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.
Novel diagnostic assays for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, Cuker et al.
While heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a serious complication, current diagnostic laboratory testing for the condition remains inadequate. In this paper appearing this week in Blood, authors describe two novel assays for diagnosis of pathological HIT antibodies, helping to bring us closer to the specific laboratory diagnosis of HIT.
A specific antidote for dabigatran: functional and structural characterization, Schiele et al.
The direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran is one of the new oral anticoagulants widely used for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation; however, anticoagulation therapy can be associated with an elevated risk of bleeding. In a manuscript appearing this week in Blood, researchers present their results on the identification, humanization, and in vitro pharmacology of an antidote for dabigatran called aDabi-Fab that reverses the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran in vitro. Considering the attention that dabigatran currently enjoys in the scientific literature and the clinical importance of an antidote, this manuscript is expected to be of broad interest.
Plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA predicts outcome in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma: correlative analysis from a large North American co-operative group trial, Kanakry et al.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and can be detected by in situ hybridization (ISH) of viral nucleic acid (EBER) in tumor cells. The authors of this paper in Blood sought to determine whether plasma EBV-DNA could serve as a surrogate for EBER-ISH and explored its prognostic utility in HL. Specimens from a large cancer cooperative trial were used to compare pretreatment plasma EBV-DNA quantification with EBV tumor status. The results demonstrate that plasma EBV-DNA is highly concordant with EBER-ISH in HL and suggest that it may have prognostic utility in HL therapy.
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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