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  • Author: Irina Panovska-Stavridis x
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Herein synchronous occurrence of Hodgkin lymphoma and secondary myelodysplastic syndrome in a 60 year old male patient with small cell lung cancer treated with combined chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) and radiotherapy is presented. The objective of this report is to stress the importance of documenting and monitoring adverse drug reactions that arise from chemotherapy.

After four years of treatment with the combined chemotherapy, the patient presented inguinal lymphadenopathy and enlarged lymph nodes and histopathology rapport was suggestive for plasmacytoid variant of Castleman disease. Three years later, biopsy of lymph node was performed and diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma – mixed cellularity has been established. Molecular analyses revealed presence of dominant monoclonal population of the immunoglobulin genes in the oligo/monoclonal background. Bone marrow biopsy findings suggested secondary myelodysplasia and revealed signs of hematopoietic cells dismaturation with signs of megaloblastic maturation of the erytropoetic lineage, appearance of ALIP (abnormal localization of immature precursors) in the myeloid lineage and dysplastic megakaryocytes. In addition, an increased level of polyclonal plasmacytes (lambda vs kappa was 60%:40%) was found.

Hodgkin lymphoma and MDS occurring after 4 years of carboplatin/paclitaxel therapy might be contributed to the accumulation of alkylator-related DNA damage. This emphasize the need of outlining a monitoring plan regarding development of secondary leukemia and other malignant hematological proliferations should be outlined in the protocols.


Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is one of the most serious complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation in paediatric setting. It is most commonly reported as adverse event of immunosuppressive strategies during transplantation. We present a case of a 7 years old girl with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) treated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) at our department. Diagnosis of PRES was confirmed by imaging techniques during the first month after transplant and it was very likely connected with cyclosporine neurotoxicity. The aim of this article is to present our first experience in diagnosing and treating PRES in paediatric stem cell transplantation. Our experience showed that PRES is one of the reasons for higher transplant related mortality in children. Early prediction of factors contributing to PRES and closely monitoring of patient’s vital signs, especially blood pressure, neurological status and vision are the main contributors for challenging the patient with another immunosuppressive agent that has less neurological toxicity. Still studies have to be initiated to confirm the influence of PRES on transplant outcome.


Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer. This study was designed to determine the clinical, biological features and outcomes among children with ALL treated at the only pediatric hematology-oncology center in North Macedonia.

Patients and methods: Seventy four consecutive children age 1 to 14 years, diagnosed with ALL between January 1, 2010 and October 31, 2017 and treated according to ALL IC BFM 2002 protocol were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: The median age at diagnosis was 5 years and males were predominant (60.8%). Precursor B-cell ALL was diagnosed in 81.1% of patients, while 18.9% had T cell ALL. CNS involvement at the time of diagnoses was present in 6.8% of patients. Complete remission was achieved in 93.2% of patients. The induction death rate was 5.4%. The rate of death during first complete remission was 4.1%. Relapse occurred in 13.5% of patients. After a median observation time of 44 months, the 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates (± standard error) were 79.4% ± 5.2% and 74% ± 5.7%, respectively. The 5-year EFS rate for patients categorized as standard risk by NCI criteria was significantly higher than for high risk patients (83.3% versus 46.7%; P<0.001). Patients with precursor B-cell ALL and negative minimal residual disease (MRD) status at the end of induction had the best prognoses.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the treatment results of childhood ALL in North Macedonia are comparable to those obtained in the ALL IC BFM 2002 trial.

Preliminary Results of Introducing the Method Multiparameter Flow Cytometry in Patients with Acute Leukemia in the Republic of Macedonia

Background. In this paper we present the initial results of introducing the method of multiparameter flow cytometry (MPF) in patients with acute leukemia in the Republic of Macedonia.

Aim. The aim of our study is to improve the diagnosis and management of acute leukemia, to establish the correct lineage assignment of the blast cells and to select effective treatment strategy for each single acute leukemia patient.

Material and methods. A total of 44 adult (>15 years) patients (from initially 45 tested) with acute leukemia who were consecutively admitted at the Clinic of Hematology-Skopje from January through June 2008, were enrolled in this study. The MPF was introduced for the first time in the Republic of Macedonia and was performed at the Institute for Immunobiology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine-Skopje.

Results. Our results showed that morphology and cytochemistry established lineage in 39 of patients, but not in 5 cases that presented as acute leukemia, of which 4 were assigned as myeloid and in one nonhematopoietic malignancy was indicated. Furthermore immunophenotyping change the lineage assigned based on morphology and cytochemistry in one case from lymphoid to myeloid. Results from our study showed that routine immunophenotyping improved the diagnosis in 6 (13.3%) cases. The exact lineage assignment of the blasts cells guides to implementation of specific molecular analyses in some subtypes of acute leukemia and their further definition, which is essential for more appropriate single patient therapeutic decisions.

Conclusion. Our data support routine implementation of MPF in the diagnostic evaluation of acute leukemia.


Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a diverse group of clonal hematologic neoplasms. The only curative treatment for MDS is allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Epigenetic changes play an important role in the pathogenesis of MDS and treatment with DNA methyl transferase inhibitors, Azacitidine, significantly prolong the survival of high-risk MDS patients. Here we report a case of a 58-year-old male presented with pancytopenia, macrocytosis, and hyperplastic bone marrow with 3-lineage dysplasia with ~14% of myeloid blasts. Cytogenetic studies with G banding showed normal karyotype. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) screening for most predictive cytogenetic abnormalities of MDS showed loss of the Y chromosome. Those findings later were confirmed with Quantitative Fluorescent (QF)-PCR and specific MLPA for Y chromosome, showing loss of the Y chromosome in >80% of cells. He was diagnosed with MDS-RAEB2 according to 2008 WHO classification and stratified into high risk group (IPSS score 5). Unrelated allogeneic SCT was planed and bridging treatment with Azacitidine at a dose of 75mg/m2/daily subcutaneously for 7 days every 28 days was initiated. Hematologic improvements, according to the International Working Group 2006 criteria, were observed after 4 cycles of Azacitidine treatment. After 6 cycles, complete hematological remission was achieved. Interestingly, molecular analysis performed after the 8th cycle showed normal presence of Y chromosome indicating a cytogenetic remission, molecularly confirmed. Maintenance treatment with Azacitidine was assigned, and the scheduled SCT was postponed. Experience from our case showed that the loss of the Y chromosome was related to the disease onset, and indicated that Azacitidine might be consider as effective treatment for MDS cases associated with good cytogenetic