Volume 1, Issue 26


Cover Image

Cover Figure:  Genes and regulatory networks activated when human monocytes are stimulated with PAM3 (blue) or macrophage colony-stimulating factor (red) to become suppressive macrophages.
See the article by Bayik et al.

WASHINGTON, December 12,  2017 – Welcome to the “Advance Notice,”  newsletter which provides highlights from issues of Blood Advances, the open-access journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), that  are hand-picked by Blood Advances Editor-in-Chief Robert Negrin, MD.

This issue Donna DiMichele, deputy director of the Division of Blood Diseases and Resources at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, presents a Blood Advances Talk discussing the novel clinical trial designs for limited populations. We hope that you enjoy the discussion as we grapple with how best to study novel concepts in patients with rare diseases.

In this issue’s Point-Counterpoint, leading experts Fitzhugh and Walters (Point) and DeBaun and Clayton (Counterpoint), explore the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of patients with sickle cell disease. Where do you stand on this issue? See if this discussion changes your opinion.


With the development of checkpoint inhibitors directed against CD28, PD-1, and PDL-1 has come major new treatment options for patients with a variety of malignancies. Recently, approval was granted for the treatment of relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). This Drug Advances article explores the role of checkpoint blockade in HL and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Experts who have been critically involved in the development of these agents review the mechanisms of why this may be an effective treatment in HL and less so in NHL, and they discuss the latest clinical findings.


In an interesting review, Chung and Park discuss the impact of aging on hematopoiesis, stem cell biology, and clonal disorders of the blood. We hope you find this review timely and informative.


Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a vexing clinical syndrome characterized by fever, splenomegaly, cytopenias, hemophagocytosis, and other laboratory abnormalities. Serum interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2r) levels have been reported to be an important disease marker, but to date there has not been a systematic assessment of the diagnostic value of testing for it. Hayden et al assessed levels of sIL-2r in a large cohort of patients with HLH.


The regulation of hematopoiesis in the hematopoietic niche is an area of intense investigation. Mohamad et al studied the interaction between resident osteomacs and megakaryocytes, demonstrating an interesting interplay between these cells and other niche components in hematopoietic stem cell function.


Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia is a major cause of morbidity and, rarely, mortality after treatment for a number of malignancies. Laping and colleagues evaluated the impact of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) stimulation, resulting in the release of cytokines including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, with interesting biological impact.



Gray zone lymphoma (GZL) is an unusual subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma sharing features of Hodgkin disease and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Pilichowska and colleagues evaluated 68 suspected cases of GZL from 15 academic centers to attempt to define key clinical and pathological characteristics of this rare disease.


Silent strokes are a relatively common feature of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and can result in cognitive defects. Calvet et al analyzed a cohort of adults with homozygous SCD, finding a striking incidence of white matter changes. They compared those patients with and without white matter changes with interesting findings actionable with current therapies.


Anti-inhibitor coagulant complex (AICC) has been used for more than 40 years for the treatment of hemophilia patients with inhibitors. Thromboembolic events have been observed in these patients; however, their true incidence has not been systematically determined. Rota et al conducted a meta-analysis including 39 studies from 1980 to 2016, highlighting the relative safety of AICC treatment.


Featured Visual Abstract

Cytogenetics-based risk prediction of blastic transformation of chronic myeloid leukemia in the era of TKI therapy

The development of blast crisis is an ominous event in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia even while on treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Gong and Hu developed a cytogenetics-based risk assessment with dramatically different prognosis.




Blood Advances is the open-access journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (, 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.