Message From the Program Chair

December 2021


Nurse Practitioner
University of Arizona and University of Arizona Cancer Center

As 2021 draws to a close and we look to the year ahead, many of our December program updates offer the promise of new understanding of the features, pathophysiology, and treatment of a range of benign hematologic disorders.

The Autoimmune Cytopenias pillar highlights a retrospective study of thromboembolic complications in autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) to discern whether thromboembolic events may be related to complement activation. A separate review in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses immunosuppression and newer treatments for AIHA. In a large meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, researchers found targeted therapies for immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) were as safe as placebo but conferred lower risks of both major and minor bleeding plus a trend towards lower mortality rates. A timely literature review by researchers from Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City highlights current literature on the clinical course of autoimmune cytopenias in patients with COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Failure Disorders includes updates from the ECU-PNH-III study, a randomized multicenter phase 3 clinical trial comparing eculizumab with an eculizumab biosimilar; a review of novel treatment strategies for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH); a short video that explains hemolytic processes occurring in PNH and highlights PNH management with C5 inhibitors; and "clinical snapshots" from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that provide insight into Fanconi anemia and several other inherited bone marrow failure syndromes.

The latest updates for the Hemoglobinopathies pillar include a retrospective cohort study from Amsterdam evaluating delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction in sickle cell disease (SCD); a study from Mumbai investigating genetic modifiers associated with higher fetal hemoglobin (HbF) production in β-thalassemia and SCD; a comprehensive review of SCD research by investigators from the Children's National Medical Center and the Sickle Cell Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), including genetic therapies emerging from improved understanding of mechanisms underlying the transition from HbF to adult Hb; and a 1-hour webinar from NHLBI describing ongoing bone marrow transplant clinical trials in SCD.

Hereditary/Acquired Bleeding Disorders updates present a retrospective analysis that breaks down healthcare utilization and costs for patients with von Willebrand disease (VWD) undergoing surgery; a report of subdural hemorrhage due to acquired von Willebrand syndrome in a female patient with polycythemia vera; and 2 guidelines from the National Hemophilia Foundation's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council.

In January, please look for coverage of important studies presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, in addition to useful new resources and updates from the medical literature. Until then, I hope this month's content piques your interest.

Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy 2022!

View All Messages