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1.  Myelonecrosis: A Clinicopathological Study from a Tertiary Care Center in South India over a Twelve-Year Period 
Bone Marrow Research  2014;2014:890510.
Aims. To study the etiology, diagnostic features, and clinical significance of myelonecrosis. Methods. A retrospective review of all trephine biopsies done over 12 years (January 2000 to December 2012) in Department of pathology was done and all trephine biopsies showing MN were identified and studied. Results. Twenty-five cases accounting for 0.4% were identified. Fever and generalized weakness were the common presenting symptoms. Anemia was seen in all cases followed by thrombocytopaenia. Malignancy was the underlying cause in 64% of cases; hematolymphoid malignancy was seen in two-thirds and solid malignancies in one-third of the cases. Tuberculosis accounted for 16% of the cases and the etiology was unknown in 12%. Conclusions. The causes of MN are varied and hematological malignancy and solid malignancies are the most common causes. Presence of myelonecrosis is associated with a poor prognosis. Myelonecrosis may obscure the underlying disorder and hence a thorough search in the bone marrow biopsy itself with the help of immunohistochemistry may prove worthwhile in identifying the underlying disease.
PMCID: PMC3920973  PMID: 24587907
2.  Validation of the EBMT Risk Score for South Brazilian Patients Submitted to Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:565824.
Background. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is still associated with a high transplant-related mortality rate. In 2009, the EBMT risk score was validated as a simple tool to predict the outcome after allogeneic HSCT for acquired hematological disorders. Objectives. The aim of this study was to validate the applicability of the EBMT risk score for allogeneic HSCT on South Brazilian patients. Methods. A retrospective observational study was performed based on patients' records and data base at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, including all allogeneic transplants for malignant and severe aplastic anemia from 1994 to 2010. Patients were categorized according to EBMT risk score and overall survival (OS). Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and relapse rate (RR) were analyzed. Results. There were 278 evaluable patients. OS, NRM, and RR at five years median followup were 48.7%, 40.7%, and 30.7%, respectively. The OS was 81.8% for risk score 0 and 0% for score 6 (P < 0.001), and NRM was 13.6% and 80% for risk scores 0 and 6, respectively (P = 0.001). Conclusion. The EBMT risk score can be utilized as a tool for clinical decision making before allogeneic HSCT for malignant hematological diseases and severe aplastic anemia at a single center in Brazil.
PMCID: PMC3876681  PMID: 24416593
3.  The Role of miRNA in Haematological Malignancy 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:269107.
Currently, there are over 1,800 annotated human miRNAs, many of which have tissue-specific expression. Numerous studies have highlighted their role in haematopoietic differentiation and proliferation, acting as master regulators of haematopoietic stem cell function. Aberrant expression of miRNAs has been observed in haematological cancers, exhibiting unique expression signatures in comparison to normal counterparts. Functional and target analyses as well as animal models have attempted to annotate how different miRNA may contribute to the pathophysiology of these malignancies from modulating cancer associated genes, functioning directly as oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes or acting as bystanders or regulators of the epigenetic mechanisms in cancer. miRNAs have also been shown to play a role in modulating drug resistance and determining prognosis between the various subtypes of blood cancers. This review discusses the important role that miRNAs play in haematological malignancies by exploring associations that exist between the two and trying to examine evidence of causality to support the tantalising possibility that miRNAs might serve as therapeutic targets in blood cancers.
PMCID: PMC3876682  PMID: 24416592
4.  Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Mediated Immunoregulation: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:203643.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells found in connective tissues that can differentiate into bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue. Interestingly, they can regulate immune responses in a paracrine way and allogeneic MSCs do not elicit immune response. These properties have encouraged a number of clinical trials in a broad range of regenerative therapies. Although these trials were first focused on their differentiation properties, in the last years, the immunosuppressive features have gained most of the attention. In this review, we will summarize the up-to-date knowledge about the immunosuppressive mechanisms of MSCs in vivo and in vitro and the most promising approaches in clinical investigation.
PMCID: PMC3804286  PMID: 24187625
5.  Day 100 Peripheral Blood Absolute Lymphocyte/Monocyte Ratio and Survival in Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma Postautologous Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:658371.
Day 100 prognostic factors of postautologous peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (APBHSCT) to predict clinical outcome in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) patients have not been evaluated. Thus, we studied if the day 100 peripheral blood absolute lymphocyte/monocyte ratio (Day 100 ALC/AMC) affects clinical outcomes by landmark analysis from day 100 post-APBHSCT. Only cHL patients achieving a complete remission at day 100 post-APBHSCT were studied. From 2000 to 2010, 131 cHL consecutive patients qualified for the study. The median followup from day 100 was 4.1 years (range: 0.2–12.3 years). Patients with a Day 100 ALC/AMC ≥ 1.3 experienced superior overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared with Day 100 ALC/AMC < 1.3 (from day 100: OS, median not reached versus 2.8 years; 5 years OS rates of 93% (95% CI, 83%–97%) versus 35% (95% CI, 19%–51%), resp., P < 0.0001; from day 100: PFS, median not reached versus 1.2 years; 5 years PFS rates of 79% (95% CI, 69%–86%) versus 27% (95% CI, 14%–45%), resp., P < 0.0001). Day ALC/AMC ratio was an independent predictor for OS and PFS. Thus, Day 100 ALC/AMC ratio is a simple biomarker that can help to assess clinical outcomes from day 100 post-APBHSCT in cHL patients.
PMCID: PMC3655445  PMID: 23710362
6.  Incidence and Pattern of Graft-versus-Host Disease in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Transplantation after Nonmyeloablative Conditioning with Total Lymphoid Irradiation and Antithymocyte Globulin 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:414959.
Nonmyeloablative (NMA) conditioning with total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin (TLI/ATG) has been shown to protect against acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We report here our institutional experience with allogeneic transplantation following NMA conditioning with TLI/ATG (n = 21). GVHD prophylaxis consisted of a combination of a calcineurin inhibitor and mycophenolate mofetil. Median patient age was 59 years. The median followup of surviving patients is 545 days. One patient experienced primary graft rejection. The median time to neutrophil engraftment was 18 days and platelet engraftment was 9.5 days. The cumulative incidence (CI) of grade II–IV acute GVHD at day +100 was 28.6% and 38.1% at day +180. The CI for grade III-IV acute GVHD was 28.6% at day +180. CI of chronic GVHD was 45.2% at 1 year. The CI of disease relapse was 9.5% at 1 year. The rate of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 0% at day +100 and only 9.5% at 1 year. The overall and progression free survival at 1 year was 81% and 80.4%, respectively. Our limited, retrospective data show encouraging relapse and NRM rates with TLI/ATG-based NMA conditioning, but with higher than previously reported rates of acute and chronic GVHD, underscoring the need for novel strategies designed to effectively prevent GVHD.
PMCID: PMC3652129  PMID: 23691325
7.  High-Frequency Vibration Treatment of Human Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Increases Differentiation toward Bone Tissue 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:803450.
In order to verify whether differentiation of adult stem cells toward bone tissue is promoted by high-frequency vibration (HFV), bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were mechanically stimulated with HFV (30 Hz) for 45 minutes a day for 21 or 40 days. Cells were seeded in osteogenic medium, which enhances differentiation towards bone tissue. The effects of the mechanical treatment on differentiation were measured by Alizarin Red test, (q) real-time PCR, and protein content of the extracellular matrix. In addition, we analyzed the proliferation rate and apoptosis of BMSC subjected to mechanical stimulation. A strong increase in all parameters characterizing differentiation was observed. Deposition of calcium was almost double in the treated samples; the expression of genes involved in later differentiation was significantly increased and protein content was higher for all osteogenic proteins. Lastly, proliferation results indicated that stimulated BMSCs have a decreased growth rate in comparison with controls, but both treated and untreated cells do not enter the apoptosis process. These findings could reduce the gap between research and clinical application for bone substitutes derived from patient cells by improving the differentiation protocol for autologous cells and a further implant of the bone graft into the patient.
PMCID: PMC3621160  PMID: 23585968
8.  Adenoviral Delivery of the VEGF and BMP-6 Genes to Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells Potentiates Osteogenesis 
Bone Marrow Research  2013;2013:737580.
The combined delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to sites of bone injury results in enhanced repair compared to the administration of a single factor or a combination of two factors. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that coexpression of VEGF and BMP-6 genes would enhance the osteoblastic differentiation of rat bone-marrow-derived stem cells (rMSCs) and osteogenesis by comparison to rMSCs that do not express VEGF and BMP-6. We prepared a GFP tagged adenovirus vector (Ad-VEGF+BMP-6) that contained DNA encoding the hVEGF and hBMP-6 genes. rMSCs were transduced with the virus, and the successful transduction was confirmed by green fluorescence and by production of VEGF and BMP-6 proteins. The cells were cultured to assess osteoblastic differentiation or administered in the Fischer 344 rats to assess bone formation. Mineralization of rMSCs transduced with Ad-VEGF+BMP-6 was significantly enhanced over the nontransduced rMSCs. Only transduced rMSCs could induce osteogenesis in vivo, whereas Ad-VEGF+BMP-6 or nontransduced rMSCs alone did not induce osteogenesis. The data suggests that the combined delivery of MSCs, VEGF, and BMP-6 is an attractive option for bone repair therapy.
PMCID: PMC3600300  PMID: 23533768
9.  Biological and Genetic Aspects of Donor-Recipient Matching in HSCT 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:212593.
PMCID: PMC3523404  PMID: 23304517
10.  Improving Safety of Preemptive Therapy with Oral Valganciclovir for Cytomegalovirus Infection after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:874601.
Valganciclovir (VGC), an oral prodrug of ganciclovir (GCV), has been shown to clear cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia in preemptive treatment of patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT), apparently without significant toxicity. Since VGC obviates hospitalization, it is increasingly being adopted, although not approved, in alloHSCT. When we retrospectively evaluated preemptive treatment with VGC versus GCV, foscarnet or cidofovir, in all 312 consecutive CMV viremias of 169 patients allotransplanted at our institution between 1996 and 2006, we found VGC more efficacious (79%) than non-VGC therapies (69%). The advantage of outpatient VGC, however, was outbalanced by more profound neutropenias (including two cases of agranulocytosis, one with graft loss) requiring subsequent prolonged rehospitalization. Thus, in a second, prospective cohort from 2007 to 2011 (all 202 consecutive CMV viremias of 118 yet older and sicker patients), we implemented twice weekly neutrophil monitoring during outpatient VGC treatment and avoided VGC maintenance therapy. While conserving efficacy (VGC 71%, non-VGC 72%), we could now demonstrate a reduced mean duration of hospitalization with VGC (9 days (0–66)) compared to non-VGC (25 days (0–115)), without any agranulocytosis episodes. We conclude that safe outpatient VGC therapy is possible in alloHSCT recipients, but requires frequent monitoring to prevent severe myelotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3518946  PMID: 23243512
11.  New Rising Infection: Human Herpesvirus 6 Is Frequent in Myeloma Patients Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation after Induction Therapy with Bortezomib 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:409765.
Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection is a common complication during immunosuppression. Its significance for multiple myeloma (MM) patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) after treatment with novel agents affecting immune system remains undetermined. Data on 62 consecutive MM patients receiving bortezomib-dexamethasone (VD) (n = 41; 66%) or thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) (n = 21, 34%) induction, together with melphalan 200 mg/m2 autograft between 01.2005 and 09.2010, were reviewed. HHV-6 reactivation was diagnosed in patients experiencing postengraftment unexplained fever (PEUF) in the presence of any level of HHHV-6 DNA in blood. There were no statistically significant differences in patient characteristics between the groups, excluding dexamethasone dosage, which was significantly higher in patients receiving TD. Eight patients in TD and 18 in VD cohorts underwent viral screening for PEUF. HHV-6 reactivation was diagnosed in 10 patients of the entire series (16%), accounting for 35% of those screened; its incidence was 19.5% (n = 8) in the VD group versus 9.5% (n = 2) in the TD group. All patients recovered without sequelae. In conclusion, HHV-6 reactivation is relatively common after ASCT, accounting for at least a third of PEUF episodes. Further studies are warranted to investigate whether bortezomib has an impact on HHV-6 reactivation development.
PMCID: PMC3517825  PMID: 23243510
12.  Differential Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Expression in Disseminated Tumor Cells and Micrometastasis in Bone Marrow of Patients with Nonmetastatic and Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Theoretical Considerations and Clinical Implications—An Immunocytochemical Study 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:259351.
Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is important in the dissemination and invasion of tumor cells and activates angiogenesis. We present an immunocytochemical study of MMP-2 expression in circulating prostate cells (CPCs), disseminated tumor cells (DTCs), and micrometastasis (mM) in bone marrow of men with prostate cancer. Methods and Patients. Tumor cells were identified with anti-PSA immunocytochemistry. Positive samples underwent processing with anti-MMP-2, its expression was compared with Gleason score, concordance of expression, and metastatic and nonmetastatic disease. Results. 215 men participated, CPCs were detected in 62.7%, DTCs in 62.2%, and mM in 71.4% in nonmetastatic cancer; in metastatic cancer all had CPCs, DTCs, and mM detected. All CPCs and DTCs expressed MMP-2; in mM MMP-2 expression was positively associated with increasing Gleason score. MMP-2 expression in CPCs and DTCs showed concordance. In low grade tumors, mM and surrounding stromal cells were MMP-2 negative, with variable expression in high grade tumors; in metastatic disease, both mM and stromal cells were MMP-2 positive. Conclusions. CPCs and DTCs are different from mM, with inhibition of MMP-2 expression in mM of low grade tumors. With disease progression, MMP-2 expression increases in both mM and surrounding stromal cells, with implications for the use of bisphosphonates or MMP-2 inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3513718  PMID: 23227342
13.  CMV Serostatus of Donor-Recipient Pairs Influences the Risk of CMV Infection/Reactivation in HSCT Patients 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:375075.
CMV donor/recipient serostatus was analyzed in 200 patients allografted in our institution from unrelated (122 patients) donors and 78 sibling donors in the years 2002–2011 in relation to posttransplant complications. On a group basis independently of the CMV serostatus of donor-recipient pairs sibling transplantations and those from unrelated donors that matched 10/10 at allele level had a similar rate of CMV reactivation (17/78 versus 19/71, P = ns). The rate of CMV reactivation/infection was higher in patients grafted from donors accepted at the lower level of matching than 10/10 (18/38 versus 36/149, P = 0.008). The incidence of aGvHD followed frequencies of CMV reactivation in the tested groups, being 40/156 and 25/44 in patients grafted from sibling or unrelated donors that 10/10 matched and in those grafted from donors taht HLA mismatched, respectively (P = 0.001). Regarding the rate of reactivation in both groups seropositive patients receiving a transplant from seronegative donors had more frequently CMV reactivation as compared to those with another donor-recipient matching CMV serostatus constellation (22/43 versus 32/143, P = 0 < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that seropositivity of recipients with concomitant seronegativity of donors plays an independent role in the CMV reactivation/infection (OR = 2.669, P = 0.037; OR = 5.322, P = 0.078; OR = 23.034, P = 0.023 for optimally matched and mismatched patients and the whole group of patients, resp.).
PMCID: PMC3512215  PMID: 23227343
14.  Human Leukocyte Antigen Profiles of Latin American Populations: Differential Admixture and Its Potential Impact on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:136087.
The outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is shaped by both clinical and genetic factors that determine its success. Genetic factors including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and non-HLA genetic variants are believed to influence the risk of potentially fatal complications after the transplant. Moreover, ethnicity has been proposed as a factor modifying the risk of graft-versus-host disease. The populations of Latin America are a complex array of different admixture processes with varying degrees of ancestral population proportions that came in different migration waves. This complexity makes the study of genetic risks in this region complicated unless the extent of this variation is thoroughly characterized. In this study we compared the HLA-A and HLA-B allele group profiles for 31 Latin American populations and 61 ancestral populations from Iberia, Italy, Sub-Saharan Africa, and America. Results from population genetics comparisons show a wide variation in the HLA profiles from the Latin American populations that correlate with different admixture proportions. Populations in Latin America seem to be organized in at least three groups with (1) strong Amerindian admixture, (2) strong Caucasian component, and (3) a Caucasian-African gradient. These results imply that genetic risk assessment for HSCT in Latin America has to be adapted for different population subgroups rather than as a pan-Hispanic/Latino analysis.
PMCID: PMC3506882  PMID: 23213535
15.  Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Donor Matching Probability and Search Algorithm 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:695018.
In transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from unrelated donors a high HLA compatibility level decreases the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease and mortality. The diversity of the HLA system at the allelic and haplotypic level and the heterogeneity of HLA typing data of the registered donors render the search process a complex task. This paper summarizes our experience with a search algorithm that includes at the start of the search a probability estimate (high/intermediate/low) to identify a HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, DQB1-compatible donor (a 10/10 match). Based on 2002–2011 searches about 30% of patients have a high, 30% an intermediate, and 40% a low probability search. Search success rate and duration are presented and discussed in light of the experience of other centers. Overall a 9-10/10 matched HSC donor can now be identified for 60–80% of patients of European descent. For high probability searches donors can be selected on the basis of DPB1-matching with an estimated success rate of >40%. For low probability searches there is no consensus on which HLA incompatibilities are more permissive, although HLA-DQB1 mismatches are generally considered as acceptable. Models for the discrimination of more detrimental mismatches based on specific amino acid residues rather than specific HLA alleles are presented.
PMCID: PMC3502776  PMID: 23198148
16.  Role of Killer Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor and Ligand Matching in Donor Selection 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:271695.
Despite all efforts to improve HLA typing and immunosuppression, it is still impossible to prevent severe graft versus host disease (GVHD) which can be fatal. GVHD is not always associated with graft versus malignancy and can prevent stem cell transplantation from reaching its goals. Overall T-cell alloreactivity is not the sole mechanism modulating the immune defense. Innate immune system has its own antigens, ligands, and mediators. The bridge between HLA and natural killer (NK) cell-mediated reactions is becoming better understood in the context of stem cell transplantation. Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) constitute a wide range of alleles/antigens segregated independently from the HLA alleles and classified into two major haplotypes which imprints the person's ability to suppress or to amplify T-cell alloreactivity. This paper will summarize the impact of both activating and inhibitory KIRs and their ligands on stem cell transplantation outcome. The ultimate goal is to develop algorithms based on KIR profiles to select donors with maximum antileukemic and minimum antihost effects.
PMCID: PMC3502759  PMID: 23193479
17.  Occurrence and Impact of Minor Histocompatibility Antigens' Disparities on Outcomes of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation from HLA-Matched Sibling Donors 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:257086.
We have examined the alleles of eleven minor histocompatibility antigens (MiHAs) and investigated the occurrence of immunogenic MiHA disparities in 62 recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) with myeloablative conditioning performed between 2000 and 2008 and in their HLA-matched sibling donors. Immunogenic MiHA mismatches were detected in 42 donor-recipient pairs: in 29% MiHA was mismatched in HVG direction, in another 29% in GVH direction; bidirectional MiHA disparity was detected in 10% and no MiHA mismatches in 32%. Patients with GVH-directed HY mismatches had lower both overall survival and disease-free survival at 3 years than patients with compatible HY; also higher incidence of both severe acute GvHD and extensive chronic GVHD was observed in patients with GVH-directed HY mismatch. On contrary, GVH-directed mismatches of autosomally encoded MiHAs had no negative effect on overall survival. Results of our study help to understand why posttransplant courses of allo-HCT from siblings may vary despite the complete high-resolution HLA matching of a donor and a recipient.
PMCID: PMC3502767  PMID: 23193478
18.  Computer Algorithms in the Search for Unrelated Stem Cell Donors 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:175419.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a medical procedure in the field of hematology and oncology, most often performed for patients with certain cancers of the blood or bone marrow. A lot of patients have no suitable HLA-matched donor within their family, so physicians must activate a “donor search process” by interacting with national and international donor registries who will search their databases for adult unrelated donors or cord blood units (CBU). Information and communication technologies play a key role in the donor search process in donor registries both nationally and internationaly. One of the major challenges for donor registry computer systems is the development of a reliable search algorithm. This work discusses the top-down design of such algorithms and current practice. Based on our experience with systems used by several stem cell donor registries, we highlight typical pitfalls in the implementation of an algorithm and underlying data structure.
PMCID: PMC3501812  PMID: 23227341
19.  The Presence of Anti-HLA Antibodies before and after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantation from HLA-Mismatched Unrelated Donors 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:539825.
Although anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies (anti-HLA Abs) are important factors responsible for graft rejection in solid organ transplantation and play a role in post-transfusion complications, their role in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) has not been finally defined. Enormous polymorphism of HLA-genes, their immunogenicity and heterogeneity of antibodies, as well as the growing number of allo-HSCTs from partially HLA-mismatched donors, increase the probability that anti-HLA antibodies could be important factors responsible for the treatment outcomes. We have examined the incidence of anti-HLA antibodies in a group of 30 allo-HSCT recipients from HLA-mismatched unrelated donors. Anti-HLA Abs were identified in sera collected before and after allo-HSCT. We have used automated DynaChip assay utilizing microchips bearing purified class I and II HLA antigens for detection of anti-HLA Abs. We have detected anit-HLA antibodies against HLA-A, B, C, DR, DQ and DP, but no donor or recipient-specific anti-HLA Abs were detected in the studied group. The preliminary results indicate that anti-HLA antibodies are present before and after allo-HSCT in HLA-mismatched recipients.
PMCID: PMC3488384  PMID: 23150827
20.  Both Optimal Matching and Procedure Duration Influence Survival of Patients after Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:873695.
Eighty-six patients suffering from hematological malignancies, immunodeficiencies, and aplastic anemias received alloHSCT from unrelated donors. Donors were selected from the BMDW files and further matching was performed according to the confirmatory typing procedure with the use of PCR SSP and that based on sequencing. The time from the clinical request of the donor search to the final decision of clinicians accepting the donor was from 0.3 to 17.8 months (median 1.6). Matching was analyzed at the allele level, and 50, 27, and 9 donor-recipient pairs were 10/10 matched, mismatched in one or more alleles, respectively. In an univariate analysis we found better survival if patients were transplanted: (i) from donors matched 10/10 (P = 0.025), (ii) not from female donor to male recipient (P = 0.037), (iii) in female donation from those with ≤1 pregnancy than multiparous (P = 0.075). Notably, it became apparent that duration of the confirmatory typing process affected the survival (HR = 1.138, P = 0.013). In multivariate analysis only the level of matching and the duration of the matching procedure significantly affected the survival. In conclusion, the duration of the matching procedure in addition to the level of matching should be considered as an independent risk factor of survival.
PMCID: PMC3518791  PMID: 23243511
21.  NOD2 Polymorphisms and Their Impact on Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Outcome 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:180391.
Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a valuable tool in the treatment of many haematological disorders. Advances in understanding HLA matching have improved prognoses. However, many recipients of well-matched HSCT develop posttransplant complications, and survival is far from absolute. The pursuit of novel genetic factors that may impact on HSCT outcome has resulted in the publication of many articles on a multitude of genes. Three NOD2 polymorphisms, identified as disease-associated variants in Crohn's disease, have recently been suggested as important candidate gene markers in the outcome of HSCT. It was originally postulated that as the clinical manifestation of inflammatory responses characteristic of several post-transplant complications was of notable similarity to those seen in Crohn's disease, it was possible that they shared a common cause. Since the publication of this first paper, numerous studies have attempted to replicate the results in different transplant settings. The data has varied considerably between studies, and as yet no consensus on the impact of NOD2 SNPs on HSCT outcome has been achieved. Here, we will review the existing literature, summarise current theories as to why the data differs, and suggest possible mechanisms by which the SNPs affect HSCT outcome.
PMCID: PMC3483648  PMID: 23119165
22.  The Role of HLA in Cord Blood Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:485160.
In recent years, umbilical cord blood (CB), a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), has been used successfully as an alternative HSC source to treat a variety of hematologic, immunologic, genetic, and oncologic disorders. CB has several advantages, including prompt availability of the transplant, decrease of graft versus host disease (GVHD) and better long-term immune recovery, resulting in a similar long-term survival. Studies have shown that some degree of HLA mismatches is acceptable. This review is intended to outline the main aspects of HLA matching in different settings (related, pediatric, adult, or double-unit HSCT), its effect on transplantation outcome and the role of HLA in donor selection.
PMCID: PMC3477523  PMID: 23097706
23.  Controversies and Recent Advances in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Follicular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:897215.
Commonly designated as an indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma, follicular lymphoma (FL) presents with striking pathobiological and clinical heterogeneity. Initial management strategies for FL have evolved to involve combination chemoimmunotherapy and/or radio-immunoconjugates. Unfortunately even with the best available nontransplant treatment, which nowadays results in higher frequency of response, FL remains incurable. Although considered a feasible therapeutic option, the use of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) remains controversial. The appropriate timing, graft source, and intensity of HCT conditioning regimens in FL are often matters of debate. Herein we review the available published data pertaining to the use of autologous or allogeneic HCT in patients with FL across different stages of the disease, discuss major recent advances in the field, and highlight avenues for future research. The current literature does not support a role of HCT for FL in first remission, but in the relapsed setting autologous HCT remains appropriate for patients with early chemosensitive relapses, while allogeneic transplantation remains the sole curative modality for this disease, in relatively younger patients without significant comorbidities.
PMCID: PMC3477524  PMID: 23097707
24.  Th17 Mediated Alloreactivity Is Facilitated by the Pre-Transplant Microbial Burden of the Recipient 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:960280.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) is a major complication after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and severity of aGvHD is associated with biological and genetic factors related to donors and recipients. Studies on inflammatory pathways involved in aGvHD have shown a significant impact of the gut microflora on aGvHD development giving increasing evidence in the understanding of the response of innate and adaptive immunity to microbial products. Cytokine deregulation may increase or reduce the risk of aGvHD. Damage of tissues affected by aGvHD reflects the immunological cascade of events in this disease.
PMCID: PMC3472510  PMID: 23091728
25.  Role of HLA in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Bone Marrow Research  2012;2012:680841.
The selection of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) donors includes a rigorous assessment of the availability and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) match status of donors. HLA plays a critical role in HSCT, but its involvement in HSCT is constantly in flux because of changing technologies and variations in clinical transplantation results. The increased availability of HSCT through the use of HLA-mismatched related and unrelated donors is feasible with a more complete understanding of permissible HLA mismatches and the role of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes in HSCT. The influence of nongenetic factors on the tolerability of HLA mismatching has recently become evident, demonstrating a need for the integration of both genetic and nongenetic variables in donor selection.
PMCID: PMC3467756  PMID: 23082252

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