(WASHINGTON) – 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 email@example.com
Adhesion to osteopontin in the bone marrow niche regulates lymphoblastic leukemia cell dormancy, Boyerinas et al.
It is well established that malignant cells may evade chemotherapy if they are in a dormant state. In this week’s issue of Blood, Boyerinas and colleagues report on the role of osteopontin (OPN), an extracellular adhesion factor, in the marrow microenvironment of patients with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-ALL). The authors demonstrate that OPN acts as an anchor that retains B-ALL cells in niches close to the bone where they become dormant, thereby protecting them from the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy. Consequently, experiments in which OPN is neutralized are producing promising therapeutic results. The results of this study, based on an extensive amount of work in vitro and in mouse models, point to a novel mechanism of treatment resistance in leukemia and offer directions for treating these therapy-resistant cells localized in anatomic niches within the marrow cavity.
Development of a novel redirected T cell-based adoptive immunotherapy targeting human telomerase reverse transcriptase for adult T-cell leukemia, Miyazaki et al.
While adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) has a poor prognosis, the immune effect of allogeneic stem cell transplantation offers curative potential. However, an effective target for anti-ATL immunotherapy has yet to be defined. In this week’s issue of Blood, investigators demonstrate for the first time that human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), a leukemia-associated antigen, is a promising therapeutic target to selectively recognize and kill ATL tumor cells. This finding indicates the utility of developing effective and selective immunotherapy for ATL through redirected T cells.
A distinct evolution of the T cell repertoire categorizes treatment refractory gastrointestinal acute graft-versus-host disease, Meyer et al.
Steroid refractory gastrointestinal acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of mortality following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation because there are no immune markers to establish a diagnosis or guide therapy. In this issue of Blood, Meyer and colleagues report the results of an immune monitoring trial in 15 patients with acute gastrointestinal GVHD, comparing the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire in gastrointestinal biopsies and peripheral blood over time in patients that responded to first line treatment with those who were steroid-resistant. Using next-generation sequencing, the authors discovered that the TCR repertoire at GVHD diagnosis is similar in both patient groups; however, indicator clones in peripheral blood expand in refractory patients while steroid-responsive patients show no expansion of such T cells. Tracking gastrointestinal clones coupled with immune repertoire sequencing could enable a novel and personalized way to guide diagnosis and therapy in gastrointestinal GVHD where T-cell activity is a major determinant.
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.
blood® is a registered trademark of the American Society of Hematology.
back to top