Volume 131, Issue 14



April 5, 2018 – 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.

Cover Figure: Molecular profiling of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia See the article by Murakami et al.

Blinatumomab for minimal residual disease in adults with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Gökbuget and colleagues report high rates of response, 78%, and prolonged survival with blinatumomab immunotherapy for adults with minimal residual disease–positive precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

hsa-mir183/EGR1–mediated regulation of E2F1 is required for CML stem/progenitor cell survival
Pellicano et al report that has-mir183/EGR1 regulates E2F1 in a BCR-ABL–dependent manner in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem/progenitor cells. E2F1 remains upregulated in CML cells treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, suggesting that targeting has-mir183 might be a novel therapy for eradication of kinase-resistant CML stem cells.

BAFF and CD4+ T cells are major survival factors for long-lived splenic plasma cells in a B-cell-depletion context
Rituximab is therapeutically effective in immune thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia, but 30-40% of patients have persistent immune cytopenias. Thai et al demonstrate that B-cell depletion increases B-cell activating factor (BAFF) expression, which in turn provides a supportive environment for increased long-lived splenic plasma cells; concomitant anti-BAFF therapy might improve responses to anti–B-cell therapy.

Growth differentiation factor-15 is a new biomarker for survival and renal outcomes in light chain amyloidosis
Kastritis and colleagues report that growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is an independent predictor of survival in amyloid light-chain amyloidosis and is the best biomarker for prediction of renal outcomes following treatment of the disease.

HO-1hi patrolling monocytes protect against vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease
Liu et al describe a subpopulation of patrolling monocytes in sickle cell disease patients that express high levels of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1hi), which metabolizes free hemoglobin. Perturbations in this monocyte subpopulation may be associated with vaso-occlusive crises.

The interplay of leukemia cells and the bone marrow microenvironment
In a Spotlight review, Duarte and colleagues discuss the current understanding of how leukemic cells exploit the marrow microenvironment to create conditions that allow the expansion of leukemic stem cells and promote their chemoresistance.

Mechanisms of platelet clearance and translation to improve platelet storage
In this Review, Quach and colleagues discuss the current understanding of platelet clearance mechanisms and how inhibitors of these clearance pathways can improve platelet storage and survival upon transfusion.