Volume 129, Issue 12

Cover Figure: Polyphosphate nanoparticles on platelets trigger factor XII activation. See the article by Verhoef et al.

WASHINGTON, March 23, 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.

In utero cytomegalovirus infection and development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Francis et al report an untargeted virome and bacterial analysis of patients with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and reveal a higher prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in ALL patients than in unaffected controls. The higher prevalence was especially pronounced in Hispanic patients. This suggests that in utero CMV infection may predispose to the later development of ALL.

Platelets activate a pathogenic response to blood-stage Plasmodium infection but not a protective immune response
Gramaglia et al clarify the role of platelets in the pathogenesis of malaria. Contrary to previous studies, they demonstrate in mice that platelets do not kill malarial parasites and do not contribute to a protective immune response; however, platelets do contribute to the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria.

Therapeutic value of clofarabine in younger and middle-aged (18-65 years) adults with newly diagnosed AML
Löwenberg and colleagues report the results of a randomized study of clofarabine added to induction chemotherapy for high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), reporting that the addition of clofarabine improves survival in a subset of intermediate-risk AML.

International, evidence-based consensus diagnostic criteria for HHV-8–negative/idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease


Clinical and pathological characteristics of HIV- and HHV8–negative Castleman disease
Although human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)–positive Castleman disease in the setting of HIV is well-recognized, the diagnosis of HHV-negative/idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) is much more challenging. Two papers in this week’s issue help clarify this entity. Fajgenbaum and colleagues, on behalf of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, present a set of consensus criteria for the diagnosis of iMCD, while Yu et al present a clinical and pathologic profile of a large number of patients with iMCD.

Polyphosphate nanoparticles on the platelet surface trigger contact system activation


Platelet secretion is crucial to prevent bleeding in the ischemic brain but not in the inflamed skin or lung in mice
Two papers in this week’s issue explore the divergent roles of platelet granules in the independent processes of activation of thrombosis and maintaining hemostasis in inflamed tissue. Verhoef et al demonstrate that dense granule release leads to the membrane binding of polyphosphate nanoparticles that activate factor XII, linking platelet activation and coagulation. Deppermann and colleagues use knockout mouse models to demonstrate that platelet granule secretion is not required for maintaining vascular integrity in skin and lung inflammation but is indispensable for protecting against intracranial hemorrhage in the setting of acute stroke.

Introduction to the review series on leukemic stem cells
Introduced by Bob Löwenberg, this review series on leukemic stem cells, is a collection of definitive reviews on the biology of stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplasia, and myeloproliferative neoplasms, including their relationship to the marrow microenvironment and their significance for effective leukemia treatment.

The articles in this review series, "Leukemic Stem Cells," include the following:


This week's complete table of contents

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