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1.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3538797  PMID: 23320004
Multiple myeloma; Flow cytometry; Immunophenotyping; Neoplastic plasma cells; CD19 negativity
2.  Prognostic significance of the FLT3 ITD mutation in patients with normal-karyotype acute myeloid leukemia in relapse 
Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3 ITD) mutation is related to poor prognosis in normal-karyotype acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic significance of the mutation at relapse has not been adequately investigated. We investigated the prognostic significance of the FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse in normal-karyotype AML patients.
We analyzed 69 normal-karyotype AML patients, in whom paired bone marrow samples taken at initial diagnosis and subsequent relapse were analyzed for the FLT3 ITD mutation at the Asan Medical Center between 1995 and 2009.
Forty patients showed a persistent wild-type genotype, 11 showed the FLT3 ITD mutation at diagnosis and relapse, and 9 lost and another 9 acquired the mutation at relapse. The mutation status at relapse affected the overall survival (OS), with the mutation group showing shorter OS and survival after relapse than the wild-type group did (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively), despite having received more frequent stem cell transplantation after relapse than the wild-type group did. However, no difference was detected in the OS and survival after relapse with regard to the mutation status at diagnosis.
The patients with FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse showed poorer prognoses than those without the mutation. However, mutation status at diagnosis did not affect the outcome. These results suggest that, in normal-karyotype AML patients with relapse, the prognostic significance of FLT3 ITD mutation at relapse is greater than that of the mutation status at diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3128906  PMID: 21747880
AML; Prognosis; FLT3 ITD; Relapse; Normal karyotype
4.  The use of the complement inhibitor eculizumab (Soliris®) for treating Korean patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(4):269-274.
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is an acquired clonal disorder characterized by chronic complement-mediated hemolysis. Eculizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the terminal complement protein C5, potently reduces chronic intravascular hemolysis. We tested the clinical efficacy and safety of a 24-week treatment with eculizumab in 6 Korean patients with PNH.
We enrolled 6 patients with PNH who had clinically significant hemolysis. Eculizumab was administered intravenously at 600 mg/week for the first 4 weeks followed by 900 mg at week 5 and 2nd weekly thereafter.
Three men and 3 women with a median age of 39.5 years (24-61 years) were enrolled. The median duration of PNH was 11 years (6-25 years). Hemolysis occurred in all patients [median lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level, 7.95 times the upper limit of the reference range of LDH]. All patients treated with eculizumab had a rapid and sustained reduction in the degree of hemolysis. RBC transfusion requirements for 3 months were decreased from 0-12 units (median requirement, 1.5 units) to 0-6 units (median requirement, 0 units). Improvement in fatigue was noted in 4 patients. Further, 5 patients who had been receiving corticosteroids either reduced the dose or discontinued therapy. No significant adverse events related to eculizumab therapy were observed.
These results show that eculizumab reduces the degree of intravascular hemolysis, reduces or eliminates the requirement of RBC transfusion, and improves anemia and fatigue in patients with PNH. Eculizumab is an effective and safe option for treating Korean patients with PNH.
PMCID: PMC3023054  PMID: 21253430
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria; Eculizumab; Efficacy; Safety
5.  Therapy-related acute leukemia in breast cancer patients: twelve cases treated with a topoisomerase inhibitor 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(3):177-182.
Therapy-related myeloid neoplasm (t-MN) is a distinct class of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Both AML and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) may develop after treatment for primary cancer. Topoisomerase inhibitors are commonly used to treat breast cancer patients and are well-known for their effect on leukemogenesis of therapy-related acute leukemias (t-AL).
We retrospectively evaluated bone marrow test results, chromosomal findings, and clinical characteristics of 12 patients who received topoisomerase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment and later developed acute leukemia.
Fourteen patients (0.2%) developed t-AL after treatment for breast cancer. Topoisomerase inhibitors were administered to 12 patients. Among them, 9 patients (75%, 9/12) were diagnosed with therapy-related AML (t-AML) and 3 patients (25%, 3/12) with therapy-related ALL (t-ALL). Eight patients (67%, 8/12) showed translocation involving 11q23 and 3 different partner genes, 19p13.1 (37.5%, 3/8), 9p22 (37.5%, 3/8), and 4q21 (25%, 2/8). The median interval between completion of chemotherapy for breast cancer and occurrence of t-AL was 25 months. Patients with 11q23 translocation showed markedly poorer event-free survival than the group without involvement of 11q23.
The incidence rate of t-AL after treatment for breast cancer was 0.2% in a tertiary hospital in Korea. Translocation involving the MLL gene was frequently found in t-AL caused by a topoisomerase inhibitor and was related to poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC2983048  PMID: 21120206
Therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia; Breast cancer; Topoisomerase inhibitors; 11q23
6.  Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for acute leukemia in first relapse or second remission 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):95-101.
The role of pre-transplant salvage chemotherapy has been controversial in relapsed acute leukemia.
We investigated post-transplant outcomes in 65 patients with acute leukemia treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) during first relapse or second remission.
The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) was 52.3%. Multivariate analysis for CIR revealed that patients with unfavorable cytogenetics and those not in remission at the time of HCT had a significantly high CIR (P = 0.031 and P = 0.031, respectively). Allogeneic HCT was performed in 14 patients after first relapse without salvage chemotherapy ("untreated relapse" group), 15 patients failed chemotherapy for reinduction of remission before HCT ("refractory relapse" group), and 36 patients attained second remission with salvage chemotherapy before HCT ("second remission" group). The 5-year CIR for patients in the untreated relapse group (57.1%) was higher than that for those in the second remission group (42.3%), but it was lower than that for patients in the refractory relapse group (66.7%). Among patients who underwent allogeneic HCT in relapse, those with bone marrow (BM) blasts ≤30% had a lower 5-year CIR than those in florid relapse (BM blasts >30%) (57.7% vs. 70.6%).
Our results do not support the role of salvage chemotherapy aimed at re-induction of remission before allogeneic HCT in patients with acute leukemia after first relapse. Patients with early relapse do not appear to benefit from salvage chemotherapy before HCT.
PMCID: PMC2983023  PMID: 21120187
Allogeneic HCT; Acute leukemia; First relapse; Second remission

Results 1-6 (6)