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Childhood Leukaemia
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia: (ALL)
Acute Myeloid Leukemia: (AML)
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: (CLL)
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: (CML)
Hairy Cell Leukemia

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  • PubMed search for publications about Leukaemia - Limit search to: [Reviews]

    PubMed Central search for free-access publications about Leukaemia
    MeSH term: Leukemia
    International US National Library of Medicine
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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Gotlib J, Kluin-Nelemans HC, George TI, et al.
Efficacy and Safety of Midostaurin in Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(26):2530-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Advanced systemic mastocytosis comprises rare hematologic neoplasms that are associated with a poor prognosis and lack effective treatment options. The multikinase inhibitor midostaurin inhibits KIT D816V, a primary driver of disease pathogenesis.
METHODS: We conducted an open-label study of oral midostaurin at a dose of 100 mg twice daily in 116 patients, of whom 89 with mastocytosis-related organ damage were eligible for inclusion in the primary efficacy population; 16 had aggressive systemic mastocytosis, 57 had systemic mastocytosis with an associated hematologic neoplasm, and 16 had mast-cell leukemia. The primary outcome was the best overall response.
RESULTS: The overall response rate was 60% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49 to 70); 45% of the patients had a major response, which was defined as complete resolution of at least one type of mastocytosis-related organ damage. Response rates were similar regardless of the subtype of advanced systemic mastocytosis, KIT mutation status, or exposure to previous therapy. The median best percentage changes in bone marrow mast-cell burden and serum tryptase level were -59% and -58%, respectively. The median overall survival was 28.7 months, and the median progression-free survival was 14.1 months. Among the 16 patients with mast-cell leukemia, the median overall survival was 9.4 months (95% CI, 7.5 to not estimated). Dose reduction owing to toxic effects occurred in 56% of the patients; re-escalation to the starting dose was feasible in 32% of those patients. The most frequent adverse events were low-grade nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. New or worsening grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia occurred in 24%, 41%, and 29% of the patients, respectively, mostly in those with preexisting cytopenias.
CONCLUSIONS: In this open-label study, midostaurin showed efficacy in patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis, including the highly fatal variant mast-cell leukemia. (Funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00782067.).

Abraham SA, Hopcroft LE, Carrick E, et al.
Dual targeting of p53 and c-MYC selectively eliminates leukaemic stem cells.
Nature. 2016; 534(7607):341-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/12/2016 Related Publications
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) arises after transformation of a haemopoietic stem cell (HSC) by the protein-tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL. Direct inhibition of BCR-ABL kinase has revolutionized disease management, but fails to eradicate leukaemic stem cells (LSCs), which maintain CML. LSCs are independent of BCR-ABL for survival, providing a rationale for identifying and targeting kinase-independent pathways. Here we show--using proteomics, transcriptomics and network analyses--that in human LSCs, aberrantly expressed proteins, in both imatinib-responder and non-responder patients, are modulated in concert with p53 (also known as TP53) and c-MYC regulation. Perturbation of both p53 and c-MYC, and not BCR-ABL itself, leads to synergistic cell kill, differentiation, and near elimination of transplantable human LSCs in mice, while sparing normal HSCs. This unbiased systems approach targeting connected nodes exemplifies a novel precision medicine strategy providing evidence that LSCs can be eradicated.

Colović N, Seferović P, Plećić M, et al.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy in a patient treated for acute myeloid leukemia.
Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2016 Jan-Feb; 144(1-2):77-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Peripartum cardiomyopathy usually presents with systolic heart failure during the last months of pregnancy and up to five months postpartum. The disease is rare and can be fatal.
CASE OUTLINE: We report a 30-year-old female who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, with maturation and cytogenetic finding of t(8;21)(q22;q22),del(9)(q22) in January 2004. She was treated with chemotherapy and achieved complete remission that lasts to date. She became pregnant and delivered a healthy newborn with caesarean section in 2009. Seven months later, she again became pregnant and delivered the second child with caesarean section in January 2011. Seven days after delivery she developed symptoms and signs of heart failure. Electrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm, low voltage and negative T-waves in inferior and lateral leads. Echocardiography revealed global left ventricular dysfunction with ejection fraction of 15%, with mobile thrombotic mass of 12 mm attached to the left ventricle wall. She was treated with both unfractionated and low-molecular heparin, diuretics, cardiotonics, and beta-blockers. Within six following weeks left ventricle systolic function improved up to 25-30%. The full clinical recovery was achieved in September 2013, resulting in absence of heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction of 54%.
CONCLUSION: Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a rare condition. The cause of cardiomyopathy is unknown, but it is believed that it could be triggered by various conditions and risk factors. Although the patient was treated with cardiotoxic drugs (doxorubicin and mitoxantrone) in permitted doses, they could have been contributory factors of myocardial damage. Close monitoring of cardiac function in the peripartal period might be beneficial in patients treated with cardiotoxic drugs.

Punjindasup A, Sangrajrang S, Ekpanyaskul C
Occupational Risk Factors of Lymphohematopoietic Cancer in Rayong Province, Thailand.
J Med Assoc Thai. 2015; 98 Suppl 10:S13-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Lymphohematopoietic Cancer (LHC) incidence rate in Thailand has been rising over the past decade with unknown etiology, including Rayong province. One hypothesis of LHC risks is exposure to occupational carcinogens.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of occupational exposure and LHC risks in Rayong province, Thailand.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: This matched hospital-based case-control study was conducted in a Rayong provincial hospital from September 2009 to January 2013. One LHC case was matched with four controls in gender and age, ±5 years. Demographic data, residential factors, behavioral factors, and occupational exposure-including chemical exposure-were obtained by interviews and collected by occupational health care officers. The risk factor was analyzed by conditional logistic regression and reported in odds ratio with 95% confidence interval.
RESULTS: This study found 105 LHC cases which met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study, yielding a 66% cover rate of cases reported in the database. The histology of LHC were 51 leukemia cases (47.7%), 43 lymphoma cases (42.0%), and 11 multiple myeloma cases (10.3%). The results revealed that occupational exposure to pesticide and smoke were statistically significantly associated with LHC with adjusted ORs 2.26 (95% CI 1.30-3.91) and 1.99 (95% CI = 1.13-3.51), respectively. When stratified to histological subtype of LHC by WHO 2000, leukemia was statistically significantly associated with occupational exposure to smoke, adjusted ORs 2.43 (95% CI 1.11-5.36), with occupational pesticide exposure a significant risk of lymphoma, adjusted ORs 4.69 (95% CI 2.01-10.96). However, neither fumes, wood dust, working outdoors, cleaners, contact with animals, petroleum products and chlorine; nor occupational exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene or organic solvents, were statistically significant risk factors of LHC. In addition, there were no significant risks in the demographic data, residential factors, and behavioral factors.
CONCLUSION: Occupational exposure to pesticides and smoke were important occupational risks in developing LHC in Rayong province. However, the ability or power to detect this problem due to the small sample size and recall bias from the study design could not be excluded.

Papaemmanuil E, Gerstung M, Bullinger L, et al.
Genomic Classification and Prognosis in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(23):2209-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have provided a detailed census of genes that are mutated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our next challenge is to understand how this genetic diversity defines the pathophysiology of AML and informs clinical practice.
METHODS: We enrolled a total of 1540 patients in three prospective trials of intensive therapy. Combining driver mutations in 111 cancer genes with cytogenetic and clinical data, we defined AML genomic subgroups and their relevance to clinical outcomes.
RESULTS: We identified 5234 driver mutations across 76 genes or genomic regions, with 2 or more drivers identified in 86% of the patients. Patterns of co-mutation compartmentalized the cohort into 11 classes, each with distinct diagnostic features and clinical outcomes. In addition to currently defined AML subgroups, three heterogeneous genomic categories emerged: AML with mutations in genes encoding chromatin, RNA-splicing regulators, or both (in 18% of patients); AML with TP53 mutations, chromosomal aneuploidies, or both (in 13%); and, provisionally, AML with IDH2(R172) mutations (in 1%). Patients with chromatin-spliceosome and TP53-aneuploidy AML had poor outcomes, with the various class-defining mutations contributing independently and additively to the outcome. In addition to class-defining lesions, other co-occurring driver mutations also had a substantial effect on overall survival. The prognostic effects of individual mutations were often significantly altered by the presence or absence of other driver mutations. Such gene-gene interactions were especially pronounced for NPM1-mutated AML, in which patterns of co-mutation identified groups with a favorable or adverse prognosis. These predictions require validation in prospective clinical trials.
CONCLUSIONS: The driver landscape in AML reveals distinct molecular subgroups that reflect discrete paths in the evolution of AML, informing disease classification and prognostic stratification. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00146120.).

Al-Achkar W, Moassass F, Youssef N, Wafa A
Correlation of p210 BCR-ABL transcript variants with clinical, parameters and disease outcome in 45 chronic myeloid leukemia patients.
J BUON. 2016 Mar-Apr; 21(2):444-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to search the BCR/ABL 1 fusion gene in 45 chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) Syrian patients using nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and compare our results with those of conventional cytogenetics and molecular cytogenetics methods.
METHODS: 45 bone marrow or peripheral blood samples from untreated CML patients in chronic phase (CP) were obtained at diagnosis, and analyzed by nested RT-PCR, conventional cytogenetics and molecular cyto-genetics methods.
RESULTS: 45 patients examined were positive for some type of BCR/ABL1 fusion gene rearrangement. Out of 45 studied CML patients, 23 (51.1%) expressed b3a2 fusion transcript, 21 (46.7%) b2a2 transcript, and 1 (2.2%) a rare b2a3 transcript. No patient co-expressed both b3a2/b2a2 types.
CONCLUSIONS: The distribution BCR-ABL1 transcript types found in Syria were similar to that of Indian Far-Eastern, African or European populations and the M-BCR rearrangement types were not dependent on white blood count (WBC), platelet count, hemoglobin level or gender of the patients. Overall, we could show that patients with b3a2 rearrangements were younger than patients with b2a2 transcripts, thus our young patients may have a worse prognosis.

Khaled S, Al Malki M, Marcucci G
Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Biologic, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Insights.
Oncology (Williston Park). 2016; 30(4):318-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a biologically complex and molecularly and clinically heterogeneous disease, and its incidence is increasing as the population ages. Unfortunately, currently used "one-size-fits-all" chemotherapy regimens result in cure for only a minority of patients. Although progress has been made in identifying subsets of patients who require chemotherapy alone-as compared with those who require initial chemotherapy followed by allogeneic stem cell transplantation to maximize the chance for cure-clinical and cytogenetic prognosticators are not sufficiently accurate for such a risk-adapted stratification approach. New molecular technologies have allowed for in-depth molecular analyses of AML patients. These studies have revealed novel mutations, epigenetic changes, and/or aberrant expression levels of protein-coding and noncoding genes involved in leukemogenesis. These molecular aberrations are now being increasingly used not only to select risk-adapted treatment strategies, but also to incorporate newer molecularly targeted agents into conventional chemotherapy and/or transplant treatments. The hope is that this approach will lead to a better selection of "personalized" treatments for individual patients at diagnosis, the ability to assess these treatments in real time, and the ability, if necessary, to modify these therapies utilizing molecular endpoints for guidance regarding their antileukemia activity. We review here the state of the art of diagnosis and treatment of AML and provide insights into the emerging novel biomarkers and therapeutic agents that are anticipated to be useful for the implementation of personalized medicine in AML.

Farrow J
Beginnings. 2016; 36(1):15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nonverbal communication is essential with children. Nurses are challenged when answers to assessment questions include shoulder shrugs and descriptions of 'ouchies' and pain all over that feels 'bad.' Pediatric nursing requires creativity and eliciting expression of emotions nonverbally. One way our patients express themselves is through art therapy. The art therapist on our unit uses masks with children who choose not to express themselves with words. I chose to create a mask as sculpture to nonverbally share my values, feelings, and compassion, just like my pediatric patients. As I worked with the mask, many faces of nursing emerged.

Kurnaz F, Sahin C, Kaynar L, et al.
Factors affecting survival in acute leukemia with donor lymphocyte infusion in the first relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
J BUON. 2016 Jan-Feb; 21(1):227-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Relapse of leukemia relapsing after allogeneic (allo) stem cell transplantation (SCT) remains an important problem. Cytoreductive chemotherapy followed by donor leukocyte infusion (DLI) is one of the treatment modalities in relapsed patients. The current study evaluated the factors affecting overall survival (OS) in allo-SCT patients who received DLI after the first relapse.
METHODS: In this retrospective study 54 patients (26 with acute myeloid leukemia [AML] and 28 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL]) in their first relapse after allo-SCT who received fludarabine-based chemotherapy followed by DLI were evaluated.
RESULTS: The relative risk for mortality was significantly higher in patients with acute leukemia (AL) within the high-risk group who went through transplantation (risk ratio: 4.866; 95% CI: 2.029-11.670;p<0.001) and in transplants performed in the remission phases following the first complete remission (risk ratio: 2.371; 95% CI: 1.154 - 4.872; p=0.019). Additionally, the relative mortality risk of transplantation in patients with acute leukemia (AL) with a number of DLIs applied (risk ratio: 0.456; 95% CI: 0.29 - 0.717; p=0.001) nd non-myeloablative regimen (risk ratio: 0.229; 95% CI: 0.053-0.992; p=0.049) was significantly lower.
CONCLUSION: Efforts to enhance the number of DLIs, thus the number of infused cells, may result in better OS in cases with AL with relapse.

Jafarlou M, Baradaran B, Shanehbandi D, et al.
Silencing of myeloid cell leukemia-1 by small interfering RNA improves chemosensitivity to etoposide in u-937 leukemic cells.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016 Jan-Mar; 30(1):55-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
A key issue in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the development of drug resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Overexpression of myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1), an anti-apoptotic protein, is associated with tumor progression and drug resistance in leukemia and several cancers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of specific Mcl-1 small interference RNA (siRNA) on the proliferation and chemosensitivity of U-937 AML cell to etoposide. The siRNA transfection was conducted using Lipofectamine™ 2000. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis were employed to measure the expression levels of mRNA and protein, respectively. To evaluate tumor cell growth after siRNA transfection, Trypan blue exclusion assay was conducted. The cytotoxic effects of siRNA and etoposide were determined using MTT assay on their own and in combination. DNA-histone ELISA and annexin-V/FITC assays were performed to study the apoptosis. Mcl-1 siRNA transfection significantly blocked the expression of Mcl-1 mRNA and protein in a time-dependent manner, leading to a strong growth inhibition and enhanced apoptosis (P less than 0.05). Furthermore, pretreatment with Mcl-1 siRNA, synergistically enhanced the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of etoposide (P less than 0.05). Our results demonstrated that Mcl-1 plays a fundamental role in the survival and resistance of U-937 cells to etoposide. Therefore, Mcl-1 can be considered an attractive target in gene therapy of AML patients and siRNA-mediated silencing of this gene may be a novel strategy in AML treatment.

Braam KI, van der Torre P, Takken T, et al.
Physical exercise training interventions for children and young adults during and after treatment for childhood cancer.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 3:CD008796 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A decreased physical fitness has been reported in patients and survivors of childhood cancer. This is influenced by the negative effects of the disease and the treatment of childhood cancer. Exercise training for adult cancer patients has frequently been reported to improve physical fitness. In recent years, literature on this subject has also become available for children and young adults with cancer, both during and after treatment. This is an update of the original review that was performed in 2011.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of a physical exercise training intervention on the physical fitness (i.e. aerobic capacity, muscle strength, or functional performance) of children with cancer within the first five years from their diagnosis (performed either during or after cancer treatment), compared to a control group of children with cancer who did not receive an exercise intervention.To determine whether physical exercise within the first five years of diagnosis has an effect on fatigue, anxiety, depression, self efficacy, and HRQoL and to determine whether there are any adverse effects of the intervention.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the electronic databases of Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PEDro; ongoing trial registries and conference proceedings on 6 September 2011 and 11 November 2014. In addition, we performed a handsearch of reference lists.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The review included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and clinical controlled trials (CCTs) that compared the effects of physical exercise training with no training, in people who were within the first five years of their diagnosis of childhood cancer.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently identified studies meeting the inclusion criteria, performed the data extraction, and assessed the risk of bias using standardized forms. Study quality was rated by the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria.
MAIN RESULTS: Apart from the five studies in the original review, this update included one additional RCT. In total, the analysis included 171 participants, all during treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).The duration of the training sessions ranged from 15 to 60 minutes per session. Both the type of intervention and intervention period varied in all the included studies. However, the control group always received usual care.All studies had methodological limitations, such as small numbers of participants, unclear randomization methods, and single-blind study designs in case of one RCT and all results were of moderate to very low quality (GRADE).Cardiorespiratory fitness was evaluated by the 9-minute run-walk test, timed up-and-down stairs test, the timed up-and-go time test, and the 20-m shuttle run test. Data of the 9-minute run-walk test and the timed up-and-down stairs test could be pooled. The combined 9-minute run-walk test results showed significant differences between the intervention and the control groups, in favour of the intervention group (standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02 to 1.35). Pooled data from the timed up-and-down stairs test showed no significant differences in cardiorespiratory fitness (SMD -0.54; 95% CI -1.77 to 0.70). However, there was considerable heterogeneity (I(2) = 84%) between the two studies on this outcome. The other two single-study outcomes, 20-m shuttle run test and the timed up-and-go test, also showed positive results for cardiorespiratory fitness in favour of the intervention group.Only one study assessed the effect of exercise on bone mineral density (total body), showing a statistically significant positive intervention effect (SMD 1.07; 95% CI 0.48 to 1.66). The pooled data on body mass index showed no statistically significant end-score difference between the intervention and control group (SMD 0.59; 95% CI -0.23 to 1.41).Three studies assessed flexibility. Two studies assessed ankle dorsiflexion. One study assessed active ankle dorsiflexion, while the other assessed passive ankle dorsiflexion. There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control group with the active ankle dorsiflexion test; however, in favour of the intervention group, they were found for passive ankle dorsiflexion (SMD 0.69; 95% CI 0.12 to 1.25). The third study assessed body flexibility using the sit-and-reach distance test, but identified no statistically significant difference between the intervention and control group.Three studies assessed muscle strength (knee, ankle, back and leg, and inspiratory muscle strength). Only the back and leg strength combination score showed statistically significant differences on the muscle strength end-score between the intervention and control group (SMD 1.41; 95% CI 0.71 to 2.11).Apart from one sub-scale of the cancer scale (Worries; P value = 0.03), none of the health-related quality of life scales showed a significant difference between both study groups on the end-score. For the other outcomes of fatigue, level of daily activity, and adverse events (all assessed in one study), there were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control group.None of the included studies evaluated activity energy expenditure, time spent on exercise, anxiety and depression, or self efficacy as an outcome.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The effects of physical exercise training interventions for childhood cancer participants are not yet convincing. Possible reasons are the small numbers of participants and insufficient study designs, but it can also be that this type of intervention is not as effective as in adult cancer patients. However, the first results show some positive effects on physical fitness in the intervention group compared to the control group. There were positive intervention effects for body composition, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and health-related quality of life (cancer-related items). These were measured by some assessment methods, but not all. However, the quality of the evidence was low and these positive effects were not found for the other assessed outcomes, such as fatigue, level of daily activity, and adverse events. There is a need for more studies with comparable aims and interventions, using a higher number of participants that also include diagnoses other than ALL.

Desai A, Fe A, Desai A, et al.
A Case of Pneumonia Caused by Pneumocystis Jirovecii and Cryptococcus Neoformans in a Patient with HTLV-1 Associated Adult T- Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma: Occam's Razor Blunted.
Conn Med. 2016; 80(2):81-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is usually preceded by infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus I (HTLV-I). Patients with ATLL frequently get opportunistic infections of the lungs, intestines, and central nervous system. Pneumocystis pneumonia is commonly known as an AIDS defining illness. Grocott's methenamine silver stain of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples obtained via bronchoscopy remain the gold standard for diagnosis. Pulmonary cryptococcosis is seen in patients with T-cell deficiencies and a diagnosis is made by culture of sputum, BAL, or occasionally of pleural fluid. We present the second case of coinfection with these two organisms in a patient with ATLL who was successfully treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, corticosteroids, and fluconazole. We illustrate the need for high clinical vigilance for seeking out an additional diagnosis, especially in immunocompromised patients if they are not improving despite receiving appropriate treatment.

Zhang TJ, Wang YX, Yang DQ, et al.
Down-Regulation of miR-186 Correlates with Poor Survival in de novo Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Clin Lab. 2016; 62(1-2):113-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNA-186 (miR-186) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several cancers. Our study was intended to investigate the expression status and the prognostic implication of miR-186 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
METHODS: Real-time quantitative PCR was carried out in 112 de novo AML patients and 28 controls.
RESULTS: The level of miR-186 expression in AML was significantly down-regulated compared to normal controls (p < 0.001). Patients with low miR-186 expression presented significantly older age than those with high miR-186 expression (p = 0.004). MiR-186high patients had a significantly higher frequency of CEBPA mutation than miR-186low patients (20% and 4%, respectively, p = 0.022). In addition, miR-186low patients had a significantly lower complete remission (CR) rate (30% vs. 53%, respectively, p = 0.028) than miR-186high patients. Moreover, miR-186low patients showed significantly shorter overall survival (OS) time than miR-186high patients in both whole AML and non-M3 patients (p = 0.023 and 0.026, respectively). Additionally, the adverse prognostic impact of miR-186 down-regulation was also shown in both whole AML and non-M3 patients without CEBPA mutation (p = 0.017 and 0.023, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that miR-186 down-regulation is a frequent event and predicts poor prognosis in de novo AML patients.

Ristić S, Radojković M, Kostić T, et al.
JAK2V617F Mutation in a Patient with B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Prefibrotic Primary Myelofibrosis.
Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2015 Nov-Dec; 143(11-12):739-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Secondary malignancies, particularly solid tumors, are common in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but association of myeloproliferative neoplasms and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the same patient is very rare.
CASE OUTLINE: We report of a 67-year-old man with B-cell chronic lymphoid leukemia (B-CLL) who developed primary myelofibrosis (PMF) nine years after initial diagnosis. Patient received alkylation agents and purine analogue, which can be a predisposing factor for the development of myeloproliferative neoplasms. JAK2V617F mutation was not present initially at the time of CLL diagnosis, but was found after nine years when PMF occurred, which indicates that B-CLL and PMF represent two separate clonal origin neoplasms.
CONCLUSION: Pathogenic mechanisms for the development of myeloproliferative and lymphoproliferative neoplasms in the same patient are unknown. Further research is needed to determine whether these malignancies originate from two different cell clones or arise from the same pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell.

Colović N, Bogdanović A, Virijević M, et al.
Acute Myocardial Infarction during Induction Chemotherapy for Acute MLL t(4;11) Leukemia with Lineage Switch and Extreme Leukocytosis.
Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2015 Nov-Dec; 143(11-12):734-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In patients with acute leukemias hemorrhage is the most frequent problem. Vein thrombotic events may appear rarely but arterial thromboses are exceptionally rare. We present a patient with acute leukemia and bilateral deep leg vein thrombosis who developed an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during induction chemotherapy. The etiology and treatment of AMI in patients with acute leukemia, which is a rare occurrence, is discussed.
CASE OUTLINE: In April of 2012 a 37-year-old male presented with bilateral deep leg vein thrombosis and malaise. Laboratory data were as follows: Hb 118 g/L, WBC 354 x 10(9)/L (with 91% blasts in differential leukocyte count), platelets 60x109/L. Bone marrow aspirate and immunophenotype revealed the presence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis was as follows: 46,XY,t(4;11)(q21:q23) [2]/62-82,XYt(4;11)[18]. Molecular analysis showed MLL-AF4 rearrangement. The patient was on low molecular weight heparin and combined chemotherapy according to protocol HyperCVAD. On day 10 after chemotherapy he got chest pain. Three days later AMI was diagnosed (creatine kinase 66 U/L, CK-MB 13U/L, troponin 1.19 µg/L). Electrocardiogram showed the ST elevation in leads D1, D2, aVL, V5 and V6 and "micro q" in D1. On echocardiography, hypokinesia of the left ventricle and ejection fraction of 39% was found. After recovering from AMI and restoring left ventricle ejection fraction to 59%, second course of HyperCVAD was given. The control bone marrow aspirate showed 88% of blasts but with monoblastic appearance. Flow cytometry confirmed a lineage switch from lymphoblasts to monoblasts. In further course of the disease he was treated with a variety of chemotherapeutic combinations without achieving remission. Eventually, palliative chemotherapy was administered to reduce the bulk of blasts. He died five months after the initial diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: AMI in young adults with acute leukemia is a very rare complication which may occur in patients with very high white blood cell count in addition with presence of a CD56 adhesion molecule and other concomitant thrombophilic factors. The treatment of AMI in patients with acute leukemias should include antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, even with more aggressive methods depending on patient's age and clinical risk assessment.

Hnisz D, Weintraub AS, Day DS, et al.
Activation of proto-oncogenes by disruption of chromosome neighborhoods.
Science. 2016; 351(6280):1454-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/09/2016 Related Publications
Oncogenes are activated through well-known chromosomal alterations such as gene fusion, translocation, and focal amplification. In light of recent evidence that the control of key genes depends on chromosome structures called insulated neighborhoods, we investigated whether proto-oncogenes occur within these structures and whether oncogene activation can occur via disruption of insulated neighborhood boundaries in cancer cells. We mapped insulated neighborhoods in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and found that tumor cell genomes contain recurrent microdeletions that eliminate the boundary sites of insulated neighborhoods containing prominent T-ALL proto-oncogenes. Perturbation of such boundaries in nonmalignant cells was sufficient to activate proto-oncogenes. Mutations affecting chromosome neighborhood boundaries were found in many types of cancer. Thus, oncogene activation can occur via genetic alterations that disrupt insulated neighborhoods in malignant cells.

Decembrino N, Zecca M, Tortorano AM, et al.
Acute isolated appendicitis due to Aspergillus carneus in a neutropenic child with acute myeloid leukemia.
New Microbiol. 2016; 39(1):65-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a case of isolated acute appendicitis due to Aspergillus carneus in a neutropenic child with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated according to the AIEOP AML 2002/01 protocol. Despite prophylaxis with acyclovir, ciprofloxacin and fluconazole administered during the neutropenic phase, 16 days after the end of chemotherapy the child developed fever without identified infective foci, which prompted a therapy shift to meropenem and liposomial amphotericin B. After five days of persisting fever he developed ingravescent abdominal lower right quadrant pain. Abdominal ultrasound was consistent with acute appendicitis and he underwent appendectomy with prompt defervescence. PAS+ fungal elements were found at histopathology examination of the resected vermiform appendix, and galactomannan was low positive. A. carneus, a rare species of Aspergillus formerly placed in section Flavipedes and recently considered a member of section Terrei, was identified in the specimen. Treatment with voriconazole was promptly started with success. No other site of Aspergillus localization was detected. Appendicitis is rarely caused by fungal organisms and isolated intestinal aspergillosis without pulmonary infection is unusual. To our knowledge, this is the first report of infection due to A. carneus in a child and in a primary gastrointestinal infection.

Greaves M
Leukaemia 'firsts' in cancer research and treatment.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2016; 16(3):163-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our understanding of cancer biology has been radically transformed over recent years with a more realistic grasp of its multilayered cellular and genetic complexity. These advances are being translated into more selective and effective treatment of cancers and, although there are still considerable challenges, particularly with drug resistance and metastatic disease, many patients with otherwise lethal malignancies now enjoy protracted remissions or cure. One largely unheralded theme of this story is the extent to which new biological insights and novel clinical applications have their origins with leukaemia and related blood cell cancers, including lymphoma. In this Timeline article, I review the remarkable and ground-breaking role that studies in leukaemia have had at the forefront of this progress.

Fabbri G, Dalla-Favera R
The molecular pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2016; 16(3):145-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent investigations have provided an increasingly complete picture of the genetic landscape of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). These analyses revealed that the CLL genome displays a high degree of heterogeneity between patients and within the same patient. In addition, they highlighted molecular mechanisms and functionally relevant biological programmes that may be important for the pathogenesis and therapeutic targeting of this disease. This Review focuses on recent insights into the understanding of CLL biology, with emphasis on the role of genetic lesions in the initiation and clinical progression of CLL. We also consider the translation of these findings into the development of risk-adapted and targeted therapeutic approaches.

van der Velden VH, de Launaij D, de Vries JF, et al.
New cellular markers at diagnosis are associated with isolated central nervous system relapse in paediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 172(5):769-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
In childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), central nervous system (CNS) involvement is rare at diagnosis (1-4%), but more frequent at relapse (~30%). Because of the significant late sequelae of CNS treatment, early identification of patients at risk of CNS relapse is crucial. Using microarray-analysis, we discovered multiple differentially expressed genes between B-cell precursor (BCP) ALL cells in bone marrow (BM) and BCP-ALL cells in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at the time of isolated CNS relapse. After confirmation by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, selected genes (including SCD and SPP1) were validated at the protein level by flowcytometric analysis of BCP-ALL cells in CSF. Further flowcytometric validation showed that a subpopulation of BCP-ALL cells (>1%) with a 'CNS protein profile' (SCD positivity and increased SPP1 expression) was present in the BM at diagnosis in patients who later developed an isolated CNS relapse, whereas this subpopulation was <1% or absent in all other patients. These data indicate that the presence of a (small) subpopulation of BCP-ALL cells with a 'CNS protein profile' at diagnosis (particularly SCD-positivity) is associated with isolated CNS relapse. Such information can be used to design new diagnostic and treatment strategies that aim at prevention of CNS relapse with reduced toxicity.

Kliková K, Pilchova I, Stefanikova A, et al.
The Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Leukemia.
Klin Onkol. 2016; 29(1):29-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) HSP27, HSP70 and HSP90 are molecular chaperones; their expression is increased after exposure of cells to conditions of environmental stress, including heat shock, heavy metals, oxidative stress, or pathologic conditions, such as ischemia, infection, and inflammation. Their protective function is to help the cell cope with lethal conditions. The HSPs are a class of proteins which, in normal cells, are responsible for maintaining homeostasis, interacting with diverse protein substrates to assist in their folding, and preventing the appearance of folding intermediates that lead to misfolded or damaged molecules. They have been shown to interact with different key apoptotic proteins and play a crucial role in regulating apoptosis. Several HSPs have been demonstrated to directly interact with various components of tightly regulated caspase-dependent programmed cell death. These proteins also affect caspase-independent apoptosis by interacting with apoptogenic factors. Heat shock proteins are aberrantly expressed in hematological malignancies. Because of their prognostic implications and functional role in leukemias, HSPs represent an interesting target for antileukemic therapy. This review will describe different molecules interacting with anti-apoptotic proteins HSP70 and HSP90, which can be used in cancer therapy based on their inhibition.

Hungate EA, Vora SR, Gamazon ER, et al.
A variant at 9p21.3 functionally implicates CDKN2B in paediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia aetiology.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10635 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/09/2016 Related Publications
Paediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (BCP-ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood, yet little is known about BCP-ALL predisposition. In this study, in 2,187 cases of European ancestry and 5,543 controls, we discover and replicate a locus indexed by rs77728904 at 9p21.3 associated with BCP-ALL susceptibility (Pcombined=3.32 × 10(-15), OR=1.72) and independent from rs3731217, the previously reported ALL-associated variant in this region. Of correlated SNPs tagged by this locus, only rs662463 is significant in African Americans, suggesting it is a plausible causative variant. Functional analysis shows that rs662463 is a cis-eQTL for CDKN2B, with the risk allele associated with lower expression, and suggests that rs662463 influences BCP-ALL risk by regulating CDKN2B expression through CEBPB signalling. Functional analysis of rs3731217 suggests it is associated with BCP-ALL by acting within a splicing regulatory element determining CDKN2A exon 3 usage (P=0.01). These findings provide new insights into the critical role of the CDKN2 locus in BCP-ALL aetiology.

Orgel E, Genkinger JM, Aggarwal D, et al.
Association of body mass index and survival in pediatric leukemia: a meta-analysis.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016; 103(3):808-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Obesity is a worldwide epidemic in children and adolescents. Adult cohort studies have reported an association between higher body mass index (BMI) and increased leukemia-related mortality; whether a similar effect exists in childhood leukemia remains controversial.
OBJECTIVE: We conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether a higher BMI at diagnosis of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with worse event-free survival (EFS), overall survival (OS), and cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR).
DESIGN: We searched 4 electronic databases from inception through March 2015 without language restriction and included studies in pediatric ALL or AML (0-21 y of age) reporting BMI as a predictor of survival or relapse. Higher BMI, defined as obese (≥95%) or overweight/obese (≥85%), was compared with lower BMI [nonoverweight/obese (<85%)]. Summary risk estimates for EFS, OS, and CIR (ALL only) were calculated with random- or fixed-effects models according to tests for between-study heterogeneity.
RESULTS: Of 4690 reports identified, 107 full-text articles were evaluated, with 2 additional articles identified via review of citations; 11 articles were eligible for inclusion in this meta-analysis. In ALL, we observed poorer EFS in children with a higher BMI (RR: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.20, 1.51) than in those at a lower BMI. A higher BMI was associated with significantly increased mortality (RR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.09, 1.58) and a statistically nonsignificant trend toward greater risk of relapse (RR: 1.17; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.38) compared with a lower BMI. In AML, a higher BMI was significantly associated with poorer EFS and OS (RR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.16, 1.60 and RR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.32, 1.86, respectively) than was a lower BMI.
CONCLUSION: Higher BMI at diagnosis is associated with poorer survival in children with pediatric ALL or AML.

Triplett TA, Cardenas KT, Lancaster JN, et al.
Endogenous dendritic cells from the tumor microenvironment support T-ALL growth via IGF1R activation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(8):E1016-25 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 23/08/2016 Related Publications
Primary T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells require stromal-derived signals to survive. Although many studies have identified cell-intrinsic alterations in signaling pathways that promote T-ALL growth, the identity of endogenous stromal cells and their associated signals in the tumor microenvironment that support T-ALL remains unknown. By examining the thymic tumor microenvironments in multiple murine T-ALL models and primary patient samples, we discovered the emergence of prominent epithelial-free regions, enriched for proliferating tumor cells and dendritic cells (DCs). Systematic evaluation of the functional capacity of tumor-associated stromal cells revealed that myeloid cells, primarily DCs, are necessary and sufficient to support T-ALL survival ex vivo. DCs support T-ALL growth both in primary thymic tumors and at secondary tumor sites. To identify a molecular mechanism by which DCs support T-ALL growth, we first performed gene expression profiling, which revealed up-regulation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (Pdgfrb) and insulin-like growth factor I receptor (Igf1r) on T-ALL cells, with concomitant expression of their ligands by tumor-associated DCs. Both Pdgfrb and Igf1r were activated in ex vivo T-ALL cells, and coculture with tumor-associated, but not normal thymic DCs, sustained IGF1R activation. Furthermore, IGF1R signaling was necessary for DC-mediated T-ALL survival. Collectively, these studies provide the first evidence that endogenous tumor-associated DCs supply signals driving T-ALL growth, and implicate tumor-associated DCs and their mitogenic signals as auspicious therapeutic targets.

Iacobucci I, Li Y, Roberts KG, et al.
Truncating Erythropoietin Receptor Rearrangements in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2016; 29(2):186-200 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/02/2017 Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements are a hallmark of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are important ALL initiating events. We describe four different rearrangements of the erythropoietin receptor gene EPOR in Philadelphia chromosome-like (Ph-like) ALL. All of these rearrangements result in truncation of the cytoplasmic tail of EPOR at residues similar to those mutated in primary familial congenital polycythemia, with preservation of the proximal tyrosine essential for receptor activation and loss of distal regulatory residues. This resulted in deregulated EPOR expression, hypersensitivity to erythropoietin stimulation, and heightened JAK-STAT activation. Expression of truncated EPOR in mouse B cell progenitors induced ALL in vivo. Human leukemic cells with EPOR rearrangements were sensitive to JAK-STAT inhibition, suggesting a therapeutic option in high-risk ALL.

Lalaoui N, Hänggi K, Brumatti G, et al.
Targeting p38 or MK2 Enhances the Anti-Leukemic Activity of Smac-Mimetics.
Cancer Cell. 2016; 29(2):145-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Birinapant is a smac-mimetic (SM) in clinical trials for treating cancer. SM antagonize inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins and simultaneously induce tumor necrosis factor (TNF) secretion to render cancers sensitive to TNF-induced killing. To enhance SM efficacy, we screened kinase inhibitors for their ability to increase TNF production of SM-treated cells. We showed that p38 inhibitors increased TNF induced by SM. Unexpectedly, even though p38 is required for Toll-like receptors to induce TNF, loss of p38 or its downstream kinase MK2 increased induction of TNF by SM. Hence, we show that the p38/MK2 axis can inhibit or promote TNF production, depending on the stimulus. Importantly, clinical p38 inhibitors overcame resistance of primary acute myeloid leukemia to birinapant.

Raffel S, Trumpp A
miR-126 Drives Quiescence and Self-Renewal in Leukemic Stem Cells.
Cancer Cell. 2016; 29(2):133-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and promote acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progression and recurrence. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Lechman and colleagues (2016) identify the microRNA miR-126 as a regulator of PI3K-AKT-mTOR and CDK3 signaling driving LSC self-renewal and chemotherapy resistance.

Girnius N, Davis RJ
TNFα-Mediated Cytotoxic Responses to IAP Inhibition Are Limited by the p38α MAPK Pathway.
Cancer Cell. 2016; 29(2):131-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Smac mimetics (SMs), a class of drugs that can promote tumor cell death, represent a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Lalaoui et al. (2016) report that SM efficacy can be potently increased by inhibition of the p38α MAPK/MK2 signaling pathway.

Li C, Yichao J, Jiaxin L, et al.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism and risk of chronic myelogenous leukemia: a meta-analysis.
J BUON. 2015 Nov-Dec; 20(6):1534-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Reported evidence supports a role for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in the risk of chronic myelogenous leykemia (CML). However, these reports arrived at non-conclusive and even conflicting results regarding the association between two common MTHFR polymorphisms (C677T and A1298C) and CML risk. Thus, a meta-analysis was carried out to clarify a more precise association between these two polymorphisms and the CML risk by updating the available publications.
METHODS: Pooled odds ratios (OR) with corresponding 95% confidence interval (95% CI) and stratification analysis were performed to estimate the relationship between MTHFR polymorphisms and the risk of CML under different genetic comparison models.
RESULTS: Data from the meta-analysis showed no significant association between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and CML risk. However, significant associations were found between MTHFR A1298C variants and CML risk under homozygous comparison model (CC vs AA, OR=1.62, 95% CI=1.11-2.36, p=0.01) and dominant comparison model (CC+AC vs AA, OR=1.68, 95% CI=1.17-2.43, p=0.005) in overall population; especially more obvious impacts were noticed for Asian populations in subgroup analysis for homozygous model (CC vs AA, OR=2.00, 95% CI=1.25-3.21, p=0.004) and dominant model (CC+AC vs AA, OR=2.49, 95% CI=1.42-4.36, p=0.001), but this did not apply in Caucasian populations.
CONCLUSION: The results of this meta-analysis suggested no significant association between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and CML risk, while an increased CML risk was noticed for 1298C variant carriers, especially in Asian populations but not in Caucasian populations, which suggested ethnicity differences between MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms and risk of CML.

White Y, Bagchi A, Van Ziffle J, et al.
KRAS insertion mutations are oncogenic and exhibit distinct functional properties.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10647 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/02/2017 Related Publications
Oncogenic KRAS mutations introduce discrete amino acid substitutions that reduce intrinsic Ras GTPase activity and confer resistance to GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Here we discover a partial duplication of the switch 2 domain of K-Ras encoding a tandem repeat of amino acids G60_A66dup in a child with an atypical myeloproliferative neoplasm. K-Ras proteins containing this tandem duplication or a similar five amino acid E62_A66dup mutation identified in lung and colon cancers transform the growth of primary myeloid progenitors and of Ba/F3 cells. Recombinant K-Ras(G60_A66dup) and K-Ras(E62_A66dup) proteins display reduced intrinsic GTP hydrolysis rates, accumulate in the GTP-bound conformation and are resistant to GAP-mediated GTP hydrolysis. Remarkably, K-Ras proteins with switch 2 insertions are impaired for PI3 kinase binding and Akt activation, and are hypersensitive to MEK inhibition. These studies illuminate a new class of oncogenic KRAS mutations and reveal unexpected plasticity in oncogenic Ras proteins that has diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

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