Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Acute promyelocytic leukemia has good prognosis in view of the high complete remission and survival rates achieved with therapies containing all-trans retinoic acid or arsenic trioxide. However, there is a significant risk of death during induction due to hemorrhage secondary to disseminated intravascular coagulation. This has contributed to a gap in the prognosis of patients between developed and developing countries. The International Consortium on Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia was created in 2005 and proposed a treatment protocol based on daunorubicin and all-trans retinoic acid stratified by risk geared toward developing countries. Herein are presented the results from the first patient cohort treated in a single developing country hospital employing a slightly modified version of the International Consortium protocol in a real life setting. Twenty patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia were enrolled: 27.8% had low-risk, 55.6% intermediate risk and 16.7% high-risk. The complete remission rate was 94.4% after a median of 42 days. Both relapse rates and death rates were one patient (5.5%) each. No deaths were observed during consolidation. After a median follow-up of 29 months, the overall survival rate was 89.1%. Efficacy and safety of the International Consortium on Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia protocol has been reproduced in acute promyelocytic leukemia patients from a developing country.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Background: Acute myeloid leukemia presenting the MYST3-CREBBP fusion gene is a rare subgroup associated with hemophagocytosis in early infancy and monocytic differentiation. The aim of this study was to define the relevant molecular cytogenetic characteristics of a unique series of early infancy acute myeloid leukemia cases (≤24 months old), based on the presence of hemophagocytosis by blast cells at diagnosis. Methods: A series of 266 infant cases of acute myeloid leukemia was the reference cohort for the present analysis. Acute myeloid leukemia cases with hemophagocytosis by blast cells were reviewed to investigate the presence of the MYST3-CREBBP fusion gene by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results: Eleven cases with hemophagocytosis were identified with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis being ruled out. Six cases were classified as myelomonocytic leukemia, three as AML-M7 and two as AML-M2. In five cases, the presence of the MYST3-CREBBP fusion gene identified by molecular cytogenetics was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. All patients received treatment according to the Berlin-Frankfürt-Münster acute myeloid leukemia protocols and only one out of the five patients with the MYST3-CREBBP fusion gene is still alive. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the presence of hemophagocytosis in acute myeloid leukemia was not exclusively associated to the MYST3-CREBBP fusion gene. Improvements in molecular cytogenetics may help to elucidate more complex chromosomal rearrangements in infants with acute myeloid leukemia and hemophagocytosis.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Background: The autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation procedure involves immunosuppression of the patient. Thus, the patient has an elevated risk for several diseases, such as infections with the varicella-zoster virus. Prevention protocols have been proposed based on the use of acyclovir from the first day of conditioning, and maintaining this drug for 30-100 days after the procedure or for as much as one year. The objective of this work was to evaluate the incidence of herpes zoster after autologous transplantations related to the early suspension of acyclovir. Methods: A retrospective study was carried out based on the collection of data from 231 medical records of transplant patients in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of the teaching hospital of the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora in the period between 2004 and 2014. Results: Fourteen (6.1%) patients had herpes zoster in the post-transplant period on average within six months of the procedure. Patients with multiple myeloma (64.3%) were the most affected. There was a statistically significant difference in the age of the patients, with older individuals having a greater chance of developing the infection (p-value = 0.002). There were no significant differences for the other variables analyzed. Conclusion: The early suspension of acyclovir can be safe in patients who receive autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplants. However some groups may benefit from extended prophylaxis with acyclovir, particularly older patients and patients with multiple myeloma.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Background: Cyclophosphamide plus thalidomide as induction for multiple myeloma patients eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation may be a limiting factor for cell mobilization. The minimum acceptable mobilized peripheral blood stem cell count to prevent deleterious effects during transplantation is 2.0 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg. Combining other treatments to granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, such as cyclophosphamide, could overcome the mobilization limitation. The objective of this study was to assess the number of CD34+ cells mobilized using granulocyte-colony stimulating factor with and without cyclophosphamide after induction with cyclophosphamide, thalidomide and dexamethasone. Methods: A retrospective study was performed of a cohort of multiple myeloma patients submitted to autologous stem cell transplantations at two Brazilian centers between May 2009 and July 2013. The oral cyclophosphamide and thalidomide induction doses used were 1500 mg/month and 100-200 mg/day, respectively. Mobilization doses were 10-15 mcg/kg granulocyte-colony stimulating factor with 2-4 g/m2 cyclophosphamide, or 15-20 mcg/kg granulocyte-colony stimulating factor alone for 5 days. Collection of >2.0 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg was considered sufficient. Results: Eighty-eight patients were analyzed; only 18 received cyclophosphamide. The median age was 58 years old (range: 51-62) for the granulocyte-colony stimulating factor group and 56.5 years old (range: 54-60) for granulocyte-colony stimulating factor plus cyclophosphamide group. Fifty-two patients were male. Eighty cases (90.9%) were Durie-Salmon Staging System III-A/B and 38 (44.7%) and 20 cases (23.5%) were International Staging System 2 and 3, respectively. The group that received cyclophosphamide collected a higher median number of progenitor cells [3.8 (range: 3.1-4.4) vs. 3.2 (range: 2.3-3.8)] (p-value = 0.008). No correlation was observed between better responses or number of induction cycles and the number of cells collected. Conclusion: The number of cells mobilized with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor plus cyclophosphamide was higher. However, in both groups, the median number of CD34+ cells was sufficient to perform a single autologous stem cell transplantation; no deleterious effects were reported during harvesting.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: The immature platelet and immature reticulocyte fractions represent the ratios of platelets and reticulocytes recently released into the circulation and thus with higher RNA content. They are considered early indicators of bone marrow recovery. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the reference ranges for the immature platelet and reticulocyte fractions of hematologically normal individuals in a university hospital. Methods: Venous blood samples collected in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid K3 were analyzed using a Sysmex XE-5000™ analyzer. Individuals with platelet and reticulocyte counts within the reference ranges, and a blood count within the laboratory's screening criteria were included. Individuals with clinical conditions that could affect hematological results were excluded. The immature platelet fraction, high, medium and low fluorescence reticulocyte fractions and reticulocyte hemoglobin equivalent were evaluated. The reference ranges were determined according to the recommendations of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry. Results: One hundred and thirty-two outpatients were evaluated. The mean age was 44 years (range: 13-80 years), 72 (54.5%) were women treated in a university hospital. The mean platelet count was 250.8 × 109/L and the mean reticulocyte count was 0.052 × 109/L. The following reference ranges were obtained: immature reticulocyte fraction 1.6-12.1%, the high, medium and low fluorescence reticulocyte fractions were 0.0-1.7%, 1.6-11.0% and 87.9-98.4%, respectively, the reticulocyte hemoglobin equivalent was 30.0-37.6% and immature platelet fraction was 0.8-5.6%. There was a statistically significant difference (p-value = 0.006) between genders in respect to the immature platelet fraction with 0.8-4.7% for females and 0.7-6.1% for males. The immature reticulocyte fraction was directly correlated with the reticulocyte count. Conclusion: Determining the reference range is critical to the introduction of a new parameter. The reference ranges obtained herein corroborate those reported in previous publications and will contribute to the clinical and laboratory application of the indices.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation offers the opportunity for extended survival in patients with Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin lymphomas who relapsed after, or were deemed ineligible for, autologous transplantation. This study reports the cumulative experience of a single center over the past 14 years aiming to define the impact of patient, disease, and transplant-related characteristics on outcomes. Methods: All patients with histologically confirmed diagnosis of Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin lymphomas who received allogeneic transplantation from 2000 to 2014 were retrospectively studied. Results: Forty-one patients were reviewed: 10 (24%) had Hodgkin's and 31 (76%) had non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The median age was 50 years and 23 (56%) were male. The majority of patients (68%) had had a prior autologous transplantation. At the time of allogeneic transplantation, 18 (43%) patients were in complete and seven (17%) were in partial remission. Most (95%) patients received reduced-intensity conditioning, 49% received matched sibling donor grafts, 24% matched-unrelated donor grafts, and 27% received double umbilical cord blood grafts. The 100-day treatment-related mortality rate was 12%. After a median duration of follow up of 17.1 months, the median progression-free and overall survival was 40.5 and 95.8 months, respectively. On multivariate analysis, patients who had active disease at the time of transplant had inferior survival. Conclusions: Allogeneic transplantation results extend survival in selected patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin lymphomas with low treatment-related mortality. Patients who have active disease at the time of allogeneic transplantation have poor outcomes.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Background: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a group of malignant clonal hematologic disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and propensity for progression to acute myeloid leukemia. Acquired mutations in the gene encoding RNA splicing factor 3B subunit 1 (SF3B1) are highly associated with the MDS subtypes presenting ring sideroblasts, and represent a specific nosological entity. The effects of these mutations on clinical outcomes are diverse and contrasting. Methods: A cohort of 91 Brazilian MDS patients, including patients with ring sideroblasts in the bone marrow, were screened for mutations in the SF3B1 hotspots (exons 12-15) by direct Sanger sequencing. Results: SF3B1 heterozygous mutations were identified in six patients (7%), all of them with ring sideroblasts, thus confirming the association between SF3B1 mutations and myelodysplastic syndrome subtypes bearing this morphologic feature (frequency of 6/13, p-value < 0.0001). Conclusion: This is the first screening of SF3B1 mutations in a cohort of Brazilian myelodysplastic syndrome patients. Our findings confirm that mutations in this splicing gene correlate with bone marrow ringed sideroblasts.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Anemia is a frequent complication in cancer patients, both at diagnosis and during treatment, with a multifactorial etiology in most cases. Iron deficiency is among the most common causes of anemia in this setting and can develop in nearly half of patients with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Surprisingly, this fact is usually neglected by the attending physician in a way that proper and prompt investigation of the iron status is either not performed or postponed. In cancer patients, functional iron deficiency is the predominant mechanism, in which iron availability is reduced due to disease or the therapy-related inflammatory process. Hence, serum ferritin is not reliable in detecting iron deficiency in this setting, whereas transferrin saturation seems more appropriate for this purpose. Besides, lack of bioavailable iron can be further worsened by the use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents that increase iron utilization in the bone marrow. Iron deficiency can cause anemia or worsen pre-existing anemia, leading to a decline in performance status and adherence to treatment, with possible implications in clinical outcome. Due to its frequency and importance, treatment of this condition is already recommended in many specialty guidelines and should be performed preferably with intravenous iron. The evidences regarding the efficacy of this treatment are solid, with response gain when combined with erythropoiesis stimulating agents and significant increments in hemoglobin as monotherapy. Among intravenous iron formulations, slow release preparations present more favorable pharmacological characteristics and efficacy in cancer patients.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT ABO, H, secretor and Lewis histo-blood system genes control the expression of part of the carbohydrate repertoire present in areas of the body occupied by microorganisms. These carbohydrates, besides having great structural diversity, act as potential receptors for pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms influencing susceptibility and resistance to infection and illness. Despite the knowledge of some structural variability of these carbohydrate antigens and their polymorphic levels of expression in tissue and exocrine secretions, little is known about their biological importance and potential applications in medicine. This review highlights the structural diversity, the biological importance and potential applications of ABO, H, Lewis and secretor histo-blood carbohydrates.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is characterized by clonal proliferation and progressive accumulation of B-cell lymphocytes that typically express CD19+, CD5+ and CD23+. The lymphocytes usually infiltrate the bone marrow, peripheral blood, lymph nodes, and spleen. The diagnosis is established by immunophenotyping circulating B-lymphocytes, and prognosis is defined by two staging systems (Rai and Binet) established by physical examination and blood counts, as well as by several biological and genetic markers. In this update, we present the recommendations from the Brazilian Group of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The following recommendations are based on an extensive literature review with the aim of contributing to more uniform patient care in Brazil and possibly in other countries with a similar social-economic profile.