Issue 12, Volume 127

Cover Figure: High-dose dexamethasone corrects myeloid-derived suppressor cell function in ITP. See the article by Hou et al.

WASHINGTON, March 24, 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.

PET-CT for staging and early response: results from the Response-Adapted Therapy in Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma study
In this week's plenary paper, Barrington and colleagues report on the diagnostic efficacy of positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) for assessment of staging and response in the "Response-adapted therapy in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (RATHL)" study. They report that PET-CT can replace contrast-enhanced CT for most patients with Hodgkin's disease, and that the agreement between experts and local readers is sufficiently robust to allow its widespread use for assessing response in clinical practice.

Postibrutinib outcomes in patients with mantle cell lymphoma
In this week's Blood, Martin and colleagues report on the outcome of patients with mantle cell lymphoma who fail therapy with ibrutinib. Although the population was heavily pretreated (median prior therapies 3, range 0-10), the results remain sobering, revealing a median survival of less than 3 months. This highlights the need for the continued search for effective therapies.

High-dose dexamethasone corrects impaired myeloid-derived suppressor cell function via Ets1 in immune thrombocytopenia
There is increasing evidence that high-dose dexamethasone (DXM) is uniquely effective in treating immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). In this week's Blood, Hou and colleagues demonstrate in a mouse model of ITP and in ITP patients that ITP is associated with impaired immune suppression by myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Furthermore, DXM corrects MDSC dysfunction through increased expression of Ets-1. This suggests a novel mechanism of action to explain the efficacy of DXM in the treatment of ITP.

A systems approach to hemostasis: 4. How hemostatic thrombi limit the loss of plasma-borne molecules from the microvasculature
Vessel injury leads to extravasation of both blood cells and plasma into the extravascular space; how hemostatic thrombi actually stem the loss of these elements is not well understood. In this week's Blood, Welsh and colleagues perform an elegant series of studies using intravital microscopy and fluorescently labeled proteins to demonstrate that plasma protein extravasation persists after successful hemostasis. Stemming the loss is dependent on platelet accumulation and retraction, but not on fibrin deposition.

Benefit of high-dose daunorubicin in AML induction extends across cytogenetic and molecular groups
In the original report of their randomized study, high-dose (HD) daunorubicin (90mg/m2) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) induction was demonstrated to improve overall survival only in patients under 50 years of age with no evidence of unfavorable cytogenetics or FLT3-ITD mutation. In the current analysis, Luskin and colleagues report that after longer follow-up, HD daunorubicin benefits patients less than 50 years of age in all cytogenetic and molecular subgroups, as well as patients between 50 and 60 years of age with FLT3-ITD or NPM1 mutation.


This week's complete table of contents

Why Submit to Blood?

Join the "This Week in Blood" mailing list by filling out the form below and clicking Subscribe!
*Email Address:
*First Name:
*Last Name:


Blood (, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field of hematology, is available weekly in print and online. Blood is the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (, the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders.

ASH’s mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

blood® is a registered trademark of the American Society of Hematology.