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, and Deputy Editor Nancy Berliner, MD. If you would like a PDF copy of any of the manuscripts highlighted below or would like to request an interview with the author, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Improving acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) outcome in developing countries through networking, results of the International Consortium on APL, Rego et al.
While treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid and chemotherapy has led to high cure rates for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in most developed countries, this progress has not yet reached developing countries, where the reported long-term overall survival for patients with APL is below 60 percent. In this manuscript, investigators report results of a registry study conducted by the ASH International Consortium on APL, a collaborative network of researchers, clinicians, and laboratory scientists from institutions in developing countries and well-established international cooperative groups based in the United States and in Europe designed to improve APL survival rates in the developing world. Manuscript data show that the activity of this collaborative network in four Central and South American countries resulted in a 50 percent decline in early mortality and a 30 percent improvement in overall survival in APL patients. These survival rates are similar to those reported in developed countries.
MYD88 L265P in Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia, IgM Monoclonal Gammopathy, and other B-cell Lymphoproliferative Disorders using Conventional and Quantitative Allele-Specific PCR, Xu et al.
In this week’s issue of Blood, researchers report on a recurrent mutation in the MYD88 gene detected in more than 90 percent of patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. Allele-specific polymerase chain reaction detected the same mutation in more than half of patients with IgM MGUS (immunoglobulin monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance), but not in patients with other forms of multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or splenic lymphoma. This suggests that a MYD88 mutation may be an early cancer-causing event in the pathogenesis of IgM-related blood diseases.
Heparin rescues factor V Leiden-associated placental failure independent of anticoagulation in a murine high-risk pregnancy model, An et al.
Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is used to improve pregnancy outcome in women with inherited blood clotting disorders and placental insufficiency. In this week’s issue of Blood, researchers demonstrate that the protective effect of LMWH is independent of its role as an anticoagulant. Data from their investigation of LMWH in factor V Leiden-mutant mice with placental failure show that LMWH allowed placental development and protected against fetal loss in the mice, an effect that could not be reproduced by equivalent anticoagulation with fondaparinux or a factor Xa inhibitor. These results suggest that there is an anticoagulation-independent role for LMWH in the protection of pregnancy in the setting of thrombophilia.
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Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), 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) (www.hematology.org), 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.
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