Volume 130, Issue 2

Cover Figure: Enriching stem cell cultures for platelet-producing megakaryocytes. See the article by Sim et al.

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 – 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.

Effect of a near-universal hospitalization-based prophylaxis regimen on annual number of venous thromboembolism events in the US
In this week’s plenary paper, Heit and colleagues report that despite a rise in hospital-based thromboprophylaxis from 40% to 90% between 2005 and 2010, there is no change in the rate of venous thromboembolism attack rates, with most events occurring after hospital discharge.

Response and progression on midostaurin in advanced systemic mastocytosis: KIT D816V and other molecular markers
Jawhar et al report on the molecular landscape of systemic mastocytosis in relation to response to midostaurin. They report that reduction in allelic burden of KIT D816V is predictive of improved survival and that progression is associated with acquisition or expansion of clones with mutations in K/NRAS, RUNX1, IDH2, or NPM1.

How I treat chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
Solary and Itzykson outline the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to chronic myelomonocytic leukemia using a collection of 4 illustrative cases.

Circulating soluble P-selectin must dimerize to promote inflammation and coagulation in mice
Soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) monomer is shed from activated platelets and endothelial cells and has been postulated to contribute to inflammation and thrombosis by activating neutrophils. Panicker and colleagues demonstrate that only dimeric sP-selectin triggers neutrophils in mice, suggesting that sP-selectin may be a marker but not a driver of inflammation.

Identifying and enriching platelet-producing human stem cell–derived megakaryocytes using factor V uptake
Ex vivo production of platelets for transfusion is being actively investigated. Sim et al describe novel methods for enriching platelet-producing megakaryocytes from human stem cell cultures. This selected cell population releases functionally active platelets upon infusion into immunodeficient mice.

Association between diffuse myocardial fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction in sickle cell anemia
Niss and colleagues explore the mechanism of diastolic dysfunction in sickle cell disease and identify diffuse myocardial fibrosis as a newly recognized pathogenetic factor.

The effect of variation in donor platelet function on transfusion outcome: a semirandomized controlled trial
Donated platelets show functional variability that is consistent within individual donors. This has raised the question whether donated platelets from those with more activated platelets are cleared more rapidly and are therefore less effective. Kelly et al demonstrate equivalent platelet increments with transfusion from high and low responder donors, obviating the necessity of screening for platelet function in platelet donors.

PD-1 blockade for relapsed lymphoma post–allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant: high response rate but frequent GVHD
Haverkos and colleagues examine the outcomes for patients with relapsed lymphoma following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab. They report an excellent response rate, but an alarmingly high rate of severe and refractory graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).


This week's complete table of contents

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