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About ASH

Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine

Committee Roster

Chair
Maureane Hoffman, MD  ('22)

Vice Chair
Sean Stowell, MD  ('22)

Appointed Members
Angelo D'Alessandro, PhD  ('22)
Dana  V. Devine, PhD  ('22)
Cassandra Josephson, MD  ('24)
Rick Kapur, MD  ('24)
John Manis, MD  ('23)
France Pirenne, MD,PhD  ('23)
Patricia  A. Shi, MD  ('24)
Moritz Stolla, MD  ('24)

Committee Mandate

The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine is focused on basic and clinical research that lie at the intersection of classical transfusion medicine and the hematologic diseases within hematology. Specifically, the Committee focuses on the collection, storage, transfusion, testing, ex vivo production, and apheresis of blood components, with an emphasis on mechanistic discoveries that elucidate the function of these products and their effects on disease pathophysiology.

Areas of biological and mechanistic interest include:

  1. Blood component therapy- mechanisms, management, and safety:
    Blood component therapy encompasses the processing, storage, transfusion, and clinical consequences of whole blood or its derivatives, e.g. red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The Committee supports development, evaluation, and improvement of component therapies for treatment of patients with malignant and non-malignant clinical conditions, including hypo-proliferative cytopenias, acquired and congenital bleeding disorders, hemolytic anemias, hemoglobinopathies, resuscitation of the injured, and blood component support for solid organ transplantation. Conditions in which transfusion recipients have mounted immune responses to transfused blood products or cells also represent specific areas of importance. These conditions include hemolytic transfusion reactions, hemolytic disease of the newborn, neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, drug-induced thrombocytopenia, platelet transfusion refractoriness, and transfusion-related acute lung injury due to neutrophil-specific alloantibodies. Topics covering pathophysiology of hematologic diseases are considered in scope when an aspect of blood transfusion is being studied. Infectious and non-infectious complications of transfusion that are relevant to hematology patients will be included as new developments occur.

    Emerging areas: Genomics as applied to blood group antigens; Novel recombinant coagulation factors for therapeutic purposes; Coagulopathy associated with massive transfusion; Use of whole blood in trauma; Cold storage of platelets; Blood management/Avoidance of transfusion (bloodless surgery); Immunomodulatory treatments to prevent transfusion reactions and transfusion refractoriness, Age of blood and blood storage; Use of blood cells for drug delivery, Blood substitutes, Production of red cells and platelets in culture.

  2. Apheresis science and clinical management.
    The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine encourages basic and clinical research to improve the clinical practice of therapeutic apheresis, which is used to manage patients with conditions such as thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura, polycythemia vera, and sickle cell disease. Also encouraged are efforts to improve the practice of donor apheresis for procurement of cells needed for cellular therapies, which include but are not limited to HLA-matched platelets and mobilized peripheral blood stem cells.

    Emerging areas: Novel apheresis methods including photopheresis, selective removal, and other extracorporeal modification technologies.

  3. Cellular therapeutics processing.
    The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine encourages efforts to improve the processes involved in procurement, characterization, and ex vivo expansion of blood cells for use as cellular therapeutics, e.g. autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), mesenchymal stem/stromal cells, T cells, and dendritic cells (DCs).

    Emerging areas: Standardization of protocols for generation of GMP-grade reagents for cellular therapeutics; Genetic modification of blood cells for use in gene therapy; Processing and storage of HSCs and MSCs for damaged organ regeneration (e.g., myocardial injection after MI), Novel HSC expansion methodologies.

  4. Donor safety.
    The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine supports efforts to ensure the safety of blood donors.

    Emerging areas: Iron overload and iron deficiency in blood donors.

Potential overlap and overlap resolution with other Scientific Committees: The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine differs from closely-related committees (e.g. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Transplantation Biology) in that the cell source is typically peripheral blood, placental blood, or a cell that is readily mobilized and released into peripheral blood using pharmacological agents. This typically includes blood cells with no or limited proliferative potential in vivo, as well as various circulating stem cells. The Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine does not focus on the production of induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells, with the exception of ex vivo generation and expansion of blood cells for transfusion. Unlike the Transplantation Biology Committee, the Scientific Committee on Transfusion Medicine emphasizes the clinical laboratory manipulation and storage of cellular products for subsequent therapeutic purposes, rather than the process and biology of stem cell transplantation itself.

Areas of specific overlap ripe for collaboration include:

  • Scientific Committee on Iron and Heme: Iron status of blood donors; intentional or accidental infusion of free hemoglobin
  • Scientific Committee on Red Cell Biology: efforts to grow red cells in culture erythroid regulators; red cell membrane proteins in health and disease
  • Scientific Committee on Blood Disorders in Childhood: Pediatric transfusion therapy
  • Scientific Committee on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: Hematopoietic stem cell collection, expansion and modification; tissue banking
  • Scientific Committee on Platelets: Platelet collection and transfusion therapy; thrombopoietic growth factors, production of platelets in culture, platelet substitutes
  • Scientific Committee on Hemostasis: Recombinant coagulation factors; platelet transfusion therapy, the emerging role of red blood cells in hemostasis
  • Scientific Committee on Hematopoiesis: Hematopoietic stem cell collection and modification; ex vivo generation and expansion of blood cells for transfusion therapy
  • Scientific Committee on Transplantation Biology: Hematopoietic stem cell collection and modification; treatment of graft rejection by therapeutic apheresis and extracorporeal phototherapy; alloimmunization to blood groups and histocompatibility antigens

Thus, appropriate joint sessions at the ASH annual meeting may include:

  • Partnership with the scientific committee on Red Cell Biology and/or Platelets: Production of red cells and platelets in culture,
  • Partnership with the scientific committee on Hemostasis: New recombinant coagulation therapy, erythroid delivery of coagulation factors
  • Partnership with scientific committee on Iron and Heme: Iron status and development including iron and repeat blood donation
  • Partnership with the scientific committee on Blood Disorders in Childhood: Chronic transfusion support for sickle cell anemia and Thalessemia

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