than Second-Line Chemotherapy for Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer 
There is no regimen that is strongly recommended for more than second-line treatment. We investigated the efficacy and safety of platinum/vinorelbine as more than second-line treatment.
Materials and Methods
We selected patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received treatment with platinum/vinorelbine at Chungnam National University Hospital from August 2001 to December 2013. The primary end point was the response rate, and secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity.
Thirty-five patients were enrolled. Response rate was 22.9% (complete response, 0 patients [0%]; partial response, eight patients [22.9%]; stable disease, 10 patients [28.6%]; progressive disease, 14 patients [40.0%]). A significantly higher response rate was observed for patients who had responded to previous chemotherapy than for those who did not (34.8% [8/23] vs. 0% [0/12], p=0.020). The median PFS was 4 months (range, 1 to 21 months). Patients with adenocarcinoma and non-smokers had a significantly longer PFS than patients with non-adenocarcinoma and smokers (5 months vs. 2 months, p=0.007; 4.5 months vs. 2 months, p=0.046, respectively). The median OS was 10 months (range, 1 to 41 months). Patients with good performance status and non-smokers had a significantly longer OS than patients with poor performance status and smokers (14 months vs. 4 months, p=0.02; 18.5 months vs. 6 months, p=0.049, respectively). The main serious adverse event (grade 3 or 4) was neutropenia (15 events, 13.3%) in a total of 113 cycles.
Platinum/vinorelbine was effective as more than second-line chemotherapy, and the toxicity was tolerable, in patients with advanced NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC4614189  PMID: 25761490
Non-small-cell lung carcinoma; Third-line treatment; Drug therapy
2.  CXC chemokines and chemokine receptors in gastric cancer: From basic findings towards therapeutic targeting 
Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer, and the second-highest cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Despite extensive research to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents, patients with advanced gastric cancer suffer from a poor quality of life and poor prognosis, and treatment is dependent mainly on conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. To improve the quality of life and survival of gastric cancer patients, a better understanding of the underlying molecular pathologies, and their application towards the development of novel targeted therapies, is urgently needed. Chemokines are a group of small proteins associated with cytoskeletal rearrangements, the directional migration of several cell types during development and physiology, and the host immune response via interactions with G-protein coupled receptors. There is also growing evidence to suggest that chemokines not only play a role in the immune system, but are also involved in the development and progression of tumors. In gastric cancer, CXC chemokines and chemokine receptors regulate the trafficking of cells in and out of the tumor microenvironment. CXC chemokines and their receptors can also directly influence tumorigenesis by modulating tumor transformation, survival, growth, invasion and metastasis, as well as indirectly by regulating angiogenesis, and tumor-leukocyte interactions. In this review, we will focus on the roles of CXC chemokines and their receptors in the development, progression, and metastasis of gastric tumors, and discuss their therapeutic potential for gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3930968  PMID: 24587647
Chemokine; Chemokine receptor; Gastric neoplasm; Therapeutic target
4.  Expression and functional roles of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 in acute myeloid leukemia cells 
Blood research  2015;50(4):218-226.
The C-X-C chemokine receptor 7 (CXCR7) has been shown to be a decoy receptor for CXCR4 in certain cell types. We investigated the expression status and functional roles of CXCR7 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells in vitro.
CXCR7 mRNA was knocked down in AML cells by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology, and subsequent biological alterations in the cells were evaluated in vitro.
All AML cell lines examined in this study (U937, K562, KG1a, HL-60, and MO7e) and primary CD34+ cells obtained from patients with AML expressed CXCR7 mRNA at various levels. Western blotting showed that all AML cells produced CXCR7. Furthermore, all AML cells expressed CXCR7 in both the cytoplasm and on the cell surface at various levels. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1; C-X-C motif ligand 12 (CXCL12)) induced internalization of cell surface CXCR7. However, neither hypoxia nor the examined hematopoietic growth factors (interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-3, IL-6, granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte, macrophage-colony-stimulating factor, and stem cell factor) and proinflammatory cytokines (interferon-γ, transforming growth factor-β, and tumor necrosis factor-α) were found to alter cell surface CXCR7 expression. The transfection of AML cells with CXCR4 siRNA, but not CXCR7 siRNA, significantly impaired the CXCL12-induced transmigration of the cells. The transfection of AML cells with CXCR7 siRNA did not affect the survival or proliferation of these cells. Knockdown of CXCR7, but not CXCR4, induced the upregulation of CXCL12 mRNA expression and CXCL12 production in AML cells.
CXCR7 is involved in the regulation of autocrine CXCL12 in AML cells.
PMCID: PMC4705047  PMID: 26770949
Acute myeloid leukemia; Apoptosis; Cell proliferation; Stromal cell-derived factor-1; CXCL12; CXCR7
5.  Long-term treatment of residual or recurrent low-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma with aromatase inhibitors: A report of two cases and a review of the literature 
Oncology Letters  2015;10(5):3310-3314.
Endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS) occurs rarely and accounts for only 0.2% of all uterine malignancies. ESS usually expresses estrogen and progesterone receptors, and is regarded as hormone-sensitive. Due to the rarity of these tumors, there are only few case series on the use of aromatase inhibitors in the treatment of low-grade ESS. The present study reports the cases of two patients with residual or recurrent low-grade ESS who experienced long-term disease-free survival following treatment with letrozole. The study also reviews the literature with regard to the data on aromatase inhibitors used in patients with low-grade ESS. In total, 30 patients with recurrent or residual low-grade ESS who were treated with aromatase inhibitors were identified, including the present cases. Among the 30 patients, the overall response rate of advanced low-grade ESS to aromatase inhibitors was 77.4% (complete response, 25.8%; partial response, 51.6%) and the disease control rate was 90.3%. The response rate of first-line treatment was similar to that of second-line therapy or higher (84.6 vs. 72.2%; P=0.453). Duration of aromatase inhibitor treatment ranged from 1.5 to 168 months (median, 26.5 months). The aromatase inhibitors showed minimal adverse effects. In conclusion, aromatase inhibitors, particularly third-generation drugs, are a well-tolerated class of medications that are effective in the treatment of advanced low-grade ESS, with a favorable toxicity profile.
PMCID: PMC4665346  PMID: 26722331
endometrial stromal sarcoma; aromatase inhibitor; letrozole; anastrozole
6.  Diagnostic and Prognostic Implications of Spine Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Diagnosis in Patients with Multiple Myeloma 
The aim of this study is to determine the diagnostic and prognostic role of baseline spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with multiple myeloma.
Materials and Methods
We enrolled patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma from 2004-2011 at a single center. Abnormal MRI findings that were not detected in radiographs have been analyzed and categorized as malignant compression fractures or extramedullary plasmacytoma. The bone marrow (BM) infiltration patterns on MRI have been classified into five categories.
A total of 113 patients with a median age of 65 years (range, 40 to 89 years) were enrolled in the study. Malignant compression fractures not detected in the bone survey were found in 26 patients (23.0%), including three patients (2.6%) with no related symptoms or signs. Extramedullary plasmacytoma was detected in 22 patients (19.5%), including 15 (13.3%) with epidural extension of the tumor. Of these 22 patients, 11 (50.0%) had no relevant symptoms or signs. The presence of malignant compression fractures did not influence overall survival; whereas non-epidural extramedullary plasmacytoma was associated with poor overall survival in the multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.205; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.430 to 9.845; p=0.042). During the follow-up for a median of 21 months (range, 1 to 91 months), overall survival with the mixed BM infiltrative pattern (median, 24.0 months; 95% CI, 22.9 to 25.1 months) was shorter than those with other patterns (median 56 months; 95% CI, 48.9 to 63.1 months; p=0.030).
These results indicate that spine MRI at the time of diagnosis is useful for detecting skeletal lesions and predicting the prognosis in patients with multiple myeloma.
PMCID: PMC4506104  PMID: 25544578
Magnetic resonance imaging; Multiple myeloma; Prognosis
7.  C-X-C motif receptor 7 in gastrointestinal cancer 
Oncology Letters  2015;10(3):1227-1232.
Chemokine receptors are key mediators of normal physiology and numerous pathological conditions, including inflammation and cancer. This receptor family is an emerging target for anticancer drug development. C-X-C motif receptor 7 (CXCR7) is an atypical chemokine receptor that was first cloned from a canine cDNA library as an orphan receptor and was initially named receptor dog cDNA 1 (RDC1). Shortly after demonstrating that RDC1 binds with its ligand, stromal cell-derived factor-1α and interferon-inducible T-cell α chemoattractant, RDC1 was officially deorphanized and renamed CXCR7, as the seventh receptor in the CXC class of the chemokine receptor family. Recent accumulating evidence has demonstrated that CXCR7 expression is augmented in the majority of tumor cells compared with their normal counterparts and is involved in cell proliferation, survival, migration, invasion and angiogenesis during the initiation and progression of breast, lung and prostate cancer. In the present review, the expression and role of CXCR7, as well as its clinical relevance in cancer of the gastrointestinal system, were investigated. In addition, the potential of this chemokine receptor as a therapeutic target in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer was discussed.
PMCID: PMC4533134  PMID: 26622655
chemokine receptor; gastrointestinal neoplasm; C-X-C motif receptor 7; tumorigenesis; therapeutic target
8.  Bortezomib inhibits the survival and proliferation of bone marrow stromal cells 
Blood research  2015;50(2):87-96.
Bortezomib is widely used for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) endow myeloma cells with survival and growth advantages. However, the influence of bortezomib on BMSCs is not well elucidated. We examined the effects of bortezomib on the survival and growth of BMSCs in vitro.
The effects of bortezomib on the survival and proliferation of the BMSC MS-5 cell line and on BMSCs obtained from healthy individuals (N=4) and newly diagnosed myeloma patients (N=5) were investigated in vitro. Transmembrane cell migration was evaluated using the Transwell system. A short interfering RNA strategy was used to knock down the expression of chemokine (CXC motif) ligand 12 (CXCL12) mRNA. To examine the effects of bortezomib-exposed BMSCs on the migration and localization of myeloma cells, MS-5 monolayers were treated with bortezomib for 24 hr, washed, and then overlaid with human RPMI8226 myeloma cells.
Bortezomib inhibited BMSC proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner, and induced cellular apoptosis. Bortezomib decreased CXCL12 production by BMSCs. Knockdown of CXCL12 mRNA in BMSCs revealed that CXCL12 served as an autocrine growth factor. Short-term bortezomib treatment of BMSC monolayers reduced the tendency of myeloma cells to locate to positions under the monolayers.
Bortezomib inhibits the survival and growth of BMSCs via downregulation of CXCL12, which may contribute to the clinical effects of this agent.
PMCID: PMC4486164  PMID: 26157778
Bone marrow stromal cells; Bortezomib; CXCL12; Multiple myeloma; Proliferation; Survival
9.  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
11.  A Multicenter Retrospective Analysis of the Clinical Features of Pernicious Anemia in a Korean Population 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(2):200-204.
To determine the approximate incidence and clinical features of pernicious anemia in a Korean population, we retrospectively analyzed clinical data for patients with pernicious anemia who were diagnosed between 1995 and 2010 at five hospitals in Chungnam province. Ninety-seven patients were enrolled, who accounted for 24% of patients with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. The approximate annual incidence of pernicious anemia was 0.3 per 100,000. The median age was 66 (range, 32-98) yr, and the male/female ratio was 1.25. Anemia-associated discomfort was the most common symptom (79.4%), followed by gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms (78.4% and 38.1%, respectively). Pancytopenia was found in 36 patients (37.1%), and autoimmune disorders were found in 15 patients (15.5%). Antibody to intrinsic factor was detected in 62 (77.5%) of 80 patients examined, and antibody to parietal cells was detected in 35 (43.2%) of 81 patients examined. Of the 34 patients who underwent tests for Helicobacter pylori, 7 (12.5%) were positive. The anemia-associated and gastrointestinal symptoms resolved completely in all patients after intramuscular injection of cobalamin, whereas neurological symptoms remained in some. In conclusion, pernicious anemia is less frequent in Koreans than in Western populations; however, the clinical features of this disorder in Koreans do not differ from those of Western cases.
PMCID: PMC3565130  PMID: 23400269
Anemia, Pernicious; Vitamin B12; Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibody; Anti-Parietal Cell Antibody; Helicobacter Pylori
12.  Cutaneous plasmacytoma 
PMCID: PMC3464332  PMID: 23071470
13.  Clinical Implications of Elevated Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Adult Patients with Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia 
Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) have been detected in various proportions of patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), but the clinical significance of this is debatable. The present study aimed to determine the frequency and clinical implications of elevated aPL in adult patients with ITP.
We prospectively studied newly diagnosed adult patients with ITP who were enrolled between January 2003 and December 2008 at Chungnam National University Hospital. They were evaluated for the presence of lupus anticoagulant (LA) and anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) at diagnosis and were followed for the development of thrombosis.
Seventy consecutive patients with ITP (median age, 48 years; range, 18 to 79) were enrolled. Twenty patients (28.5%) were positive for aPL at the time of diagnosis: aCL alone in 15 (75%), aCL and LA in two (10%), and LA alone in three (15%). Patients who had platelet counts < 50,000/µL were administered oral prednisolone with or without intravenous immune globulin. No difference was found between the aPL-positive and -negative groups regarding gender, initial platelet count, and response to the therapy. After a median follow-up of 20 months (range, 2 to 68), two of 20 patients who were aPL-positive (10%) developed thrombosis, whereas no thrombotic event was found among those who were aPL-negative.
Our data suggest that aPL levels should be determined at the initial presentation of ITP and that patients found to be aPL-positive should receive closer follow-up for thrombotic events.
PMCID: PMC3245394  PMID: 22205846
Antibodies, anticardiolipin; Antiphospholipid syndrome; Purpura, thrombocytopenic, idiopathic; Lupus coagulation inhibitor; Thrombosis
14.  Transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder metastatic to the oral mucosa 
Oncology Letters  2011;3(2):343-345.
Metastatic tumors in the oral cavity are rare and usually affect the jaws more often than the oral soft tissues. In particular, metastases confined to the oral mucosa are extremely rare and originate mainly from the lung and breast. Only one case restricted to the oral mucosa and originating from urinary bladder carcinoma has previously been described. We report on a painful polypoid mass located in the oral mucosa with no bone involvement that was confirmed to be a metastatic oral tumor that originated from transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder and progressed rapidly.
PMCID: PMC3362491  PMID: 22740909
urinary bladder neoplasm; neoplasm metastasis; mouth neoplasm
15.  Expression of stromal cell-derived factor-1α is an independent risk factor for lymph node metastasis in early gastric cancer 
Oncology Letters  2011;2(6):1197-1202.
Lymph node metastasis is considered to be a significant prognostic factor for early gastric cancer (EGC). However, no real consensus exists on which patient and/or tumor characteristics are associated with lymph node metastasis. We investigated whether stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α expression correlates with lymph node metastasis in patients with EGC by immunohistochemically examining the expression of SDF-1α in 138 archival tissue specimens of EGC. Of these specimens, 59 (42.8%) and 79 (57.2%) were grouped into SDF-1α-positive and SDF-1α-negative groups, respectively. No significant differences existed with respect to age, gender, tumor location, proportion of tumors >20 mm in size, macroscopic type, depth of invasion or histology between the SDF-1α-positive and -negative groups. However, the SDF-1α-positive group was significantly correlated with lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis. Results of the univariate analyses indicated that lymphovascular invasion, undifferentiated histology and SDF-1α positivity were statistically significant risk factors affecting lymph node metastasis in patients with EGC. Multivariate analyses showed that lymphovascular invasion [hazard ratio (HR), 8.595; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.694–43.595; P=0.009], undifferentiated histology (HR, 2.965; 95% CI, 1.037–8.471; P=0.043) and SDF-1α positivity (HR, 2.108; 95% CI, 1.316–10.135; P=0.013) were independent risk factors predicting lymph node metastasis in EGC. In conclusion, these results suggest that SDF-1α expression in tumor cells is a predictive marker of lymph node metastasis in EGC.
PMCID: PMC3406511  PMID: 22848288
SDF-1α; early gastric cancer; lymph node metastasis
16.  Clinical features and outcomes of autoimmune hemolytic anemia: a retrospective analysis of 32 cases 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2011;46(2):111-117.
There has been no report on the clinical features or natural history of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) in the Korean adult population. This study retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes of AIHA in the Korean adults.
Patients newly diagnosed with AIHA between January 1994 and December 2010 at Chungnam National University Hospital were enrolled. Patient characteristics at diagnosis, response to treatment, and the natural course of the disease were documented.
Thirty-two patients (31 females and 1 male) with a median age of 48 years (range, 17-86) were enrolled. Of these, 21.9% were initially diagnosed with secondary AIHA. Thirteen patients (40.6%) were initially diagnosed with Evans' syndrome. Of the 29 patients who were placed on therapy, 27 (93.1%) showed a partial response or better. Nevertheless, 1 year after initiating treatment, 80% of the patients were still treatment-dependent. During follow-up (median length 14 months; range, 0.5-238), 14 of 25 patients (56.0%) who were initially diagnosed with primary warm antibody AIHA were found to have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Median time to conversion to SLE was 8.0 months (95% CI, 4.3-11.7), and the probabilities of conversion at 12 and 24 months were 63% and 91%, respectively. Younger age (<60 years) and a positive fluorescent anti-nuclear antibody test were associated with a higher probability of SLE conversion (P=0.01 and P<0.001, respectively).
Primary AIHA is rare. Regular, vigilant testing for SLE is required in patients initially diagnosed with AIHA.
PMCID: PMC3128891  PMID: 21747883
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; Evans' syndrome; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Thrombosis
17.  Long-term outcome of isolated thrombocytopenia accompanied by hypocellular marrow 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2011;46(2):128-134.
Hypocellularity of bone marrow (BM), not associated with significant dyshematopoiesis, is often found in patients with isolated thrombocytopenia, but its clinical implications have not been studied. We prospectively studied the clinical features and natural history of these patients.
Adults with isolated thrombocytopenia (platelet counts <100×109/L) in the absence of dyshematopoiesis, cytogenetic abnormalities, or megakaryocytic hyperplasia and who had BM hypocellularity (below 30% in patients aged less than 60 years; below 20% in patients aged 60 years or more) were enrolled at Chungnam National University Hospital between January 2002 and December 2006. They were monitored regularly for changes in platelet counts or development of additional cytopenia.
Twenty patients (17 men and 3 women) were enrolled in the study. The median age was 29 years (range, 18-70 years). At initial presentation, the platelet counts ranged from 12×109/L to 99×109/L (median, 63×109/L) and were >50×109/L in 16 patients (80%). BM cellularity ranged from 5% to 25% (median, 15%) and was ≤10% in 6 patients (30%). During the median 48-month follow-up (range, 12-90 months), platelet counts of 3 of the 20 patients recovered to normal levels (>150×109/L) after 12, 56 and 66 months. Three patients developed pancytopenia after 11, 70 and 90 months. Two patients were consistent with moderate aplastic anemia, and 1 was confirmed as having refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia. In the remainder of the patients, platelet counts remained unchanged.
Isolated thrombocytopenia accompanied by hypocellular marrow encompasses a group of heterogeneous conditions.
PMCID: PMC3128894  PMID: 21747886
Thrombocytopenia; Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; Bone marrow; Aplastic anemia; Myelodysplastic syndromes
18.  Cytoplasmic Trapping of CXCR4 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines 
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 plays a role in the metastasis and progression of a broad range of malignant tumors; however, its influence on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not well defined. Thus, we analyzed the expression of CXCR4 and its functions in HCC cell lines in vitro.
Materials and Methods
Five HCC cell lines (HepG2, Hep3B, SK-HEP-1, NCI-H630 and PLC/PRF5) were investigated. The CXCR4 expression was analyzed by RT-PCR, Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence staining. In addition, the effects of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) on the migration, proliferation and survival of the cells were investigated, as well as the SDF-1-induced phosphorylation of signaling molecules.
All five cell lines had abundant CXCR4 in their cytoplasm, whereas a cell surface CXCR4 expression was only detected in a very small population of PLC/PRF5 cells. In contrast, SDF-1 bound to all the cells. SDF-1 induced the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK1/2 in the PLC/PRF5 cells and the phosphorylation of Stat3, AKT and ERK1/2 in the Hep3B cells. Nonetheless, SDF-1 did not induce migration or proliferation in any of the cells, nor did it rescue the cells from serum deprivation-induced apoptosis. Recruitment of CXCR4 from the cytoplasm to the cell surface was not elicited by dexamethasone, proinflammatory cytokines or VEGF. Hypoxia increased both the cytoplasmic and cell surface expressions of CXCR4 in only the PLC/PRF5 cells.
CXCR4 is trapped in the cytoplasm and it is not recruited to the cell surface by standard extrinsic stimuli in the majority of HCC cell lines, and the result of this is a negligible response to SDF-1.
PMCID: PMC2697487  PMID: 19688049
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Stromal cell-derived factor-1; CXCR4

Results 1-18 (18)