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1.  Impact of previous invasive pulmonary aspergillosis on the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):255-259.
Background
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is one of the major complications encountered by patients receiving chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies. The prolonged period of intense immunosuppression following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may increase the risk of IPA recurrence in patients with a history of IPA. We evaluated the impact of a history of IPA on allogeneic HSCT outcome, and examined the incidence of IPA after HSCT.
Methods
This retrospective study included 22 patients with a history of IPA prior to receiving allogeneic HSCT at the Samsung Medical Center from 1995 to 2007. Diagnosis of IPA was defined as proven (N=5), probable (N=0), or possible (N=17).
Results
All 22 patients received amphotericin-based regimens to treat pre-transplant IPA. Secondary antifungal prophylaxis was administered to 10 patients during HSCT. The development of post-transplant IPA was observed in 2 patients. One of the patients died from septic shock within 2 days of the diagnosis of possible IPA. The other patient recovered from IPA, but eventually had a relapse of the primary disease. Of the 22 patients, the overall 2-year survival rate was 63% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 41-85), and the transplant-related mortality rate was 19% (95% CI: 0-38).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that a history of IPA prior to HSCT does not have an adverse impact on transplant outcomes, although the small number of cases was a limitation in this study. Future studies involving a larger number of cases are needed to further examine this issue.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.255
PMCID: PMC3538796  PMID: 23320003
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
2.  Simplified flow cytometric immunophenotyping panel for multiple myeloma, CD56/CD19/CD138(CD38)/CD45, to differentiate neoplastic myeloma cells from reactive plasma cells 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):260-266.
Background
Flow cytometric immunophenotyping has been used to identify neoplastic plasma cell populations in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Previous reports have described the use of several antigens, including CD38, CD138, CD56, CD117, CD52, CD19 and CD45, to distinguish distinct populations of plasma cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate a simplified immunophenotyping panel for MM analysis.
Methods
A total of 70 patients were enrolled in the study, 62 of which were newly diagnosed with MM (untreated), whereas the remaining 8 were undergoing bone marrow assessment as part of follow-up after treatment (treated). Treated cases included 3 patients with relapse and 5 patients with persistence of MM. Multiparametric flow cytometric immunophenotyping was performed using monoclonal antibodies against CD56, CD19, CD138 (CD38), and CD45.
Results
In differential counts, plasma cells in bone marrow (BM) accounted for 3.6-93.2% of the total nucleated cell count. The positive expression rates of CD56, CD19, CD138, and CD45 in neoplastic myeloma cells were 83.9%, 0%, 98.4%, and 37.1%, respectively, among the 62 untreated cases, and 75.0%, 0%, 87.5%, and 37.5%, respectively, among the 8 treated cases. CD19 expression of neoplastic plasma cells was negative in both untreated and treated cases.
Conclusion
The simplified immunophenotyping panel, CD56/CD19/CD138(CD38)/CD45, is useful for distinguishing neoplastic myeloma cells from reactive plasma cells in clinical practice. In addition, CD19 represents the most valuable antigen for identifying neoplastic myeloma cells in patients with MM.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.260
PMCID: PMC3538797  PMID: 23320004
Multiple myeloma; Flow cytometry; Immunophenotyping; Neoplastic plasma cells; CD19 negativity
3.  Prognostic significance of gelsolin and MMP12 in Langerhans cell histiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):267-272.
Background
Gelsolin and matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) expression has been reported in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), but the clinical significance of this expression is unknown. We investigated the associations of these proteins with clinical manifestations in patients diagnosed with LCH.
Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data from patients diagnosed with LCH and followed up between 1998 and 2008. Available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens were used for gelsolin and MMP12 immunohistochemical staining. We analyzed the expression levels of these proteins and their associations with LCH clinical features.
Results
Specimens from 36 patients (20 males, 16 females) with a diagnosis of LCH based on CD1a positivity with clinical manifestations were available for immunohistochemical staining. Median patient age was 62 months (range, 5 to 207). The expression of gelsolin varied; it was high in 17 patients (47.2%), low in 11 patients (30.6%), and absent in 8 patients (22.2%). The high gelsolin expression group had a higher tendency for multi-organ and risk organ involvement, although the trend was not statistically significant. MMP12 was detected only in 7 patients (19.4%) who showed multi-system involvement (P=0.018) and lower event-free survival (P=0.002) in comparison to patients with negative MMP12 staining.
Conclusion
Gelsolin and MMP12 expression may be associated with the clinical course of LCH, and MMP12 expression may be particularly associated with severe LCH. Further studies of larger populations are needed to define the precise role and significance of gelsolin and MMP12 in the pathogenesis of LCH.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.267
PMCID: PMC3538798  PMID: 23320005
Histiocytosis; Langerhans cells; Immunohistochemistry; Gelsolin; Matrix Metalloproteinase 12
4.  Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is a critical prognostic factor for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):273-280.
Background
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare multisystem disorder that frequently involves the central nervous system (CNS). We compared the clinical characteristics, treatment, and prognosis of patients with HLH according to the degree of CNS involvement.
Methods
The clinical manifestations, initial laboratory data, treatment, and outcomes for 50 patients diagnosed with HLH and treated at Asan Medical Center between January 1995 and August 2011 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. CNS involvement was defined as the presence of neurological symptoms or an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Results
Among these 50 patients, 23 (46%) developed CNS disease. Among patients with CNS disease, 19 had neurological symptoms, including seizures, altered consciousness, facial palsy, dysarthria, and dysphagia. Four patients had elevated CSF WBC counts without neurological symptoms. Twelve patients had abnormal brain imaging results, including high signal intensity lesions on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, ventriculomegaly, hemorrhage, atrophy, and leptomeningeal enhancement. Patients with CNS disease had lower ferritin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels as well as reduced 5-year survival as compared to those without CNS disease.
Conclusion
CNS involvement is common among patients with HLH. Overall, patients with CNS disease achieve poorer outcomes than patients without CNS involvement. To improve outcomes, physicians must carefully monitor the neurological manifestations in patients with HLH and administer the appropriate course of intensified chemotherapy to patients with CNS disease.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.273
PMCID: PMC3538799  PMID: 23320006
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; Central nervous system involvement; Neurological manifestations; Cerebrospinal fluid; Outcome
5.  Surgery in patients with congenital factor VII deficiency: A single center experience 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):281-285.
Background
Congenital factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare hemorrhagic disorder that can cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery in affected patients. The recombinant form of activated factor VII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven® from Novo Nordisk, Bagsvaerd, Denmark), which was developed as a second-generation bypassing agent, has recently been used in the management of bleeding for patients with congenital FVII deficiency.
Methods
We reviewed the results of 8 surgical procedures in 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency at the Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, between January 2008 and June 2010. We administrated rFVIIa preoperatively in six patients and postoperatively in five patients.
Results
Between January 2008 and June 2010 at our center, 8 operations were performed successfully and no complications were observed in the 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency. The median level of FVII activity was 2% (range, 0.6-7%). Four orthopedic procedures, 1 tonsillectomy, and 3 dental extractions were performed. The median duration of hospitalization was 8.5 days (range, 0-15 days). rFVIIa was administered at all procedures, except the dental extraction that was performed using only antifibrinolytic agents without any replacement. No bleeding or thrombogenic complications were observed in any case.
Conclusion
Patients with congenital FVII deficiency who require surgery can be treated efficiently and safely with rFVIIa or antifibrinolytic agents. rFVIIa was well tolerated and maintained effective hemostasis and showed good clinical outcome after the major surgery.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.281
PMCID: PMC3538800  PMID: 23320007
Congenital FVII deficiency; Surgery; rFVIIa; Antifibrinolytic agent
6.  Serum hepcidin levels and iron parameters in children with iron deficiency 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(4):286-292.
Background
Iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are common nutritional disorders in children. Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, is a central regulator of systemic iron metabolism. We evaluated whether serum hepcidin levels can diagnose ID in children.
Methods
Sera from 59 children (23 males and 36 females; 5 months to 17 years) were analyzed for hepcidin-25 by ELISA. Patients were classified according to hemoglobin level and iron parameters as: IDA, (N=17), ID (N=18), and control (N=24).
Results
Serum hepcidin, ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), transferrin saturation, and hemoglobin levels differed significantly between groups (P<0.0001). Serum hepcidin and ferritin levels (mean±SD) were 2.01±2.30 and 7.00±7.86, 7.72±8.03 and 29.35±24.01, 16.71±14.74 and 46.40±43.57 ng/mL in the IDA, ID, and control groups, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for serum hepcidin as a predictor of ID was 0.852 (95% CI, 0.755-0.950). Hepcidin ≤6.895 ng/mL had a sensitivity of 79.2% and specificity of 82.8% for the diagnosis of ID. Serum hepcidin levels were significantly correlated with ferritin, transferrin saturation, and hemoglobin levels and significantly negatively correlated with sTfR level and total iron binding capacity (P<0.0001).
Conclusion
Serum hepcidin levels are significantly associated with iron status and can be a useful indicator of ID. Further studies are necessary to validate these findings and determine a reliable cutoff value in children.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.4.286
PMCID: PMC3538801  PMID: 23320008
Serum hepcidin; Iron deficiency; Children
7.  Aurora A kinase expression is increased in leukemia stem cells, and a selective Aurora A kinase inhibitor enhances Ara-C-induced apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):178-185.
Background
The overexpression of Aurora A kinase (AurA) has been reported in various malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the expression of AurA and the effects of AurA inhibition in cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood. We investigated the expression and inhibition of AurA in AML stem cells (CD34+/CD38-).
Methods
Expression of AurA was investigated in cell lines (NB4 and KG1) that express high levels of CD34 and low levels of CD38. Primary AML cells were harvested from 8 patients. The expression of AurA and cell death induced by inhibition of AurA were analyzed in CD34+/CD38- cells.
Results
AurA was shown to be overexpressed in both primary AML cells and leukemia stem cells (LSCs) compared to normal hematopoietic stem cells. Inhibition of AurA plus cytarabine treatment in LSCs resulted in increased cytotoxicity compared to cytarabine treatment alone. Additional stimulation with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) increased the cell death caused by AurA inhibition plus cytarabine treatment.
Conclusion
To our knowledge, this is the first report describing increased expression of AurA in LSCs. Our results suggest that selective AurA inhibition may be used to reduce LSCs, and this reduction may be enhanced by stimulation with G-CSF. Further exploration of relationship between nuclear factor kappa-B and AurA inhibition and the potential of AurA inhibition for use in leukemia treatment is needed.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.178
PMCID: PMC3464334  PMID: 23071472
Acute myeloid leukemia; Leukemia stem cell; Aurora kinase
8.  Identification of genes underlying different methylation profiles in refractory anemia with excess blast and refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia in myelodysplastic syndrome 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):186-193.
Background
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a preleukemic condition that transforms into acute myeloid leukemia. However, the genetic events underlying this transformation remain poorly understood. Aberrant DNA methylation may play a causative role in the disease and its prognosis. Thus, we compared the DNA methylation profiles in refractory anemia with excess blast (RAEB) to those in refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (RCMD).
Methods
Bone marrow samples were collected from 20 patients with primary MDS (9 with RAEB and 11 with RCMD), and peripheral blood samples were collected from 4 healthy controls. These samples were assessed using a commercial whole genome-wide methylation assay. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect the methylation of candidate gene promoters in RAEB and RCMD.
Results
Microarray data revealed significant hypermethylation in 69 genes within RAEB but not RCMD. Candidate genes were mapped to 5 different networks, and network 1 had the highest score due to its involvement in gene expression, cancer, and cell cycle. Five genes (GSTM5, BIK, CENPH, RERG, and ANGPTL2) were associated with malignant disease progression. Among them, the methylated promoter pairs of GSTM5 (55.5% and 20%), BIK (20% and 0%), and ANGPTL2 (44.4% and 10%) were observed more frequently in RAEB.
Conclusion
DNA methylation of GSTM5, BIK, and ANGPTL2 may induce epigenetic silencing and contribute to the increasing blasts and resulting MDS progression; however, the functions of these genes were not determined. Further study focusing on epigenetic silencing using various detection modalities is required.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.186
PMCID: PMC3464335  PMID: 23071473
Myelodysplastic syndrome; DNA methylation; GSTM5; ANGPTL2; BIK
9.  Effects of oral iron chelator deferasirox on human malignant lymphoma cells 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):194-201.
Background
Iron is essential for cell proliferation and viability. It has been reported that iron depletion by a chelator inhibits proliferation of some cancer cells. Deferasirox is a new oral iron chelator, and a few reports have described its effects on lymphoma cells. The goal of this study was to determine the anticancer effects of deferasirox in malignant lymphoma cell lines.
Methods
Three human malignant lymphoma cell lines (NCI H28:N78, Ramos, and Jiyoye) were treated with deferasirox at final concentrations of 20, 50, or 100 µM. Cell proliferation was evaluated by an MTT assay, and cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the relative activity of various apoptotic pathways. The role of caspase in deferasirox-induced apoptosis was investigated using a luminescent assay.
Results
The MTT assay showed that deferasirox had dose-dependent cytotoxic effects on all 3 cell lines. Cell cycle analysis showed that the sub-G1 portion increased in all 3 cell lines as the concentration of deferasirox increased. Early apoptosis was also confirmed in the treated cells by Annexin V and PI staining. Western blotting showed an increase in the cleavage of PARP, caspase 3/7, and caspase 9 in deferasirox-treated groups.
Conclusion
We demonstrated that deferasirox, a new oral iron-chelating agent, induced early apoptosis in human malignant lymphoma cells, and this apoptotic effect is dependent on the caspase-3/caspase-9 pathway.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.194
PMCID: PMC3464336  PMID: 23071474
Deferasirox; Malignant lymphoma; Apoptosis
10.  Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma with long-term survival and repeated relapses: does it indicate the presence of indolent subtype? 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):202-206.
Background
Extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma is a subtype of lymphoma that is derived from NK cells. It is considered as an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma because of frequent relapses and resistance to treatment. Relapsed NK/T-cell lymphoma often follows a fulminant course that is refractory to conventional chemotherapy treatment.
Methods
Several patients with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma showed long-term survival in spite of frequent relapses. Thus, the medical records of patients diagnosed with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma from 1995 to 2007 were reviewed and assessed.
Results
Of the 140 cases reviewed, 6 were selected (4.29%). Each of these patients had a minimum of 3 relapses or disease progression during the follow-up period, and their median overall survival was 66 months (range, 42-89 months). They were grouped according to the atypical clinical behavior observed: (1) repeated relapses or progression (≥3 times) during follow-up; and (2) long-term survival of more than 40 months, as the longest overall survival median was previously considered at approximately 40 months. The clinicopathological and laboratory characteristics of these patients were similar to those of other extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma patients. However, 5 of the studied cases involved relatively lower expression of the proliferation-related antigen Ki-67 (<40-50%), indicating less proliferative activity. Clinically, they showed delayed relapse for at least 20 months after the initial complete remission.
Conclusion
Our observations suggest that the clinical behavior of some extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma patients differs from the typical clinical course.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.202
PMCID: PMC3464337  PMID: 23071475
Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma; Relapse; Survival; Indolent
11.  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.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
It appears that both MTD and SUVmax can be independent prognostic factors in primary extranodal DLBCL.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.207
PMCID: PMC3464338  PMID: 23071476
Lymphoma; Large B-cell; Extranodal
12.  Clinical characteristics and outcomes of primary bone lymphoma in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):213-218.
Background
This study evaluates the effectiveness of immunochemotherapy and radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with primary bone lymphoma (PBL).
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 33 patients with PBL who were treated at 6 medical centers in Korea from 1992 to 2010. Clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes were analyzed.
Results
The median age of the patients participating in our study was 40 years. The most common sites of involvement were the pelvis (12.36%) and femur (11.33%). CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) or CHOP-like regimens were administered to 20 patients (61%), and R-CHOP (rituximab plus CHOP) was administered to the remaining 13 patients (39%). The overall response rate was 89% (complete response, 76%; partial response, 12%). The overall survival (OS) of patients with solitary bone lesions was longer than that of patients with multiple bone lesions (median OS: not reached vs. 166 months, respectively; P=0.089). Addition of rituximab to CHOP did not significantly affect either OS or progression-free survival (P=0.53 and P=0.23, respectively). Combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy also did not improve the OS or progression-free survival of patients with solitary bone lesions.
Conclusion
Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy remains an effective treatment option for patients with PBL. Additional benefits of supplementing chemotherapy with either rituximab or radiation therapy were not observed in this study. Further investigation is needed to characterize the role of immunochemotherapy in treating patients with PBL.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.213
PMCID: PMC3464339  PMID: 23071477
Bone lymphoma; Radiotherapy; Rituximab
13.  Effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and the expression of its receptor on various malignant cells 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):219-224.
Background
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is extensively used to improve neutrophil count during anti-cancer chemotherapy. We investigated the effects of G-CSF on several leukemic cell lines and screened for the expression of the G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR) in various malignant cells.
Methods
We examined the effects of the most commonly used commercial forms of G-CSF (glycosylated lenograstim and nonglycosylated filgrastim) on various leukemic cell lines by flow cytometry. Moreover, we screened for the expression of G-CSFR mRNA in 38 solid tumor cell lines by using real-time PCR.
Results
G-CSF stimulated proliferation (40-80% increase in proliferation in treated cells as compared to that in control cells) in 3 leukemic cell lines and induced differentiation of AML1/ETO+ leukemic cells. Among the 38 solid tumor cell lines, 5 cell lines (hepatoblastoma, 2 breast carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, and melanoma cell lines) showed G-CSFR mRNA expression.
Conclusion
The results of the present study show that therapeutic G-CSF might stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of malignant cells with G-CSFR expression, suggesting that prescreening for G-CSFR expression in primary tumor cells may be necessary before using G-CSF for treatment.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.3.219
PMCID: PMC3464340  PMID: 23071478
G-CSF; Differentiation; Proliferation; Solid tumor; AML
14.  Arsenic trioxide induces depolymerization of microtubules in an acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):105-112.
Background
Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is a well-known and effective treatment that can result in clinical remission for patients diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The biologic efficacy of As2O3 in APL and solid tumor cells has been explained through its actions on anti-proliferation, anti-angiogenesis, and apoptotic signaling pathways. We theorize that As2O3 activates a pathway that disrupts microtubule dynamics forming abnormal, nonfunctioning mitotic spindles, thus preventing cellular division. In this study, we investigated how As2O3 induces apoptosis by causing microtubule dysfunction.
Methods
Cultured NB4 cells were treated with As2O3, paclitaxel, and vincristine. Flow cytometric analysis was then performed. An MTT assay was used to determine drug-mediated cytotoxicity. For tubulin polymerization assay, each polymerized or soluble tubulin was measured. Microtubule assembly-disassembly was measured using a tubulin polymerization kit. Cellular microtubules were also observed with fluorescence microscopy.
Results
As2O3 treatment disrupted tubulin assembly resulting in dysfunctional microtubules that cause death in APL cells. As2O3 markedly enhanced the amount of depolymerized microtubules. The number of microtubule posttranslational modifications on an individual tubulin decreased with As2O3 concentration. Immunocytochemistry revealed changes in the cellular microtubule network and formation of polymerized microtubules in As2O3-treated cells.
Conclusion
The microtubules alterations found with As2O3 treatment suggest that As2O3 increases the depolymerized forms of tubulin in cells and that this is potentially due to arsenite's negative effects on spindle dynamics.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.105
PMCID: PMC3389058  PMID: 22783356
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Arsenic trioxide; Tubulin; Apoptosis; Antimitotic agents
15.  The effectiveness of tacrolimus and minidose methotrexate in the prevention of acute graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children: a single-center study in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):113-118.
Background
Knowledge of the roles of tacrolimus and minidose methotrexate (MTX) in the prevention of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is limited. We retrospectively evaluated the engraftment status, incidence of aGVHD and chronic GVHD (cGVHD), and toxicities of tacrolimus and minidose MTX in aGVHD prophylaxis in children undergoing allogeneic HSCT.
Methods
Seventeen children, who underwent allogeneic HSCT and received tacrolimus and minidose MTX as GVHD prophylaxis from March 2003 to February 2011, were reviewed retrospectively. All the patients received tacrolimus since the day before transplantation at a dose of 0.03 mg/kg/day and MTX at a dose of 5 mg/m2 on days 1, 3, 6, and 11.
Results
Of the 17 patients, 9 received human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related donor transplants, and 8 received HLA-matched, or partially mismatched unrelated donor transplants. The median time for follow-up was 55 months. The incidence of aGVHD in the related and unrelated donor groups was 22.2% and 42.9%, respectively. cGVHD was not observed. To maintain therapeutic blood levels of tacrolimus, the younger group (<8 years of age) required an increased mean dose compared to the older group (≥8 years) (P=0.0075). The adverse events commonly associated with tacrolimus included hypomagnesemia (88%), nephrotoxicity (23%), and hyperglycemia (23%).
Conclusion
Tacrolimus and minidose MTX were well tolerated and effective in GVHD prophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT. Children <8 years of age undergoing HSCT required increased doses of tacrolimus to achieve therapeutic levels.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.113
PMCID: PMC3389059  PMID: 22783357
Tacrolimus; Methotrexate; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Acute graft-versus-host disease; Children
16.  Yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan plus busulfan, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide (BuCyE) versus BuCyE alone as a conditioning regimen for non-Hodgkin lymphoma 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):119-125.
Background
Radioimmunotherapy agents have a highly significant role in autologous stem cell transplantation as they improve tolerability and increase the efficacy of the conditioning regimen.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the efficacy and toxicity of yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) combined with intravenous busulfan, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide (Z-BuCyE) compared with those of BuCyE alone followed by autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The efficacy, toxicity, and engraftment characteristics were compared between 19 patients who received Z-BuCyE and 19 historical controls who received BuCyE.
Results
The 2 treatment groups shared similar baseline characteristics. The median time to platelet engraftment (>20×109/L) and neutrophil engraftment (>0.5×109/L) did not significantly differ between the Z-BuCyE group (12 days and 10 days, respectively) and the BuCyE group (12 days and 10 days, respectively). No significant differences were observed between the groups with respect to toxicities and treatment-related mortality. The median follow-up period was 30.4 months, and median event-free survival was generally better in the Z-BuCyE group (12.5 months) vs. the BuCyE group (6.2 months, P=0.236). No significant difference in overall survival between the groups was noted.
Conclusion
Adding ibritumomab tiuxetan to BuCyE high-dose chemotherapy may benefit patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell NHL with no risk of additional toxicity.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.119
PMCID: PMC3389060  PMID: 22783358
Yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan; BuCyE; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
17.  Should we still use Camitta's criteria for severe aplastic anemia? 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):126-130.
Background
The criteria by Camitta for diagnosis in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has been used since 1976. However, there has been no attempt to verify the Camitta's criteria, that the survival in patients with SAA may differ by absolute neutrophil count (ANC), platelet count (PLT), and corrected reticulocyte count (CRC), which are components of the Camitta's criteria.
Methods
117 SAA patients diagnosed by the Camitta's criteria were analyzed, retrospectively. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the factors affecting overall survival (OS).
Results
Response by immunosuppressive therapy (IST) or stem cell transplantation (SCT) significantly affected OS (P=0.001). Therefore, we excluded treatment responders for analysis. Finally, 92 SAA patients including treatment non-responders by IST or SCT and conservative care group were analyzed by using univariate and multivariate analyses. The median age of analyzed patients was 54.5 years. Male to female ratio was 1:1. The median follow-up duration was 74.23 months (range, 54.71-93.74 months). The median ANC, PLT, and CRC were 394/µL, 12,000/µL, and 0.39%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, ANC <500/µL or ≥500/µL (P=0.015, HR 2.694, 95% CI: 1.20-6.01) and age (P=0.015, HR 1.022, 95% CI: 1.00-1.04) were the significant factors for OS.
Conclusion
ANC could be an essential, not an optional criterion for diagnosing SAA. This study suggests the possibility that the Camitta's criteria be modified. Studies in large cohorts are needed to transform the Camitta's criteria.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.126
PMCID: PMC3389061  PMID: 22783359
Camitta's criteria; Severe aplastic anemia; Absolute neutrophil count
18.  Clinical and hematologic manifestations in patients with Diamond Blackfan anemia in Korea 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):131-135.
Background
Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), characterized by impaired red cell production, is a rare condition that is usually symptomatic in early infancy. The purpose of this study was to assess nationwide experiences of DBA encountered over a period of 20 years.
Methods
The medical records of 56 patients diagnosed with DBA were retrospectively reviewed from November 1984 to July 2010. Fifteen institutions, including 13 university hospitals, participated in this study.
Results
The male-to-female ratio of patients with DBA was 1.67:1. The median age of diagnosis was 4 months, and 74.1% were diagnosed before 1 year of age. From 2000 to 2009, annual incidence was 6.6 cases per million. Excluding growth retardation, 38.2% showed congenital defects: thumb deformities, ptosis, coarctation of aorta, ventricular septal defect, strabismus, etc. The mean hemoglobin concentration was 5.1±1.9 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume was 93.4±11.6 fL, and mean number of reticulocytes was 19,700/mm3. The mean cellularity of bone marrow was 75%, with myeloid:erythroid ratio of 20.4:1. After remission, 48.9% of patients did not need further steroids. Five patients with DBA who received hematopoietic transplantation have survived. Cancer developed in 2 cases (3.6%).
Conclusion
The incidence of DBA is similar to data already published, but our study had a male predilection. Although all patients responded to initial treatment with steroids, about half needed further steroids after remission. It is necessary to collect further data, including information regarding management pathways, from nationwide DBA registries, along with data on molecular analyses.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.131
PMCID: PMC3389062  PMID: 22783360
Diamond Blackfan anemia; Anemia; Congenital defects
19.  Changes in hematologic indices in caucasian and non-caucasian pregnant women in the United States 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):136-141.
Background
The objective of this study was to determine if there are differences in common red blood cell (RBC) indices and platelet concentrations during pregnancy and to establish if any observed differences in these parameters were based on the patient's ethnicity.
Methods
From an electronic perinatal database which stores laboratory and clinical information on a large number of births at a regional hospital specializing in obstetrical care, RBC index and platelet concentration data were retrospectively analyzed at various time points throughout pregnancy. RBC index data was collected from 8,277 pregnant women (5,802 Caucasian pregnant women and 2,475 non-Caucasian pregnant women). Platelet concentration data was available from 8252 pregnant women (5,784 Caucasian pregnant women and 2,468 non-Caucasian pregnant women).
Results
Hemoglobin (HGB) levels were significantly higher amongst Caucasian women compared to non-Caucasian women (P at least <0.01) starting at 27 weeks gestation and proceeding until term. There was no significant difference in the mean PLT counts between Caucasian and non-Caucasian pregnant women at any point during gestation.
Conclusion
There are ethnic differences in HGB levels, but not the platelet concentrations, during pregnancy. Based on this finding it would be reasonable to conduct formal prospective studies to determine the clinical significance of this difference and to establish the threshold for diagnosing gestational anemia, especially in pregnant non-Caucasian women.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.136
PMCID: PMC3389063  PMID: 22783361
Anemia; Complete blood count; Hemoglobin; Pregnancy; Reference Ranges
20.  Statistics of hematologic malignancies in Korea: incidence, prevalence and survival rates from 1999 to 2008 
Background
The nationwide statistical analysis of hematologic malignancies in Korea has not been reported yet.
Methods
The Korea Central Cancer Registry and the Korean Society of Hematology jointly investigated domestic incidence rates and prevalence of hematologic malignancies occurred between 1999 and 2008, and analyzed survival rates of patients who were diagnosed between 1993 and 2008. Data of hematologic malignancies from 1993 to 2008 were obtained from the Korean National Cancer Incidence Data base. The crude incidence rates, age-specific incidence rates, age-standardized incidence rates, annual percentage change of incidence, and prevalence from 1999-2008 were calculated. Survival rates for patients diagnosed in 1993-2008 were estimated.
Results
In 2008, a total of 8,006 cases of hematologic malignancies were occurred, which comprised 4.5% of all malignancies. In all genders, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloid leukemia, and multiple myeloma were most frequent diseases. In terms of age, ages between 60 and 69 were most prevalent. From 1999 to 2008, the age-standardized incidence rates increased from 10.2 to 13.7, and the annual percentage change was 3.9%. The 5-year survival rate increased from 38.2% during 1993-1995 to 55.2% during 2004-2008. As of January 2009, number of patients with 10-year prevalence was 33,130, and with 5- to 10-year prevalence was 10,515.
Conclusion
This is the first nationwide statistical report of hematologic malignancies in Korea. It could be used as the basic information to help investigate epidemiologic characteristics, evaluate progress during the past years, and establish future strategies for hematologic malignancies. Periodic statistical analysis of hematologic malignancies in Korea should be continued.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.28
PMCID: PMC3317467  PMID: 22479275
Hematologic malignancy; Incidence; Survival; Prevalence; Korea
21.  Usefulness of anti-PF4/heparin antibody test for intensive care unit patients with thrombocytopenia 
Background
It is critical to differentiate heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) from disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in heparinized intensive care unit (ICU) patients with thrombocytopenia because the therapeutic approach differs based on the cause. We investigated the usefulness of PF4/heparin antibody tests in these patients.
Methods
A total of 127 heparinized ICU patients whose platelet counts were <150×109/L or reduced by >50% after 5-10 days of heparin therapy were enrolled. PF4/heparin antibodies were measured using 2 immunoassays. We assessed the probability of HIT by using Warkentin's 4T's scoring system for antibody positive patients and compared routinely performed coagulation test results between patients with and without antibodies to evaluate the ability of these tests to discriminate between HIT and DIC.
Results
Positive results were obtained for 14 (11.0%) and 11 (8.7%) patients in the 2 assays. The analysis performed using the 4T's scoring system revealed that 11 of 20 (15.7%) patients with antibodies in at least 1 assay had intermediate or greater probability of HIT. Patients without antibodies had significantly higher levels of D-dimer than those with antibodies. However, there were no intergroup differences in platelet counts, PT, aPTT, fibrinogen, DIC score, and rate of overt DIC.
Conclusion
Seropositivity for PF4/heparin antibody was 8.7-11.0% in the patients with thrombocytopenia, and more than a half of them had an increased probability of HIT. Among the routine coagulation tests, only D-dimer was informative for differentiating HIT from DIC. PF4/heparin antibody test is useful to ensure appropriate treatment for thrombocytopenic heparinized ICU patients.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.39
PMCID: PMC3317469  PMID: 22479276
Intensive care units; Platelet factor 4; Heparin; Antibody; Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
22.  Factors influencing lymphocyte reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children 
Background
Immune reconstitution (IR) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) reduces transplantation-related complications such as infection and improves HSCT outcomes.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed IR of lymphocyte subpopulations in 38 pediatric patients for hematologic malignant diseases after allogeneic HSCT from April 2006 to July 2008. T-cell-, B-cell-, and natural killer (NK) cell-associated antigens were assayed in peripheral blood by flow cytometry analysis of 5 lymphocyte subsets, CD3+, CD3+/CD4+, CD4+/CD8+, CD16+/CD56+, and CD19+, before and 3 and 12 months after transplantation.
Results
Reconstitutions of CD16+/CD56+ and CD3+/CD8+ lymphocytes were achieved rapidly, whereas that of CD3+/CD19+ lymphocytes occurred later. Age was not related to reconstitution of any lymphocyte subset. Total body irradiation (TBI) and anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) administration were related to delayed reconstitution of total lymphocytes and CD3+ lymphocytes, respectively. Reconstitutions of CD3+/CD4+ lymphocytes and CD3+/CD8+ lymphocytes were significantly delayed in patients who received umbilical cord blood stem cells. In patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), recovery of the total lymphocyte count and CD19+ lymphocytes at 3 months post-transplant were significantly delayed. However, acute GVHD (aGVHD) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation did not influence the IR of any lymphocyte subset. Further, delayed reconstitution of lymphocyte subsets did not correspond to inferior survival outcomes in this study.
Conclusion
We observed that some lymphocyte reconstitutions after HSCT were influenced by the stem cell source and preparative regimens. However, delayed CD19+ lymphocyte reconstitution may be associated with cGVHD.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.44
PMCID: PMC3317470  PMID: 22479277
Immune reconstitution; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Children; Lymphocyte subset
23.  A phase I/II study of bortezomib plus CHOP every 2 weeks (CHOP-14) in patients with advanced-stage diffuse large B-cell lymphomas 
Background
Bortezomib targets molecular dysregulation of nuclear factor-κB activation and cell cycle control, which are characteristic features of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We evaluated the safety and efficacy of bortezomib treatment with dose-dense cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) every 2 weeks (CHOP-14).
Methods
Untreated DLBCL patients were enrolled. A phase I dose-escalation study with 1.0, 1.3, and 1.6 mg/m2 bortezomib administration on day 1 and 4 in addition to the CHOP-14 regimen was performed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). Lenograstim 5 µg/kg/d was administered on day 4-13. The bortezomib dose from the phase I study was used in the phase II study.
Results
Nine and 37 patients were enrolled in the phase I and phase II studies, respectively. The analysis of the phase II results (40 patients) included data of the 3 patients in the last MTD dose cohort of the phase I trial. During the phase I trial, no DLT was observed at any bortezomib dose; therefore, the recommended dose was 1.6 mg/m2. In phase II, the overall response rate was 95% (complete response: 80%; partial response: 15%). Nine out of the 40 patients showed grade 3 sensory neuropathy, and 22 required at least 1 dose reduction. Three patients could not complete the intended 6 cycles of treatment because of severe neuropathy.
Conclusion
Bortezomib plus CHOP-14 was highly effective for the treatment of untreated DLBCL patients, but in many cases, dose or schedule modification was required to reduce neurotoxicity.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.53
PMCID: PMC3317471  PMID: 22479278
Bortezomib; CHOP-14; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
24.  Relapse pattern and prognostic factors for patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma 
Background
Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) rarely relapses in extracranial sites, and no specialized guidelines for follow-up evaluation have been proposed.
Methods
We analyzed 65 patients with newly diagnosed PNCSL to evaluate the pattern of relapse and prognostic factors.
Results
Of the 65 patients analyzed, 55 had only parenchymal brain disease, and 10 had both intracranial and extracranial lesions. As a first-line treatment, 29 patients received chemotherapy only (CTx), 13 received chemotherapy followed by whole brain radiotherapy (CTx-WBRT), 18 received chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (CTx-ASCT), 2 received palliative WBRT, and 3 received best supportive care. The overall response rate to the initial treatment was 75.8%, with specific response rates of 62.1% to CTx, 84.6% to CTx-WBRT, and 100% to CTx-ASCT. The complete response (CR) rate was higher with CTx-ASCT than in the absence of ASCT (77.8% vs. 43.2%; P=0.025). After a median follow-up of 18.8 months, the median failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival (OS) were 13.0 and 36.1 months, respectively. No systemic relapse without a CNS lesion was noted. Multivariate analysis showed that ASCT was predictive of better FFS but not of OS. Age and the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center prognostic score were predictive of survival.
Conclusion
We observed no systemic relapse without a CNS lesion, suggesting that regular systematic evaluation of extracranial sites may not always be necessary. Age was prognostic of survival irrespective of treatment scheme. ASCT may improve CR rate and FFS.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.60
PMCID: PMC3317473  PMID: 22479279
Primary CNS lymphoma; Relapse; Prognostic factor
25.  Anti-leukemic and immunomodulatory effects of fungal metabolites of Pleurotus pulmonarius and Pleurotus ostreatus on benzene-induced leukemia in Wister rats 
Background
The use of natural bioactive compounds in conventional chemotherapy is a new direction in cancer treatment that is gaining more research attention recently. Bioactive polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein complexes from some fungi (edible mushrooms) have been identified as sources of effective and non-toxic antineoplastic agents. Selected oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus pulmonarius and P. ostreatus being local [Nigeria] and exotic strains, respectively) were cultured on a novel medium of yeast extract supplemented with an ethanolic extract of Annona senegalensis, and the antileukemic potential of their metabolites was studied.
Methods
Leukemia was successfully induced in Wister rats by intravenous injection (0.2 mL) of a benzene solution every 2 days for 3 consecutive weeks. The aqueous solution of fungal metabolites (20 mg/mL) produced by submerged fermentation was orally administered (0.2 mL) before, during, and after leukemia induction. Leukemia burden was assessed by comparing the hematological parameters at baseline and after leukemia induction. The immunomodulatory potential of the metabolites was assessed by using a phagocytic assay (carbon clearance method). The ability to enhance leukopoiesis was assessed by using the total leukocyte count.
Results
Leukemia induction resulted in significant anemia indices and leukocytosis (P<0.05) in the experimental rats. Both metabolites equally enhanced leukopoiesis and demonstrated phagocytic actions; P. ostreatus activity was significantly higher than that of P. pulmonarius (P<0.05).
Conclusion
The metabolites exhibited profound antileukemic potential by suppressing leukemia and demonstrating immunotherapeutic activities on animals after oral administration in various experimental groups.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.1.67
PMCID: PMC3317474  PMID: 22479280
Anti-leukemic; Pleurotus pulmonarius and P. ostreatus metabolites; Immunotherapy; Polysaccharide-protein complexes

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