Volume 134, Issue 2



July 11, 2019 – 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: Reprogramming stem cells to iPSCs reveals clonal progression of MDSs. See the article by Hsu et al.

Efficacy of venetoclax in relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia is influenced by disease and response variables
Roberts et al report excellent long-term treatment responses to venetoclax in relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia. They also identify pretreatment factors (p53 mutation, bulky adenopathy) and depth of response as biomarkers affecting outcomes.

A phase 1b study of isatuximab plus pomalidomide/dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma
Mikhael and colleagues report promising results in a phase 1b study of the CD38-targeting monoclonal antibody isatuximab in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Signaling mechanisms inducing hyporesponsiveness of phagocytes during systemic inflammation
The systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is a phagocyte-mediated hyperinflammatory response. Freise et al define an intricately orchestrated process by which monocyte reactivity is downregulated to cause phagocyte hyporesponsiveness and secondary tolerance to immune stimulation.

Mechanisms of action of ruxolitinib in murine models of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
Albeituni et al use the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib to target multiple cytokines and inhibit neutrophil-induced inflammation, which appears superior to interferon-γ inhibition in the treatment of mouse models of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Patterns of substrate affinity, competition, and degradation kinetics underlie biological activity of thalidomide analogs
Sperling et al use a novel quantitative mass spectrometry-based assay to characterize substrate affinity and degradation kinetics of thalidomide analogs, providing insight into drug sensitivity and resistance mechanisms to these agents in the treatment of hematologic malignancy.

Haploidentical hematopoietic cell and kidney transplantation for hematological malignancies and end-stage renal failure
Chen and colleagues report 6 patients undergoing simultaneous haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell and kidney transplantation with posttransplant cyclophosphamide.

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