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Katie L. Pricola, Jason Karamchandani, Hannes Vogel, Gary V. Dahl, Kristen W. Yeom, Michael S. B. Edwards and Raphael Guzman

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare proliferative disorder that occurs most commonly in the pediatric population as a result of pathological clonal proliferation of Langerhans cells with subsequent damage and destruction to surrounding tissue. Clinically, LCH presents in a variety of ways, which often results in prolonged time to diagnosis and subsequently poorer outcomes. In this case report, the authors describe an unusually early presentation of multisystem LCH in a patient at birth, which resulted in a 5-month delay to diagnosis and treatment. This patient presented both atypically young and with an uncommon initial manifestation of multisystem disease with multiple soft-tissue swellings rather than early skin involvement. Additionally, this patient had an unusual radiographic appearance with biparietal skull destruction on initial skull radiographs and biparietal soft-tissue lesions on CT resembling cephalohematoma at 3 months of age. The clinical and radiological evaluation, pathology, and treatment strategies are discussed, with particular attention paid to the importance of further workup of atypical nonresolving cephalohematomas to prevent disease progression and poorer outcomes.

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Laura M. Prolo, Michael C. Jin, Tina Loven, Hannes Vogel, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gary K. Steinberg and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Cavernous malformations (CMs) are commonly treated cerebrovascular anomalies in the pediatric population; however, the data on radiographic recurrence of pediatric CMs after surgery are limited. The authors aimed to study the clinical presentation, outcomes, and recurrence rate following surgery for a large cohort of CMs in children.

METHODS

Pediatric patients (≤ 18 years old) who had a CM resected at a single institution were identified and retrospectively reviewed. Fisher’s exact test of independence was used to assess differences in categorical variables. Survival curves were evaluated using the Mantel-Cox method.

RESULTS

Fifty-three patients aged 3 months to 18 years underwent resection of 74 symptomatic CMs between 1996 and 2018 at a single institution. The median length of follow-up was 5.65 years. Patients most commonly presented with seizures (45.3%, n = 24) and the majority of CMs were cortical (58.0%, n = 43). Acute radiographic hemorrhage was common at presentation (64.2%, n = 34). Forty-two percent (n = 22) of patients presented with multiple CMs, and they were more likely to develop de novo lesions (71%) compared to patients presenting with a single CM (3.4%). Both radiographic hemorrhage and multiple CMs were independently prognostic for a higher risk of the patient requiring subsequent surgery. Fifty percent (n = 6) of the 12 patients with both risk factors required additional surgery within 2.5 years of initial surgery compared to none of the patients with neither risk factor (n = 9).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with either acute radiographic hemorrhage or multiple CMs are at higher risk for subsequent surgery and require long-term MRI surveillance. In contrast, patients with a single CM are unlikely to require additional surgery and may require less frequent routine imaging.

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Stephen L. Huhn, Yun Yung, Samuel Cheshier, Griffith Harsh, Laurie Ailles, Irving Weissman, Hannes Vogel and Victor Tse

Object

The goal of this study was to illustrate the findings of a significant subpopulation of cells within a pediatric astroblastoma that have the specific cell surface phenotype found on known human neural stem cells.

Methods

Cells with a cell surface marker profile characteristic of human neural stem cells were isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting from a mostly nonmitotic astroblastoma removed from the brain of an 11-year-old girl. An unusually high proportion (24%) of the cells were CD133 positive and CD24, CD34, and CD45 negative (CD133+ CD24CD34CD45 cells), the phenotypic antigenic pattern associated with neural stem cells; very few CD133-positive cells were not also CD24, CD34, and CD45 negative. Some cells (12%) were CD34 positive, indicating the presence within the tumor of hematopoietic stem cells. Cells formed cytospheres that resembled neurospheres when seeded into stem cell media and coexpressed β-tubulin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) but did not express the oligodendrocyte marker O4. Cell proliferation was demonstrated by incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine. The cells lost their capacity for self-renewal in vitro after four to six passages, although they continued to coexpress β-tubulin and GFAP. The cells did not differentiate into neurons or astrocytes when placed in differentiation medium.

Conclusions

Although this astroblastoma contained a high proportion of phenotypic neural stemlike cells, the cells had limited proliferative capacity and multipotency. Their role in astroblastoma formation and growth is unknown.

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Nathan R. Selden, Amira Al-Uzri, Stephen L. Huhn, Thomas K. Koch, Darryn M. Sikora, Mina D. Nguyen-Driver, Daniel J. Guillaume, Jeffrey L. Koh, Sakir H. Gultekin, James C. Anderson, Hannes Vogel, Trenna L. Sutcliffe, Yakop Jacobs and Robert D. Steiner

Object

Infantile and late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are invariably fatal lysosomal storage diseases associated with defects in lysosomal enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT-1) or tripeptidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1) activity. Previous preclinical studies have demonstrated that human CNS stem cells (HuCNS-SCs) produce both PPT-1 and TPP1 and result in donor cell engraftment and reduced accumulation of storage material in the brain when tested in an NCL mouse model.

Methods

HuCNS-SC transplantation was tested in an open-label dose-escalation Phase I clinical trial as a potential treatment for infantile and late-infantile NCL. Study design included direct neurosurgical transplantation of allogeneic HuCNS-SCs into the cerebral hemispheres and lateral ventricles accompanied by 12 months of immunosuppression.

Results

Six children with either the infantile or late-infantile forms of NCL underwent low- (3 patients) and high- (3 patients) dose transplantation of HuCNS-SCs followed by immunosuppression. The surgery, immunosuppression, and cell transplantation were well tolerated. Adverse events following transplantation were consistent with the underlying disease, and none were directly attributed to the donor cells. Observations regarding efficacy of the intervention were limited by the enrollment criteria requiring that patients be in advanced stages of disease.

Conclusions

This study represents the first-in-human clinical trial involving transplantation of a purified population of human neural stem cells for a neurodegenerative disorder. The feasibility of this approach and absence of transplantation-related serious adverse events support further exploration of HuCNS-SC transplantation as a potential treatment for select subtypes of NCL, and possibly for other neurodegenerative disorders. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00337636 (ClinicalTrials.gov).