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1.  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
2.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  Incidence and clinical characteristics of clonal cytogenetic abnormalities of acquired aplastic anemia in adults 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(4):242-246.
Cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) have been reported frequently in patients with otherwise typical aplastic anemia (AA), but their implications in the prognosis and in the evolution to hematologic malignancies are controversial.
We retrospectively analyzed 127 adult AA patients who had successful cytogenetic analysis at initial diagnosis.
The patients were classified into 3 groups according to the initial and follow-up results of cytogenetic profiles. Group 1 included patients who had persistent AA with normal cytogenetic profiles (N=117); Group 2, those who had a normal cytogenetic profile at initial diagnosis but later acquired CA (N=4, 3.1%); and Group 3, those who had CA at the initial diagnosis, regardless of follow-up cytogenetic status (N=6,4.7%). In Group 2, 2 patients later developed CA without progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); the other 2 patients later progressed to AML. None of the patients in Group 3 progressed to AML or MDS. There was no significant difference in overall survival between Groups 1 and 3.
AA patients with CA at initial diagnosis or follow-up may not be at greater risk for evolution to AML or MDS, or show shorter survival periods. Prospective studies and a larger patient samples are needed to establish the clinical relevance of CA.
PMCID: PMC3023049  PMID: 21253425
Aplastic anemia; Cytogenetic abnormality
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  Pulmonary Nodular Lymphoid Hyperplasia Associated with Sjögren's Syndrome 
Pulmonary nodular lymphoid hyperplasia (NLH) is a term first suggested by Kradin and Mark to describe one or more pulmonary nodules or localized lung infiltrates consisting of reactive lymphoid proliferation. To date, there have been only a few cases of pulmonary NLH reported associated with autoimmune disorders. There is no case of NLH associated with Sjögren's syndrome from Korea in the medical literature. A 56-year-old woman was referred to our hospital with cough productive of sputum and chest tightness. The Computed tomography scans of the chest revealed multiple and well-defined peribronchiolar nodular opacities. A video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) biopsy was performed and the nodular opacity in the lung parenchyma was pathologically confirmed as NLH. Through meticulous review of patient's record, we found that she had been suffering from dry eye and dry mouth. The symptoms suggested Sjögren's syndrome, which was confirmed by specific laboratory tests including the Schirmer test, anti-nuclear antibody and anti-Ro/La antibody. The patient is followed regularly and has no further progression of symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2687695  PMID: 17939337
Pseudolymphoma; Pulmonary nodular hyperplasia; Sjögren's syndrome

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