David Garcia, MD, and Hal Broxmeyer, PhD
David Garcia, MD, and Hal Broxmeyer, PhD, provide brief overviews of two meetings they attended in mid-August and early September. The first focused on thrombosis and the second focused on myelodysplastic syndromes.
CDC Meeting on Thrombosis
David Garcia, MD
Associate Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of New Mexico
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened an expert panel on the prevention of hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE) in Atlanta, GA, this past August. In addition to ASH, numerous organizations (Venous Disease Coalition, Clot Connect, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, North American Thrombosis Forum, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the Society of Hospital Medicine) were represented. Individuals from the National Quality Forum, Joint Commission, National Blood Clot Alliance, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS, NIH/NHLBI, and VA also participated. There was widespread agreement that HA-VTE is an important problem and that properly directed prevention efforts can reduce the number of patients who experience HA-VTE. It was acknowledged that further research is needed to allow clinicians to estimate more precisely the individual HA-VTE risk for a particular patient and determine the relative efficacy of different HA-VTE prevention strategies. A number of suggestions were made about how awareness can be increased and how the number of at-risk patients who receive no prophylaxis (or ineffective prophylaxis) can be reduced. The potential role for non-physician members of the health-care delivery team (pharmacists, nurses, mid-levels) in the delivery of HA-VTE prophylaxis was discussed. Evidence of the effectiveness of computer alerts and broad-based quality-improvement initiatives was presented. The importance of standardizing practice and getting the “buy-in” of hospital administrative leaders was identified.
Several clinician participants suggested that the CDC set up a system to report HA-VTE so that these events could be tracked in a manner similar to that used for central-line-associated bloodstream infections. Representatives from the CDC concluded the meeting by saying that they consider the prevention of HA-VTE a high priority, and they intend to publish the proceedings of this expert panel discussion.
NHLBI Special Symposium on MDS
Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Mary Margaret Walther Professor Emeritus Professor of Microbiology/Immunology, Program Leader, NCI-Designated IU Simon Cancer Center Program on Hematopoiesis, Heme Malignancies, and Immunology
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) remain a priority for ASH, and the Society has advocated for coordinated research in this field over the last several years. In 2008, ASH sponsored an agenda-setting workshop on MDS to further explore research needs in this area. Based on the workshop’s report, the Society developed research recommendations and priorities for the scientific community and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most recently, ASH helped to promote a state-of-the-science symposium on MDS that was held this past September.
This symposium was organized by Drs. Nancy DiFronzo and Manjit Hanspal of NHLBI and included staff from NHLBI, NIDDK, NCI, and the VA. In addition, a closed session working group on MDS organized by NHLBI met after the symposium. The symposium and workshop were co-chaired by Dr. Pierre Fenaux and me. The purpose of the symposium was to inform and provide updates on scientific and clinical efforts in MDS, and the objectives of the working group were to identify key questions that remain to be answered and ways that NIH can facilitate
collaborations between investigators and encourage and accelerate future research directions. Among the topics covered were prognostic markers, pathobiology, genomics, epigenomics, and novel therapeutics. Most of the world’s experts in MDS attended and participated, and a report of the meeting will be submitted for publication. A workshop summary will be posted soon. Go to www.nhlbi.nih.gov/resources/docs.
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