Issue 1, Volume 127

Cover Figure: Two DNA repair pathways involved in large diffuse B-cell lymphoma.See the article by Gu et al.

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2016 – Welcome to “This Week in Blood,” a weekly snapshot of the hottest studies from each week’s issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), hand-picked by Blood Editor-in-Chief Bob Löwenberg, MD, PhD, and Deputy Editor Nancy Berliner, MD.

Sirolimus is effective in relapsed/refractory autoimmune cytopenias: results of a prospective multi-institutional trial
In their plenary paper, Bride et al report the safety and efficacy results of a unique prospective multi-institutional trial using sirolimus as long-term monotherapy in 30 patients with a variety of treatment-refractory autoimmune hematocytopenias with highly encouraging results. They show particularly remarkable long-term efficacy in the 12 children with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome.

B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma linked to Coxiella burnetii
Bacteria can cause lymphoma in humans. Melenotte and colleagues provide an intriguing and detailed analysis of Coxiella burnetii (the infectious agent associated with Q fever) as a potential novel risk factor for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Their results suggest that C burnetii should be added to the list of bacteria that promote human B-cell NHL, possibly by the infection of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and interleukin-10 overproduction.

Autologous stem cell transplantation aids autoimmune patients by functional renewal and TCR diversification of regulatory T cells
Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is increasingly used for severe autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, but the mechanisms involved have yet to be elucidated. In this issue of Blood, Delemarre et al report their findings in animal and human models and provide critical insights into restoration of functionality and diversity within the regulatory T-cell compartment following HSCT.

Monovalent Fc receptor blockade by an anti-Fcγ receptor/albumin fusion protein ameliorates murine ITP with abrogated toxicity
Anti-platelet glycoprotein antibodies induce thrombocytopenia in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) by impairing platelet production and enhancing the clearance of platelets by the reticuloendothelial system. In this issue of Blood, Yu et al describe a novel anti-FcγRIII/albumin fusion protein that inhibits the development of thrombocytopenia in a murine model of ITP and overcomes the short half-life problems as well as the adverse events associated with previous anti-FcγRIIIA therapeutics. The agent blocks FcγRIII-mediated uptake of antibody-coated platelets without activating FcγRIII and the associated inflammatory response.

Predictors of survival, nonrelapse mortality, and failure-free survival in patients treated for chronic graft-versus-host disease
Palmer et al provide encouragement that important chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) patient outcomes (such as overall survival and failure-free survival) are predicted by clinician-assessed responses, patient-reported outcomes, and 2014 NIH response criteria. These data are directly relevant for clinical practice, and for the design of therapeutic studies on cGVHD.

Introduction to the review series on advances in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
The series of 5 reviews on AML written by leaders in the field presented in this issue of Blood offer comprehensive updates on the latest insights into the pathobiology of the disease as well as the current and emerging directions of treatment.

The articles in this review series, "Advances in Acute Myeloid Leukemia," include the following:

Glutathione peroxidase 4 prevents necroptosis in mouse erythroid precursors
Necroptosis is a novel regulated mechanism of erythroid cell death. Canli et al demonstrate that necroptosis in erythroid precursors is directly induced in the absence of erythroid glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) and is dependent on receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3). They show that reactive oxygen species and lipid hydroperoxides act as upstream signaling activators of RIP3-dependent necroptosis causing anemia in mice lacking Gpx4.

Randomized phase 2 study of obinutuzumab monotherapy in symptomatic, previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Byrd et al present data from a randomized phase 2 study in which 78 previously untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia received 8 cycles of either 1000 mg, the current standard dose, or 2000 mg of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody obinutuzumab. The authors report a higher overall response rate with the higher doses of obinutuzumab (67% vs 49%), with no significant difference in progression-free survival between treatment groups.


This week's complete table of contents

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