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1.  Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children with acute leukemia: similar outcomes in recipients of umbilical cord blood versus marrow or peripheral blood stem cells from related or unrelated donors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2012;55(3):93-99.
This study compared outcomes in children with acute leukemia who underwent transplantations with umbilical cord blood (UCB), bone marrow, or peripheral blood stem cells from a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related donor (MRD) or an unrelated donor (URD).
This retrospective study included consecutive acute leukemia patients who underwent their first allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at Samsung Medical Center between 2005 and 2010. Patients received stem cells from MRD (n=33), URD (n=46), or UCB (n=41).
Neutrophil and platelet recovery were significantly longer after HSCT with UCB than with MRD or URD (P<0.01 for both). In multivariate analysis using the MRD group as a reference, the URD group had a significantly higher risk of grade III to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; relative risk [RR], 15.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 186.2; P=0.03) and extensive chronic GVHD (RR, 6.9; 95% CI, 1.9 to 25.2; P<0.01). For all 3 donor types, 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival were similar. Extensive chronic GVHD was associated with fewer relapses (RR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.6; P<0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that lower EFS was associated with advanced disease at transplantation (RR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3 to 7.8; P<0.01) and total body irradiation (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0 to 4.3; P=0.04).
Survival after UCB transplantation was similar to survival after MRD and URD transplantation. For patients lacking an HLA matched donor, the use of UCB is a suitable alternative.
PMCID: PMC3315625  PMID: 22474464
Umbilical cord blood; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Stem cell donor
2.  Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(3):106-110.
In pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the Philadelphia chromosome translocation is uncommon, with a frequency of less than 5%. However, it is classified as a high or very high risk, and only 20-30% of Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) children with ALL are cured with chemotherapy alone. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a closely matched donor cures 60% of patients in first complete remission. Recent data suggest that chemotherapy plus tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) may be the initial treatment of choice for Ph+ ALL in children. However, longer observation is required to determine whether long-term outcome with intensive imatinib and chemotherapy is indeed equivalent to that with allogeneic related or alternative donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Reports on the use of second-generation TKIs in children with Ph+ ALL are limited. A few case reports have indicated the feasibility and clinical benefit of using dasatinib as salvage therapy enabling HSCT. However, more extensive data from clinical trials are needed to determine whether the administration of second-generation TKIs in children is comparable to that in adults. Because Ph+ ALL is rare in children, the question of whether HSCT could be a dispensable part of their therapy may not be answered for some time. An international multicenter study is needed to answer the question of whether imatinib plus chemotherapy could replace sibling allogeneic HSCT in children with Ph+ ALL.
PMCID: PMC3120995  PMID: 21738539
Philadelphia chromosome; Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Child
3.  Responses and adverse effects of carboplatin-based chemotherapy for pediatric intracranial germ cell tumors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(3):128-132.
Cisplatin-based chemotherapy has been commonly used for the treatment of intracranial germ cell tumors (IC-GCTs). However, this treatment exhibits some adverse effects such as renal problems and hearing difficulty. Carboplatin-based chemotherapy was administered to pediatric patients with IC-GCTs from August 2004 at the Samsung Medical Center. In this study, we assessed the responses and adverse effects of carboplatin-based chemotherapy in pediatric IC-GCTs patients according to the risk group, and compared the results with those of the previous cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
We examined 35 patients (27 men and 8 women) diagnosed with IC-GCTs between August 2004 and April 2008 and received risk-adapted carboplatin-based chemotherapy at the Samsung Medical Center. Patients were divided into either low-risk (LR) or high-risk (HR) groups and a retrospective analysis was performed using information from the medical records.
Although hematological complications were common, hearing difficulties or grade 3 or 4 creatinine level elevation were not observed in patients who underwent carboplatin-based chemotherapy. The frequency of febrile neutropenia did not differ between the risk groups. The overall survival was 100% and event-free survival (EFS) was 95.7%. The EFS rate was 100% in the LR group and 90% in the HR group, respectively.
Despite their common occurrence in high-risk patients, no lethal hematological complications were associated with carboplatin-based treatment. The current carboplatin-based chemotherapy protocol is safe and effective for the treatment of pediatric patients with IC-GCTs.
PMCID: PMC3120999  PMID: 21738543
Intracranial germ cell tumor; Carboplatin; Adverse effects
4.  Successful and safe treatment of hemangioma with oral propranolol in a single institution 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2012;55(5):164-170.
Dramatic improvement of hemangioma to propranolol has been recently reported; however, details on dose and duration of treatment, potential risks, and monitoring have not been determined. The objective of this study is to describe and analyze the use of propranolol as a first-line treatment or as a single therapy in management of complicated hemangioma.
A retrospective chart review of eight patients diagnosed with hemangioma and treated with propranolol in Kangbuk Samsung Hospital from February 2010 to April 2011 was performed.
Eight patients with hemangioma with functional impairment, cosmetic disfigurement, or rapid growth were treated with propranolol. Five patients had solitary facial hemangioma. The mean age of symptoms at onset was 5 weeks. The median age for starting propranolol treatment was 5.5 months. Propranolol at 2 mg/kg/day was finally administered in divided doses with a gradual increase. Significant regression was observed in seven patients, and shrinkage in size, softening in consistency, and decrease in redness were evident within 4 weeks. Among them, six patients were still taking propranolol, and one patient had stopped after 12 months. Other one patient did not show significant improvement with satisfactory result after 3 months of propranolol use. Treatment with propranolol was well tolerated and had few side effects. No rebound growth was observed in any of the patients.
We observed that use of propranolol was very effective in treatment of hemangioma without obvious adverse effects or relapse.
PMCID: PMC3362730  PMID: 22670151
Hemangioma; Propranolol; Treatment
5.  The metabolic syndrome and body composition in childhood cancer survivors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(6):253-259.
Long-term survivors of childhood cancer appear to have an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome, subsequent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adulthood compared to healthy children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency of the metabolic syndrome and associated factors in childhood cancer survivors at a single center in Korea.
We performed a retrospective review of medical records of 98 childhood cancer survivors who were diagnosed and completed anticancer treatment at Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea between Jan. 1996 and Dec. 2007. Parameters of metabolic syndrome were evaluated between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2009. Clinical and biochemical findings including body fat percentage were analyzed.
A total of 19 (19.4%) patients had the metabolic syndrome. The median body fat percentage was 31.5%. The body mass index and waist circumference were positively correlated with the cranial irradiation dose (r=0.38, P<0.001 and r=0.44, P<0.00, respectively). Sixty-one (62.2%) patients had at least one abnormal lipid value. The triglyceride showed significant positive correlation with the body fat percentage (r=0.26, P=0.03). The high density lipoprotein cholesterol showed significant negative correlation with the percent body fat (r=-0.26, P=0.03).
Childhood cancer survivors should have thorough metabolic evaluation including measurement of body fat percentage even if they are not obese. A better understanding of the determinants of the metabolic syndrome during adolescence might provide preventive interventions for improving health outcomes in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3174361  PMID: 21949520
Cancer survivor; Metabolic syndrome; Body composition; Fat percentage
6.  International travel of Korean children and Dengue fever: A single institutional analysis 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(6):701-704.
Dengue fever occurs in many popular tourist destinations and is increasingly imported by returning travelers in Korea. Since Korea is not an endemic country for dengue fever, pediatricians do not usually suspect dengue fever in febrile children even with typical presentation and exposure history. This study was performed to describe the international travel experiences and dengue fever in Korean children.
Travel histories were collected based on questionnaires completed by all patients' guardians who visited the pediatric infectious diseases clinic at Samsung Medical Center from January 2008 to December 2008. For patients who were suspected of dengue fever, a serological test was performed.
Five hundred and seventeen children visited the pediatric infectious diseases clinic for the first time during this period. About 30% of patients who responded to the questionnaire (101/339) had experienced international travel within the last 2 years. Four patients were diagnosed with dengue fever by serological test.
Increasing numbers of Korean children visit dengue endemic areas and they may return home with dengue fever. Dengue fever should be suspected in patients who have a travel history to endemic areas.
PMCID: PMC2994129  PMID: 21189941
Dengue; Travel; Child; Korea

Results 1-6 (6)