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1.  Use of azathioprine for graft-vs-host disease is the major risk for development of secondary malignancies after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a nationwide population-based study 
British Journal of Cancer  2014;112(1):177-184.
Background:
As more patients are treated by haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), development of secondary malignancy (SM) becomes an increasingly common issue in long-term survivors.
Methods:
We conducted a nationwide population-based study of the Taiwanese population to analyse patients who received HSCT between January 1997 and December 2010. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) were used to compare the risk of SM in HSCT patients and the general population. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of SM.
Results:
Patients receiving HSCT had a significantly greater risk of developing SM (SIR 2.00; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45–2.69; P<0.001). Specifically, the incidence increased for cancers of the oral cavity (SIR 14.18) and oesophagus (SIR 14.75) after allogeneic HSCT. Multivariate analysis revealed an increased SIR for cancer in patients who received the immunosuppressant azathioprine. The risk of SM also increased with greater cumulative doses of azathioprine.
Conclusions:
This study demonstrates an increased incidence of SM in Taiwanese patients who received allogeneic HSCT, especially for cancers of the oral cavity and oesophagus. This finding is different from results in populations of Western countries. Physicians should be cautious about azathioprine use for graft-vs-host disease after HSCT.
doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.523
PMCID: PMC4453596  PMID: 25314066
cancer risk; epidemiology; haematopoietic stem cell transplantation; population study; secondary malignancy
2.  Favorable clinical outcome and unique characteristics in association with Twist1 overexpression in de novo acute myeloid leukemia 
Blood Cancer Journal  2015;5(8):e339-.
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical process for inducing stem-like properties of epithelial cancer cells. However, the role of EMT inducers in hematological malignancies is unknown. Twist1, an EMT inducer necessary for cell migration, has recently been found to have transcriptionally regulatory activity on the expression of Bmi1, and these two are capable of promoting tumorigenesis in a synergized manner. Knowing that Bmi1 expression is essential for maintenance of leukemic stem cells, we speculate that Twist1 might govern the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) development as well. We found that upregulated Twist1 increased Bmi1 expression in AML and endued leukemic cells a higher proliferative potential and increased resistance to apoptosis. In primary AML samples, there was strong positive correlation between the expression levels of Twist1 and Bmi1. AML patients whose leukemic blasts harbored overexpressed Twist1 had a more aggressive clinical phenotype, but they were more likely to have a better clinical outcome after standard therapy. In vitro studies confirmed that Twist1-overexpressing leukemic cells were more susceptible to cytarabine, but not daunorubicin, cytotoxicity. Our findings suggest that, in a subset of AML patients, Twist1 has a prominent role in the pathogenesis of the disease that leads to unique clinical phenotypes.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2015.67
PMCID: PMC4558591  PMID: 26832848
3.  How to predict the outcome in mature T and NK cell lymphoma by currently used prognostic models? 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(10):e93-.
To select an appropriate prognostic model in the treatment of mature T- and natural killer (NK) -cell lymphoma (peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and NK-/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL)) is crucial. This study investigated the usefulness of Ann Arbor staging classification International prognostic index (IPI), prognostic index for T-cell lymphoma (PIT) and International peripheral T-cell lymphoma Project score (IPTCLP). Between 2000 and 2009, 176 patients (122 males) with PTCL and NKTCL were diagnosed and treated from a single institute in Taiwan. The correlation between complete response (CR) rate, 3-year overall survival (OS), early mortality rate and four prognostic models was analyzed. Thirty-one patients received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and were analyzed separately. Three-year OS rate was 34.7%, and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma harbored better outcome than others. IPI score had the lowest Akaike information criterion value (1081.197) and was the best score in predicting OS and early mortality (P=0.009). Ann Arbor stage classification can predict CR rate more precisely (P=0.006). OS was significantly better in patients who received HSCT, even in patients with unfavorable features compared with chemotherapy alone. All prognostic models were useful to evaluate the outcome of patients with PTCL and NKTCL but IPI score did best in predicting OS in PTCL and PIT score in NKTCL. This study also supported the role of HSCT in patients with high-risk or refractory PTCL or NKTCL.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2012.23
PMCID: PMC3483618  PMID: 23064741
T-cell lymphoma; prognostic score; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Asian population

Results 1-3 (3)