Publications by authors named "Andrija Bogdanovic"

56 Publications

COVID-19 Presented with Deep Vein Thrombosis in a Patient with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria.

Hamostaseologie 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Clinic of Haematology, University Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare, acquired clonal haematological disease characterized by complement-mediated haemolysis, bone marrow failure and venous thrombosis. Anticomplement therapy eculizumab improves survival and reduces complications. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with high incidence of both venous and arterial thrombosis in hospitalized patients with pneumonia. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) as the presenting symptom of COVID-19 is a rare event. We describe a well-controlled PNH patient on eculizumab for more than 5 years who presented with DVT, while on warfarin, as the first sign of COVID-19. To our knowledge, this is the first described case of DVT in a PNH patient with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1554-6432DOI Listing
September 2021

Prediction of optimal cytogenetic responses at 6 and 12 months in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase treated with imatinib.

J BUON 2021 May-Jun;26(3):1070-1079

1Clinic of Hematology, University Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Purpose: Imatinib mesylate transformed the treatment and paradigms of chronic myeloid leukemia. European LeukemiaNet (ELN) group has defined specific treatment milestones with an optimal outcome to be achieved in patients.

Methods: In a retrospective cohort study, we evaluated the impact of clinical and biological variables on achieving an optimal response at 6 and 12 months according to ELN recommendations. We included 106 patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with appropriate bone marrow aspirate and biopsy for immunohistochemistry.

Results: The number of white blood cells (WBC), the percentage of peripheral blast, the values of Sokal and ELTS scores and the percentage of Ki-67+ cells in the bone marrow predicted a complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) at 6 months, but only WBC and EUTOS score predicts CCyR at 12 months. We found that Sokal score below 0.775 was very sensitive to achieve of CCyR at 6 months (m) and that all patients with a value <0.550 achieved CCyR-6m. Patients with a low percentage of blast in the peripheral blood (≤1.5%) or in the bone marrow (≤5%) together with lower WBC (≤100×109/L) were likely to have significantly higher CCyR rates at 6 and 12 months respectively. Also, patients with a higher number of Ki67+ cells in the leukemic areas of the bone marrow had a significantly better outcome. Unfortunately, our investigation did not reveal that bone marrow fibrosis (MF grade), microvascular density, percentage of CD34+, CD61+ or PTCH1+ cells could have any effect on achievement of CCyR at 6 or 12 months.

Conclusion: Our investigation has shown that only a few biological characteristics in patients with CML can predict the optimal treatment outcome after imatinib.
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July 2021

Long-lasting Thrombocytopenia after Transient Pancytopenia Induced by Short-Term Concomitant Radiotherapy and Temozolomide.

Eur J Case Rep Intern Med 2020 7;7(10):001785. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

We describe long-lasting and incompletely resolved thrombocytopenia after transient profound pancytopenia in a 62-year-old female patient with glioblastoma after short-term radiotherapy with temozolomide. Pancytopenia was present for more than 4 weeks and thrombocytopenia for more than 6 months, without platelet recovery to normal levels.

Learning Points: Some patients may experience severe haematological manifestations after even short-term radiotherapy with temozolomide.In everyday practice, clinical models precisely predicting the haematological toxicity of concomitant treatment with temozolomide and radiotherapy is necessary, especially in countries where genetic tests are not available.Incomplete recovery of the cells of a particular bloodline over a long period may necessitate permanent discontinuation of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12890/2020_001785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7546554PMC
July 2020

The EUTOS long-term survival (ELTS) score is superior to the Sokal score for predicting survival in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Leukemia 2020 08 29;34(8):2138-2149. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Institut für Medizinische Informationsverarbeitung, Biometrie und Epidemiologie - IBE, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany.

Prognostic scores support clinicians in selecting risk-adjusted treatments and in comparatively assessing different results. For patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), four baseline prognostic scores are commonly used. Our aim was to compare the prognostic performance of the scores and to arrive at an evidence-based score recommendation. In 2949 patients not involved in any score development, higher hazard ratios and concordance indices in any comparison demonstrated the best discrimination of long-term survival with the ELTS score. In a second step, of 5154 patients analyzed to investigate risk group classification differences, 23% (n = 1197) were allocated to high-risk by the Sokal score. Of the 1197 Sokal high-risk patients, 56% were non-high-risk according to the ELTS score and had a significantly more favorable long-term survival prognosis than the 526 high-risk patients according to both scores. The Sokal score identified too many patients as high-risk and relatively few (40%) as low-risk (versus 60% with the ELTS score). Inappropriate risk classification jeopardizes optimal treatment selection. The ELTS score outperformed the Sokal score, the Euro, and the EUTOS score regarding risk group discrimination. The recent recommendation of the European LeukemiaNet for preferred use of the ELTS score was supported with significant statistical evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0931-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387299PMC
August 2020

Prognosis of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia presenting in advanced phase is defined mainly by blast count, but also by age, chromosomal aberrations and hemoglobin.

Am J Hematol 2019 11 14;94(11):1236-1243. Epub 2019 Sep 14.

Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry, and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is usually diagnosed in chronic phase, yet there is a small percentage of patients that is diagnosed in accelerated phase or blast crisis. Due to this rarity, little is known about the prognosis of these patients. Our aim was to identify prognostic factors for this cohort. We identified 283 patients in the EUTOS population-based and out-study registries that were diagnosed in advanced phase. Nearly all patients were treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Median survival in this heterogeneous cohort was 8.2 years. When comparing patients with more than 30% blasts to those with 20-29% blasts, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.32 (95%-confidence interval (CI): [0.7-2.6]). Patients with 20-29% blasts had a significantly higher risk than patients with less than 20% blasts (HR: 2.24, 95%-CI: [1.2-4.0], P = .008). We found that the blast count was the most important prognostic factor; however, age, hemoglobin, basophils and other chromosomal aberrations should be considered as well. The ELTS score was able to define two groups (high risk vs non-high risk) with an HR of 3.01 (95%-CI: [1.81-5.00], P < .001). Regarding the contrasting definitions of blast crisis, our data clearly supported the 20% cut-off over the 30% cut-off in this cohort. Based on our results, we conclude that a one-phase rather than a two-phase categorization of de novo advanced phase CML patients is appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25628DOI Listing
November 2019

CD56-Positive Acute Myeloid Leukemia Following Treatment of Hairy Cell Leukemia with Cladribine - Report of 2 Cases and Review of the Literature.

Arch Iran Med 2019 05 1;22(5):269-271. Epub 2019 May 1.

Clinic of Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Treatment of hairy cell leukemia (HCL) with alfa-interferon and purine analogs significantly prolongs survival in these patients. However, with life prolongation, an increased risk of secondary malignancies has been reported. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as a second malignancy after HCL treatment is extremely rare and has been reported in only 12 cases so far. We here report additional 2 cases of CD56+ AML developed after sustained clinical remission of HCL achieved with cladribine (2 and 6 years after, respectively). The first patient refused chemotherapy and shortly thereafter died. The second patient responded to chemotherapy and was successfully allo-transplanted. Three years later, the patient is in stable clinical remission, which is a unique case in the literature. In conclusion, it is not clear whether development of AML in HCL patients is caused by mutagenic potential of the applied chemotherapy or by immune suppression/ perturbations as a characteristic of the underlying disease.
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May 2019

Oxidative and nitrosative stress in myeloproliferative neoplasms: the impact on the AKT / mTOR signaling pathway.

J BUON 2018 Sep-Oct;23(5):1481-1491

Deparment of Molecular Biology, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Purpose: A common feature of malignancies is increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). We analyzed the influence of oxidative and nitrosative stress on the activation of AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN).

Methods: Oxidative stress-induced gene expression in circulatory CD34+ cells of MPN patients was studied by microarray analysis. Biomarkers of oxidative and nitrosative stress were determined using spectrophotometry in plasma and erythrocyte lysate. The levels of nitrotyrosine, inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and AKT/mTOR/p70S6K phosphorylation were determined by immunocytochemistry and immunoblotting in granulocytes of MPN patients.

Results: Antioxidants superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) gene expression were increased in circulatory CD34+ cells, while SOD1 and GPx enzymes were reduced in the erythrocytes of MPN. Plasma malonyl-dialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels were elevated in MPN. The total antioxidant capacity in plasma and erythrocyte catalase (CT) activities was the most prominent in primary myelofibrosis (PMF) with JAK2V617F heterozygosity. The total nitrite/nitrate (NOx) level was augmented in the plasma of PMF patients (p<0.001), while nitrotyrosine and iNOS were generally increased in the granulocytes of MPN patients. Activation of AKT/mTOR signaling was the most significant in PMF (p<0.01), but demonstrated JAK2V617F dependence and consequent p70S6K phosphorylation in the granulocytes of essential thrombocytemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV) patients. Hydrogen peroxide stimulated mTOR pathway, iNOS and nitrotyrosine quantities, the last one prevented by the antioxidant n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) in the granulocytes of MPN.

Conclusion: Our study showed increased levels of oxidative and nitrosative stress parameters in MPN with JAK2V617F dependence. The ROS enhanced the constitutive activation of AKT/mTOR signaling and nitrosative parameters in MPN.
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September 2019

The predictive value of morphological findings in early diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia with recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities.

Leuk Res 2018 12 2;75:23-28. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Institute of Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Belgrade, Dr Subotica 1, 11000, Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:

This study explores cytomorphologic features and their predictive role for early identification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with morphological distinctive recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities (RCA): t(15;17), t(8;21) and inv(16)/t(16;16). We retrospectively evaluated 396 de novo AML cases, diagnosed and treated at single institution, between 2013-2017. Specific cytomorphologic features suggesting distinctive AML-RCA were revealed at diagnosis in 62 (15.65%) patients, including AML with t(15;17) in 41 (66.13%), t(8;21) in 13 (20.97%) and inv(16)/t(16;16) in 8 (12.90%). Final diagnoses of AML-RCA according to WHO integrated diagnostic criteria were established in 66 (16.66%) cases, including AML with t(15;17) 40 (60.60%), t(8;21) 17 (25.76%), and inv(16)/t(16;16) 9 (13.64%). Discordance between cytomorphological and other integrated criteria was detected as missed/wrong-call in 0/1 for t(15;17), 6/2 for t(8;21) and 2/1 for inv(16)/t(16;16). The cytomorphological accuracy was 97.56% (40/41) for t(15;17), 57.89% (11/19) for t(8;21) and 70% (7/10) for inv (16)/t(16;16). Positive/negative predictive values of cytomorphological evaluation were: 97.56%/100% for t(15;17); 84.62%/88.68% for t(8;21); 87.50%/96.65% for inv(16)/t(16;16). Sensitivity/specificity were: 100%/96.15% for t(15;17); 64.10%/95.92% for t(8;21); 77.78%/98.25% for inv(16)/t(16;16). We confirmed that morphology is still a highly relevant evaluation method in diagnosing several common AML-RCAs before completing cytogenetic and molecular studies, enabling early detection, particularly of AML with t(15;17).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.10.017DOI Listing
December 2018

Considerations for Treatment-free Remission in Patients With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: A Joint Patient-Physician Perspective.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2018 06 25;18(6):375-379. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic.

Treatment-free remission (TFR) after discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy is now an emerging treatment goal for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, who have achieved a deep and stable response to treatment. Although guidance is now available, patients' questions regarding this progressive concept have yet to be addressed. The overall aim of this European Steering Group is a patient-centered approach that educates patients on their treatment options, including TFR, facilitates better patient-physician relationships, and meets patients' emotional and psychological needs. The present report outlines 5 key topic areas on discontinuing tyrosine kinase therapy and the implications of TFR for patient-physician consideration: what TFR is; when TFR is appropriate; which patients might and might not be eligible for TFR; and patients' considerations for discontinuing therapy, such as tyrosine kinase withdrawal syndrome, potential psychological implications, molecular recurrence, and repeat treatment. This Steering Group advocates that patients with chronic myeloid leukemia should have access to high-quality, frequent molecular monitoring and be treated in a specialist center with appropriate medical and psychological support. As patient concerns with attempting TFR become forefront in patient-physician discussions, a greater number of eligible patients might be willing to discontinue therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.04.005DOI Listing
June 2018

Predictive parameters for imatinib failure in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.

Hematology 2017 Sep 22;22(8):460-466. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

a Clinic for Hematology , Clinical Center of Serbia , Belgrade , Serbia.

Objective: Until recently, imatinib was the standard first-line treatment in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The inclusion of nilotinib and dasatinib as first-line options in CML raised a debate on treatment selection. The aim of our study was to analyze predictive parameters for imatinib response as the first-line treatment of CML patients.

Methods: The study included 168 consecutive patients with chronic phase Philadelphia-positive CML who were diagnosed and treated with Imatinib 400 mg once daily at a single university hospital. Numerous parameters were analyzed in terms of imatinib response including comorbidities as well as occurrence of second malignancies.

Results: After the median follow-up of 87 months in 61 patients (36.3%), the imatinib failure was verified. Cox regression analysis identified hepatomegaly (p = 0.001), leukocytosis ≥ 100 × 109/l (p = 0.001), blood blasts ≥ 1% (p = 0.002), and the presence of additional cytogenetic aberrations (p = 0.002) as predictors of Imatinib failure. Based on these findings, a new prognostic model was developed according to which imatinib failure had 17% (8/47) of patients in low risk, 34.9% (30/86) of patients in intermediate risk, and 76.7% (23/30) of patients in high-risk group (HR = 3.973, 95% CI for HR 2.237-7.053, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The new score allows better selection of patients who are suitable for treatment with imatinib and may guideline the clinical decision for front-line treatment of CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10245332.2017.1302179DOI Listing
September 2017

8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome: diagnostic challenges and pitfalls.

J BUON 2016 May-Jun;21(3):745-9

Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome (EMS) is a very rare clinicopathological entity which is characterized by the appearance of a myeloproliferative neoplasm in the bone marrow, peripheral lymphadenopathy, usually caused by T or B lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia, and a reciprocal translocation involving chromosome 8p11. Herein we describe a 22-year-old male patient with unusual clinical presentation of EMS. Namely, he initially presented with prolonged epistaxis. Complete blood count showed elevated hemoglobin (17.7g/dl), thrombocytopenia (98x109/l) and leukocytosis (57x109/l). Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy findings corresponded with the presence of a myeloproliferative neoplasm while cytogenetic analysis revealed t(8;13)(p11q12). After that ZMYM2-FGFR1 in-frame fusion was confirmed at the molecular level. Immediately after establishing the diagnosis of a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) generalized lymphadenopathy was developed. Histopathologic examination of lymph node sample confirmed the diagnosis of a T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma without bone marrow involvement. Four cycles of Hyper CVAD chemotherapy were administered with complete morphological and cytogenetic remission. Four weeks after evaluation, patient developed peripheral blood monocytosis and eosinophilia without bone marrow criteria for acute leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis showed t(8;13) accompanied by complex numerical and structural aberrations. The patient underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) from HLA matched sister and he subsequently achieved complete remission. In conclusion, patients with MPN and translocations involving chromosome 8 need to be carefully evaluated for EMS. However, having in mind the very aggressive clinical course of EMS allo-SCT is the only potential curative option.
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December 2016

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

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.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/sarh1512734cDOI Listing
March 2016

Prognostic value of lymphocyte/monocyte ratio in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma: correlation with International Prognostic Score and tumor associated macrophages.

Leuk Lymphoma 2016 08 4;57(8):1839-47. Epub 2016 Jan 4.

e Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine University of Belgrade , Serbia.

We studied the prognostic significance of the absolute lymphocyte/monocyte count ratio (ALC/AMC), its contribution to the prognostic value of the International Prognostic Score (IPS), and evaluated if ALC/AMC could serve as a proxy for the frequency of CD68 + tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in 101 patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve identified best cut-off values of 2.0 for ALC/AMC and 25% for CD68 + TAM. Patients with ALC/AMC < 2, IPS > 2 and > 25% CD68 + TAM had an inferior overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS). Spearman's test also uncovered a significant correlation between the ALC/AMC and TAM. Multivariate analysis identified ALC/AMC < 2, IPS > 2 and > 25% CD68 + TAM as poor prognostic factors of OS and EFS. After evaluating ALC/AMC and IPS, we stratified patients into three progressively-worse-outcome groups (low-risk: 0 risk factors; intermediate: 1 risk factor; high: 2 risk factors). Our study encourages the combination of ALC/AMC with IPS, for refining risk prediction in advanced HL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2015.1110745DOI Listing
August 2016

Gene expression profile of circulating CD34(+) cells and granulocytes in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2015 Dec 7;55(4):373-81. Epub 2015 Aug 7.

Tumor Vaccines and Biotechnology Branch, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Purpose: We compared the gene expression profile of peripheral blood CD34(+) cells and granulocytes in subjects with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), with the accent on signaling pathways affected by BCR-ABL oncogene.

Methods: The microarray analyses have been performed in circulating CD34(+) cells and granulocytes from peripheral blood of 7 subjects with CML and 7 healthy donors. All studied BCR-ABL positive CML patients were in chronic phase, with a mean value of 2012±SD of CD34(+)cells/μl in peripheral blood.

Results: The gene expression profile was more prominent in CML CD34(+) cells (3553 genes) compared to granulocytes (2701 genes). The 41 and 39 genes were significantly upregulated in CML CD34(+) cells (HINT1, TXN, SERBP1) and granulocytes, respectively. BCR-ABL oncogene activated PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling through significant upregulation of PTPN11, CDK4/6, and MYC and reduction of E2F1, KRAS, and NFKBIA gene expression in CD34(+) cells. Among genes linked to the inhibition of cellular proliferation by BCR-ABL inhibitor Imatinib, the FOS and STAT1 demonstrated significantly decreased expression in CML.

Conclusion: The presence of BCR-ABL fusion gene doubled the expression quantity of genes involved in the regulation of cell cycle, proliferation and apoptosis of CD34(+) cells. These results determined the modified genes in PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling of CML subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2015.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607933PMC
December 2015

Statin-mediated inhibition of cholesterol synthesis induces cytoprotective autophagy in human leukemic cells.

Eur J Pharmacol 2015 Oct 8;765:415-28. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Institute of Histology and Embryology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Visegradska 26, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:

Statins exhibit anti-leukemic properties due to suppression of the mevalonate pathway by the inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, and subsequent depletion of cholesterol, farnesylpyrophosphate, and geranylgeranylpyrophosphate. We investigated the role of autophagy, a controlled intracellular self-digestion, in the anti-leukemic action of statins. Treatment with low concentrations (≤6 µM) of statins, cholesterol depletion, and specific inhibition of cholesterol synthesis and protein farnesylation or geranylgeranylation, all inhibited proliferation of leukemic cell lines and primary leukemic cells without inducing overt cell death. Statins and agents that selectively reduce intracellular cholesterol levels, but not the inhibition of protein farnesylation or geranylgeranylation, induced autophagy in leukemic cells. The observed autophagic response was associated with the reduction of phosphorylated Akt levels in the lipid rafts, accompanied by a decrease in the activation of the main autophagy suppressor mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its substrate ribosomal p70S6 kinase (p70S6K). No significant autophagy induction and downregulation of mTOR/p70S6K activation were observed in normal leukocytes. Autophagy suppression by bafilomycin A1 or RNA interference-mediated knockdown of beclin-1 and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3B induced apoptotic death in statin-treated leukemic cells, an effect attenuated by the addition of mevalonate or squalene, but not farnesylpyrophosphate or geranylgeranylpyrophosphate. Therefore, while the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, protein farnesylation, and geranylgeranylation all contributed to anti-leukemic effects of statins, the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis was solely responsible for the induction of cytoprotective autophagy. These data indicate that combined treatment with statins and autophagy inhibitors might be potentially useful in anti-leukemic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.09.004DOI Listing
October 2015

Myeloid sarcoma of the skin in a patient with myelodysplastic syndrome.

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat 2015 ;23(2):134-7

Darko Antic, MD, Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center Serbia, Koste Todorovića 2, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia;

We report the case of a 76-year-old woman who presented with asymptomatic extensive erythematous. Firm plaques were noted over the right cheek. Complete blood count was normal, as was a peripheral smear. An excision biopsy taken from the cheek showed infiltration of the dermis and hypodermis with atypical cells which were strongly positive for human leukocyte antigen (HLA-DR) and lysozyme and were moderately myeloperoxidase (MPO) enzyme. The results of immunohistochemical staining for CD34, CD117, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD23, CD56, and ALK-1 were negative. Bone marrow analysis indicated myelodysplastic syndrome RAEB 1 while cytogenetic finding showed tetrasomy 8. It was recommended that the patient undergo local radiotherapy of skin lesions, but she refused and was lost to follow-up.
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January 2017

BCL2 positive and BCL6 negative diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients benefit from R-CHOP therapy irrespective of germinal and non germinal center B cell like subtypes.

J BUON 2015 May-Jun;20(3):820-8

Department of Pathology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Purpose: Despite major advances in the treatment of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), approximately one third of the patients progress or die, suggesting the existence of additional oncogenic events. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of the "Hans classifier", and BCL2 and MYC protein expression and gene alterations in DLBCL patients treated with CHOP or R-CHOP chemotherapy over a 5-year period. Furthermore, we tried to correlate these parameters with the International Prognostic Index (IPI).

Methods: The immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of CD10, BCL6, MUM1 and BCL2 on paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tumor samples from 103 centroblastic DLBCLs was analyzed. IHC expression of MYC and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for MYC and BCL2 gene alterations was performed on 67 samples using the tissue microarray (TMA) method.

Results: The Hans algorithm was not predictive of survival in both therapy groups. No significant difference in BCL2 and MYC alterations or MYC protein expression in relation to complete response (CR), event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) was observed in our study. High IPI correlated significantly with poor outcome and it was identified as independent prognostic factor for OS and EFS (both p=0.000). The 5-year OS was 61% in the R-CHOP compared to 38% in the CHOP group (p=0.007). Rituximab significantly improved the OS in the BCL2 positive (60 vs 29%, p=0.008), and the BCL6 negative (73 vs 25%, p=0.001) cases.

Conclusion: IPI is an independent prognosticator for DL-BCL patients and the addition of rituximab significantly improved survival. Furthermore, patients with BCL2+ and BCL6-DLBCL benefited from R-CHOP.
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August 2015

Diagnostic challenges during pretreatment long-term follow-up in a patient with FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive eosinophilia.

Intern Med 2015 15;54(6):637-42. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Serbia.

Obtaining a precise characterization of eosinophilia is crucial, as successful treatment relies on the underlying etiology of the disease. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha-related disorders were first specified in 2008 as a distinct group of clonal eosinophilic disorders with exceptional responsiveness to imatinib. We herein present the case of a man with myeloid neoplasm and eosinophilia in whom a definitive diagnosis could not be adequately made based on histopathological features who was ultimately diagnosed only after extensive molecular analyses and successfully treated with imatinib. In addition, we discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to treating patients presenting with eosinophilia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2169/internalmedicine.54.2258DOI Listing
September 2015

Thrombotic events in acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Thromb Res 2015 Apr 4;135(4):588-93. Epub 2014 Dec 4.

Clinic of Hematology CCS, Belgrade, Koste Todorovica 2 Serbia; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Dr Subotica 8 Belgrade, Serbia.

Introduction: Thrombotic events (TE) appear to be more common in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) than in other acute leukemias, with reported prevalence ranging from 2 to 10-15%.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data on TE appearance in 63 APL patients.

Results: TE occured in 13 (20.6%) cases, four arterial (6.3%) and nine venous (14.3%). TE were more frequently diagnosed after initiation of weekly D-dimer monitoring (7 TE during 20 months vs 6 during 76 months, P=0.032). Patients with and without venous thrombosis were significantly different regarding female/male ratio (P=0.046), PT (P=0.022), aPTT (P=0.044), ISTH DIC score (P=0.001), bcr3 (P=0.02) and FLT3-ITD (P=0.028) mutation. The most significant risk factor for venous TE occurrence in multivariate analysis was FLT3-ITD mutation (P=0.034). PAI-1 4G/4G polymorphism was five times more frequent in patients with venous TE than without it (P=0.05). Regarding risk factors for arterial TE we failed to identify any.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated that APL-related TE rate is higher than previously reported and that weekly D-dimer monitoring might help to identify patients with silent thrombosis. Moreover, our study suggests a possible relationship between venous TE occurrence and several laboratory findings (PT, aPTT, ISTH DIC score, bcr3 isoform, FLT3-ITD mutation and PAI 4G/4G). Prophylactic use of heparin might be considered in patients with ISTH DIC score<5, bcr3 isoform, FLT3-ITD mutation and PAI 4G/4G.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2014.11.026DOI Listing
April 2015

Idarubicin induces mTOR-dependent cytotoxic autophagy in leukemic cells.

Exp Cell Res 2014 Aug 5;326(1):90-102. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Institute for Biological Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Despot Stefan Blvd. 142, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:

We investigated if the antileukemic drug idarubicin induces autophagy, a process of programmed cellular self-digestion, in leukemic cell lines and primary leukemic cells. Transmission electron microscopy and acridine orange staining demonstrated the presence of autophagic vesicles and intracellular acidification, respectively, in idarubicin-treated REH leukemic cell line. Idarubicin increased punctuation/aggregation of microtubule-associated light chain 3B (LC3B), enhanced the conversion of LC3B-I to autophagosome-associated LC3B-II in the presence of proteolysis inhibitors, and promoted the degradation of the selective autophagic target p62, thus indicating the increase in autophagic flux. Idarubicin inhibited the phosphorylation of the main autophagy repressor mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its downstream target p70S6 kinase. The treatment with the mTOR activator leucine prevented idarubicin-mediated autophagy induction. Idarubicin-induced mTOR repression was associated with the activation of the mTOR inhibitor AMP-activated protein kinase and down-regulation of the mTOR activator Akt. The suppression of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or LC3B and beclin-1 genetic knockdown rescued REH cells from idarubicin-mediated oxidative stress, mitochondrial depolarization, caspase activation and apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Idarubicin also caused mTOR inhibition and cytotoxic autophagy in K562 leukemic cell line and leukocytes from chronic myeloid leukemia patients, but not healthy controls. By demonstrating mTOR-dependent cytotoxic autophagy in idarubicin-treated leukemic cells, our results warrant caution when considering combining idarubicin with autophagy inhibitors in leukemia therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.05.021DOI Listing
August 2014

The role of immunophenotyping in differential diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Srp Arh Celok Lek 2014 Mar-Apr;142(3-4):197-203

Introduction: Accurate diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) acquires immunophenotyping by flow cytometry in order to facilitate differential diagnosis between CLL and other mature B-cell neoplasms (MBCN).

Objective: The aim of this study was to define immunological profile of CLL cells.

Methods: Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry was performed on peripheral blood specimens at diagnosis in the group of 211 patients with de novo MBCN.

Results: Absolute count of B-cells was significantly increased in all MBCN patients comparing to healthy control group (p < 0.05). B-cell monoclonality was detected in 96% of all MBCN patients, by using surface immunoglobulin (sIg) light chain restriction. B-cell antigens, CD19, CD20, CD22, were expressed with very high frequency in CLL and other MBCN. In comparison with other MBCN, in CLL group, the frequency of expression was higher for CD5 and CD23 (p < 0.0001), though lower for FMC7 antigen (p < 0.0001). CLL patients were characterized by lower expression patterns of CD20, CD22, CD79b, and sIg (p < 0.0001) as well as higher expression pattern of CD5 antigen (p < 0.05). Correlation between the final diagnosis of MBCN and values of CLL scoring system showed that the majority of CLL patients (97%) had higher values (5 or 4) whereas the majority of other MBCN patients (96%) had lower score values (0-3).

Conclusion: Our results have shown that characteristic immunophenotype which differentiates CLL from other MBCN is defined by following marker combination--CD19+ CD20(+Iow) CD22(+low) CD5(+high) CD23+ FMC7-CD79b(+Iow) sIg(+Iow). CLL score values of 5 or 4 points are highly suggestive for diagnosis of CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/sarh1404197dDOI Listing
October 2015

A single institution experience on 314 newly diagnosed advanced Hodgkin lymphoma patients: the role of ABVD in daily practice.

Eur J Haematol 2014 Nov 26;93(5):392-9. Epub 2014 May 26.

Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Based on the results of clinical trials, there is no global consensus on the optimal first-line therapy for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) with both ABVD and BEACOPP currently being used. However, the results of clinical trials are usually better than those in daily practice. We thus describe here our experience on 314 advanced classical HL patients treated with ABVD at the Clinical Center of Serbia and associated centers between 1997 and 2008. The median follow-up for all patients was 91 months; the estimated 5-yr event-free survival was 62% and the 5-yr overall survival (OS) 76%. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that patients with IPS ≥ 3 and extranodal disease involving more than one site have a poorer outcome. The data presented here show on overall improvement in outcome as compared to more previous data and illustrate the problems of treating advanced stage HL outside the setting of a clinical trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12364DOI Listing
November 2014

Inhibition of mTOR-dependent autophagy sensitizes leukemic cells to cytarabine-induced apoptotic death.

PLoS One 2014 8;9(4):e94374. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Institute for Biological Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

The present study investigated the role of autophagy, a cellular self-digestion process, in the cytotoxicity of antileukemic drug cytarabine towards human leukemic cell lines (REH, HL-60, MOLT-4) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from leukemic patients. The induction of autophagy was confirmed by acridine orange staining of intracellular acidic vesicles, electron microscopy visualization of autophagic vacuoles, as well as by the increase in autophagic proteolysis and autophagic flux, demonstrated by immunoblot analysis of p62 downregulation and LC3-I conversion to autophagosome-associated LC3-II in the presence of proteolysis inhibitors, respectively. Moreover, the expression of autophagy-related genes Atg4, Atg5 and Atg7 was stimulated by cytarabine in REH cells. Cytarabine reduced the phosphorylation of the major negative regulator of autophagy, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and its downstream target p70S6 kinase in REH cells, which was associated with downregulation of mTOR activator Akt and activation of extracellular signal- regulated kinase. Cytarabine had no effect on the activation of mTOR inhibitor AMP-activated protein kinase. Leucine, an mTOR activator, reduced both cytarabine-induced autophagy and cytotoxicity. Accordingly, pharmacological downregulation of autophagy with bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine, or RNA interference-mediated knockdown of LC3β or p62, markedly increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial depolarization, caspase activation and subsequent DNA fragmentation and apoptotic death in cytarabine-treated REH cells. Cytarabine also induced mTOR-dependent cytoprotective autophagy in HL-60 and MOLT-4 leukemic cell lines, as well as primary leukemic cells, but not normal leukocytes. These data suggest that the therapeutic efficiency of cytarabine in leukemic patients could be increased by the inhibition of the mTOR-dependent autophagic response.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0094374PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3979773PMC
December 2014

Higher percentage of in vitro apoptotic cells at time of diagnosis in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia indicate earlier treatment requirement: ten years follow up.

Srp Arh Celok Lek 2014 Jan-Feb;142(1-2):48-53

Introduction: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has an extremely variable clinical course. Biological reasons for that wide variation in clinical course and survival rates in CLL patients are not fully understood.

Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the value of spontaneous apoptosis of CLL cells in vitro determined at presentation of disease, in prediction of treatment requirements and evolution of the CLL.

Methods: Malignant B cells were isolated from the whole blood of 30 newly diagnosed CLL patients and cultured for 24 hours in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% of serum obtained from the same CLL patient. Cells were later fixed and processed for embedding in Epon, or cell smears were prepared and stained with TUNEL technique.

Results: Ten-year follow-up revealed that patients with lower percentage of cells in apoptosis at presentation of disease had significant longer time treatment initiation (log rank test p < 0.05). On the contrary, apoptosis of CLL cells was not shown to have significant impact on survival of patients (Kaplan Meier log rank test p > 0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this study emphasize the importance of apoptosis of CLL cells at the time of the initial diagnosis in pathobiology of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/sarh1402048kDOI Listing
October 2015

Contribution of comorbidities and grade of bone marrow fibrosis to the prognosis of survival in patients with primary myelofibrosis.

Med Oncol 2014 Mar 6;31(3):869. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Koste Todorovica 2, 11 000, Belgrade, Serbia,

The widely used current International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) for primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is based on clinical parameters. The objective of this study was to identify additional prognostic factors at the time of diagnosis, which could have an impact on the future treatment of patients with PMF. We conducted a study of 131 consecutive PMF patients with median follow-up of 44 months. Data on baseline demographics, clinical and laboratory parameters, IPSS, grade of bone marrow fibrosis (MF), as well as influence of concomitant comorbidities were analyzed in terms of survival. Comorbidity was assessed using the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 (ACE-27) score and the hematopoietic cell transplantation comorbidity index. An improved prognostic model of survival was obtained by deploying the MF and ACE-27 to the IPSS. A multivariable regression analyses confirmed the statistical significance of IPSS (P<0.001, HR 3.754, 95% CI 2.130-6.615), MF>1 (P=0.001, HR 2.694, 95% CI 1.466-4.951) and ACE-27 (P<0.001, HR 4.141, 95% CI 2.322-7.386) in predicting the survival of patients with PMF. When the IPSS was modified with MF and ACE-27, the final prognostic model for overall survival was stratified as low (score 0-1), intermediate (score 2-3) and high risk (score 4-6) with median survival of not reached, 115 and 22 months, respectively (P<0.001). Our findings indicate that the combination of histological changes, comorbidity assessment and clinical parameters at the time of diagnosis allows better discrimination of patients in survival prognostic groups and helps to identify high-risk patients for a poor outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-014-0869-8DOI Listing
March 2014

International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis Scoring System for disseminated intravascular coagulation ≥ 6: a new predictor of hemorrhagic early death in acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Med Oncol 2013 Mar 31;30(1):478. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Clinic of Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

High-hemorrhagic early death (ED) rate is a major impediment in the managing of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). In our group of 56 newly diagnosed APL patients, ED occurred in 12 subjects, due to endocranial bleeding (8/12), differentiation syndrome (2/12), or infection (2/12). Predictors of hemorrhagic ED were as follows: white blood cells count ≥ 20 × 10(9)/L (P = 0.002337), Eastern cooperative oncology group performance status ≥ 3 (P = 0.00173), fibrinogen level <2 g/L (P = 0.004907), prothrombin time <50% (P = 0.0124), and International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis Scoring System for disseminated intravascular coagulation (ISTH DIC score) ≥ 6 (P = 0.00741). Multivariate analysis indicated ISTH DIC score ≥ 6 to be the most significant predictor for hemorrhagic ED (P = 0.008). The main finding of this study is that simple coagulation-related tests, performed on hospital admission and combined in the ISTH DIC score, might help to identify patients at high risk for fatal bleeding needing more aggressive supportive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-013-0478-yDOI Listing
March 2013

Prognostic significance of Bcl-2, tumor-associated macrophages, and total neoplastic and inflammatory lymph node involvement in advanced stage classical Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Onkologie 2012 20;35(12):733-9. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Clinic for Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Although Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is a curable cancer, current treatment strategies based on risk stratification and response modulation are not precise enough. The predictive power of biological and morphological parameters is controversial, with prognostic models not reaching wide acceptance.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed the prognostic relevance of 8 parameters in 85 advanced stage classical HL patients, in order to determine whether tissue-based variables could add prognostic value to standard clinical parameters, thus contributing to better risk stratification at presentation.

Results: Univariate analysis confirmed 5 indicators of shorter overall survival (OS): Bcl-2 overexpression; increased CD68+ tumor-associated macrophages (TAM); international prognostic score (IPS) > 2; bulky disease; and total lymph node involvement (TLNI) with regard to neoplastic and inflammatory cells. Apart from TLNI, these parameters influenced lower event-free survival (EFS). Multivariate analysis identified 5 independent factors for OS: Bcl-2 overexpression; increased CD68+ TAM; TLNI; IPS > 2; and bulky disease. Increased CD68+ TAM, IPS > 2, and bulky disease affected the EFS. Utilizing the cumulative score of unfavorable prognostic factors for OS, we designed a prognostic model stratifying patients into 4 risk groups (with 0-1, 2, 3, or 4-5 factors), each with progressively reduced OS (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings support the combination of tissue-based variables with clinical parameters at diagnosis, identifying patients who are at higher risk of poor outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000343664DOI Listing
June 2013

Concomitant aberrant methylation of p15 and MGMT genes in acute myeloid leukemia: association with a particular immunophenotype of blast cells.

Med Oncol 2012 Dec 7;29(5):3547-56. Epub 2012 Jul 7.

Clinic of Hematology, Clinical Center of Serbia, 11000, Belgrade, Serbia.

In this study, methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR) was used to define the methylation status of the target promoter sequences of p15 and MGMT genes in the group of 21 adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The incidence of aberrant hypermethylation of p15 gene (71 %) was higher comparing to MGMT gene (33 %), whereas concomitant methylation of both genes had 24 % of the patients. Although the incidence of cytogenetic abnormalities between the groups with a different methylation status of p15 and/or MGMT genes was not significantly different, we observed general trend of clustering of abnormalities with adverse prognosis into groups with concomitant hypermethylation of both genes and only p15 gene. Also, we showed that AML patients with concomitant methylation of p15/MGMT genes had a higher proportion of leukemic blast cells characterized with specific expression of individual leukocyte surface antigens (CD117(+)/CD7(+)/CD34(+)/CD15(-)), indicating leukemic cells as early myeloid progenitors. Although we could not prove that hypermethylation of p15 and/or MGMT genes is predictive parameter for response to therapy and overall survival, we noticed that AML patients with comethylated p15/MGMT genes or methylated p15 gene exhibited a higher frequency of early death, lower frequency of complete remissions as well as a trend for shorter overall survival. Assessing of the methylation status of p15 and MGMT genes may allow stratification of patients with AML into distinct groups with potentially different prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-012-0289-6DOI Listing
December 2012

High-dose imatinib induction followed by standard-dose maintenance in pre-treated chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia patients--final analysis of a randomized, multicenter, phase III trial.

Haematologica 2012 Oct 17;97(10):1562-9. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Central European Leukemia Study Group, Internal Medicine V, Hematology and Oncology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Background: Previous data suggest that the response of chronic myeloid leukemia cells to imatinib is dose-dependent. The potential benefit of initial dose intensification of imatinib in pre-treated patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia remains unknown.

Design And Methods: Two hundred and twenty-seven pre-treated patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase were randomly assigned to continuous treatment with a standard dose of imatinib (400 mg/day; n=113) or to 6 months of high-dose induction with imatinib (800 mg/day) followed by a standard dose of imatinib as maintenance therapy (n=114).

Results: The rates of major and complete cytogenetic responses were significantly higher in the high-dose arm than in the standard-dose arm at both 3 and 6 months (major cytogenetic responses: 36.8% versus 21.2%, P=0.01 and 50.0% versus 34.5%, P=0.018; complete cytogenetic responses: 22.8% versus 6.2%, P<0.001 and 40.4% versus 16.8%, P<0.001) on the basis of an intention-to-treat analysis. At 12 months, the difference between treatment arms remained statistically significant for complete cytogenetic responses (40.4% versus 24.8%, P=0.012) but not for major cytogenetic responses (49.1% versus 44.2%, P=0.462). The rate of major molecular responses was also significantly better at 3 and 6 months in the high-dose arm (month 3: 14.9% versus 3.5%, P=0.003; month 6: 32.5% versus 8.8%, P<0.001). Overall and progression-free survival rates were comparable between arms, but event-free survival was significantly worse in the high-dose arm (P=0.014).

Conclusions: Standard-dose imatinib remains the standard of care for pre-treated patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00327262).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2011.060087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3487557PMC
October 2012
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