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Dufour C.,Clinical and Experimental Hematology Unit | Pillon M.,University of Padua | Passweg J.,University of Basel | Socie G.,Hospital St. Louis | And 15 more authors.

We analyzed the outcome of 537 adolescents (age 12-18 years) with idiopathic aplastic anemia included in the database of the Severe Aplastic Anemia Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation comparing: i) matched family donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation performed as firstline treatment with ii) front-line immunosuppressive therapy not followed by subsequent transplant given for failure and with iii) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation performed after failed front-line immunosuppressive therapy. Overall survival was 86% in the matched family donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation group, 90% in patients given front-line immunosuppressive alone (those who did not fail this treatment and who did not receive subsequent rescue with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) and 78% in subjects who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation post failed front-line immunosuppressive therapy (P=0.14). Event-free survival in the same groups was respectively 83%, 64% and 71% (P=0.04). Cumulative incidence of rejection was 8% in matched family donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and 9% in transplants post failed front-line immunosuppression (P=0.62). Cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease was 12% in matched family donor transplants and 18% in transplants post failed immunosuppression (P=0.18). Chronic graft-versus-host disease was higher in matched family donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (8%) than in transplants post failed immunosuppressive therapy (20%) (P=0.0009). Cumulative incidence of post-therapy malignancies was 0.7% in matched family donor transplantations, 7% in transplantations post failed immunosuppression and 21% after front-line immunosuppression (P=0.0017). In the whole cohort, under multivariate analysis, the diagnosis to treatment interval of two months or under positively affected overall survival whereas up-front immunosuppression alone (with no subsequent rescue transplants) negatively affected event-free survival. In transplanted patients an interval from diagnosis to treatment of 2 months or under, bone marrow as source of cells and first-line matched family donor transplants provided a significant advantage in overall and event-free survival. Aplastic anemia in adolescents has a very good outcome. If a matched family donor is available, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation using bone marrow cells is the first choice treatment. If such a donor is not available, immunosuppressive treatment may still be an acceptable second choice, also because, in case of failure, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a very good rescue option. © 2014 Ferrata Storti Foundation. Source

Mattioli C.,International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Trieste | Pianigiani G.,International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Trieste | De Rocco D.,Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Bianco A.M.R.,Institute for Maternal and Child Health | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease

The pathological role of mutations that affect not conserved splicing regulatory sequences can be difficult to determine. In a patient with Fanconi anemia, we identified two unpredictable splicing mutations that act on either sides of FANCA exon 8. In patients-derived cells and in minigene splicing assay, we showed that both an apparently benign intronic c.710-5T>C transition and the nonsense c.790C>T substitution induce almost complete exon 8 skipping. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicated that the c.710-5T>C transition affects a polypyrimidine tract where most of the thymidines cannot be compensated by cytidines. The c.790C>T mutation located in position - 3 relative to the donor site induce exon 8 skipping in an NMD-independent manner and complementation experiments with modified U1 snRNAs showed that U1 snRNP is only partially involved in the splicing defect. Our results highlight the importance of performing splicing functional assay for correct identification of disease-causing mechanism of genomic variants and provide mechanistic insights on how these two FANCA mutations affect exon 8 definition. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Cangemi G.,Clinical Pathology Laboratory Unit | Pistorio A.,Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit | Miano M.,Clinical and Experimental Hematology Unit | Gattorno M.,Pediatric Rheumatology Unit | And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Haematology

Objectives: Hepcidin, a peptide hormone released by hepatocytes into circulation is the main regulator of dietary iron absorption and cellular iron release. Although commercial tests are available, assay harmonization for hepcidin has not been yet reached, making reference intervals and consequent clinical decisions still elusive for each assay and specific population. The aim of this study is to set up hepcidin measurement in pediatric age and to investigate its potential usefulness in the diagnosis and management of iron disorders in children. Methods: Serum hepcidin was measured by using an automated commercial immunoassay. Reference values were obtained from 86 healthy children. Hepcidin was then evaluated in 52 children with diseases where this hormone was expected to be differently regulated. Results: Hepcidin values were 43.6 ng/mL median; 32-52.7 1-3 q: in males and 36.4 ng/mL median; 28.5-45.7 1-3 q: in females (P = 0.039). Hepcidin was significantly higher in postpubertal normal females than in normal males. Hepcidin resulted up-regulated in anemia of chronic disease of children affected by systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and decreased after treatment with anakinra, an anti-interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. In iron deficiency anemia patients on oral iron supplementation and in β-thalassemia subjects, hepcidin levels were similar to those found in healthy subjects. Conclusions: This study sets up reference values for pediatric population and shows that in normal controls serum hepcidin react differently to puberty in females vs. males. In addition, it suggests that serum hepcidin may discriminate microcytic inflammatory anemia of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis from iron deficiency anemia. Overall these findings may represent a helpful tool for future studies tailored to understand the role of hepcidin in management of iron disorders in children. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Liu G.-H.,CAS Institute of Biophysics | Liu G.-H.,Salk Institute for Biological Studies | Liu G.-H.,Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders | Suzuki K.,Salk Institute for Biological Studies | And 33 more authors.
Nature Communications

Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a recessive disorder characterized by genomic instability, congenital abnormalities, cancer predisposition and bone marrow (BM) failure. However, the pathogenesis of FA is not fully understood partly due to the limitations of current disease models. Here, we derive integration free-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from an FA patient without genetic complementation and report in situ gene correction in FA-iPSCs as well as the generation of isogenic FANCA-deficient human embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. FA cellular phenotypes are recapitulated in iPSCs/ESCs and their adult stem/progenitor cell derivatives. By using isogenic pathogenic mutation-free controls as well as cellular and genomic tools, our model serves to facilitate the discovery of novel disease features. We validate our model as a drug-screening platform by identifying several compounds that improve hematopoietic differentiation of FA-iPSCs. These compounds are also able to rescue the hematopoietic phenotype of FA patient BM cells. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Dufour C.,Clinical and Experimental Hematology Unit | Svahn J.,Clinical and Experimental Hematology Unit | Bacigalupo A.,San Martino Hospital
Bone Marrow Transplantation

In this article, front-line immunosuppressive therapy (IST) for acquired plastic anemia (AA) is illustrated and discussed. Also second-line and salvage options are briefly illustrated. First-line IST should consist of horse anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) and CsA that has been shown to result in response rates between 60 and 80%. CsA should be given for 12 months until transfusion independence is achieved and then tapered very slowly in the presence of a CR. Patients with a partial response are usually continued on CsA. Tight monitoring of the blood count during CsA tapering is necessary to identify early loss of response. G-CSF 5 μg/kg/day s.c. in the first 30 days has been shown to reduce infections and hospitalization and to identify early responders, as those who achieve neutrophils count of≥0.5 × 10 9 /L by day +30. This schedule is recommended in the first month of therapy. Afterward, G-CSF can be considered in neutropenic febrile episodes. Patients not achieving transfusion independence after a first course of IST may be considered for second-line IST, or for an allogeneic hematopoietic SCT depending on patient age, ongoing infection, neutrophil count and transfusion requirements. Third-line IST is rarely given, but some options are discussed. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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