The European Hematology Association Roadmap for European Hematology Research: a consensus document.
ABSTRACT: The European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better funded, more focused European hematology research. Initiated by the EHA, around 300 experts contributed to the consensus document, which will help European policy makers, research funders, research organizations, researchers, and patient groups make better informed decisions on hematology research. It also aims to raise public awareness of the burden of blood disorders on European society, which purely in economic terms is estimated at €23 billion per year, a level of cost that is not matched in current European hematology research funding. In recent decades, hematology research has improved our fundamental understanding of the biology of blood disorders, and has improved diagnostics and treatments, sometimes in revolutionary ways. This progress highlights the potential of focused basic research programs such as this EHA Roadmap.The EHA Roadmap identifies nine 'sections' in hematology: normal hematopoiesis, malignant lymphoid and myeloid diseases, anemias and related diseases, platelet disorders, blood coagulation and hemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine, infections in hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These sections span 60 smaller groups of diseases or disorders.The EHA Roadmap identifies priorities and needs across the field of hematology, including those to develop targeted therapies based on genomic profiling and chemical biology, to eradicate minimal residual malignant disease, and to develop cellular immunotherapies, combination treatments, gene therapies, hematopoietic stem cell treatments, and treatments that are better tolerated by elderly patients.
Project description:After a decade of the "modern era" of zebrafish hematology research, what have been their major contributions to hematology and what challenges does the model face? This review argues that, in hematology, zebrafish have demonstrated their suitability, are proving their utility, have supplied timely and novel discoveries, and are poised for further significant contributions. It presents an overview of the anatomy, physiology, and genetics of zebrafish hematopoiesis underpinning their use in hematology research. Whereas reverse genetic techniques enable functional studies of particular genes of interest, forward genetics remains zebrafish's particular strength. Mutants with diverse and interesting hematopoietic defects are emerging from multiple genetic screens. Some mutants model hereditary blood diseases, occasionally leading to disease genes first; others provide insights into developmental hematology. Models of malignant hematologic disorders provide tools for drug-target and pharmaceutics discovery. Numerous transgenic zebrafish with fluorescently marked blood cells enable live-cell imaging of inflammatory responses and host-pathogen interactions previously inaccessible to direct observation in vivo, revealing unexpected aspects of leukocyte behavior. Zebrafish disease models almost uniquely provide a basis for efficient whole animal chemical library screens for new therapeutics. Despite some limitations and challenges, their successes and discovery potential mean that zebrafish are here to stay in hematology research.
Project description:Nonmalignant hematologic conditions are extremely prevalent and contribute significantly to the global burden of disease. The US health care system may soon face a shortage of specialists in nonmalignant hematology. We sought to identify factors that lead hematology-oncology fellows to pursue (or not to pursue) careers in nonmalignant hematology. Cross-sectional, web-based survey distributed to 149 graduates of a hematology-oncology fellowship program at a large academic medical center between 1998 and 2016. Eighty-six out of 149 graduates responded (57.7%); most (59 [68.6%]) practice at an academic medical center. Respondents spend a mean of 61% of their time in clinical practice, 23.7% conducting research, 5.2% in education, and 5.2% in administration. Those in clinical practice spend a mean of 52.1% of their time in solid tumor oncology, 37.5% in hematologic malignancies, and 10% in nonmalignant hematology; only 1 spent >50% of time practicing nonmalignant hematology. Factors most significantly affecting choice of patient population included clinical experience during fellowship and intellectual stimulation of the patient population/disease type. Factors that could have most significantly influenced a decision to spend more time in nonmalignant hematology included increased exposure/access to role models and mentors and opportunities for better career growth/advancement. Fellowship graduates spend >50% of their time in clinical practice, but almost none spend a significant amount of time practicing nonmalignant hematology. Given the growing number of patients with nonmalignant hematologic conditions and a possible future provider shortage, medical trainees should be encouraged to pursue careers in nonmalignant hematology.
Project description:Hereditary hemolytic anemias are a group of disorders with a variety of causes, including red cell membrane defects, red blood cell enzyme disorders, congenital dyserythropoietic anemias, thalassemia syndromes and hemoglobinopathies. As damaged red blood cells passing through the red pulp of the spleen are removed by splenic macrophages, splenectomy is one possible therapeutic approach to the management of severely affected patients. However, except for hereditary spherocytosis for which the effectiveness of splenectomy has been well documented, the efficacy of splenectomy in other anemias within this group has yet to be determined and there are concerns regarding short- and long-term infectious and thrombotic complications. In light of the priorities identified by the European Hematology Association Roadmap we generated specific recommendations for each disorder, except thalassemia syndromes for which there are other, recent guidelines. Our recommendations are intended to enable clinicians to achieve better informed decisions on disease management by splenectomy, on the type of splenectomy and the possible consequences. As no randomized clinical trials, case control or cohort studies regarding splenectomy in these disorders were found in the literature, recommendations for each disease were based on expert opinion and were subsequently critically revised and modified by the Splenectomy in Rare Anemias Study Group, which includes hematologists caring for both adults and children.
Project description:Baseline chest computed tomography (BCT) in high-risk hematology patients allows for the early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). The distribution of BCT implementation in hematology departments and impact on outcome is unknown. A web-based questionnaire was designed. International scientific bodies were invited. The estimated numbers of annually treated hematology patients, chest imaging timepoints and techniques, IPA rates, and follow-up imaging were assessed. In total, 142 physicians from 43 countries participated. The specialties included infectious diseases (n = 69; 49%), hematology (n = 68; 48%), and others (n = 41; 29%). BCT was performed in 57% (n = 54) of 92 hospitals. Upon the diagnosis of malignancy or admission, 48% and 24% performed BCT, respectively, and X-ray was performed in 48% and 69%, respectively. BCT was more often used in hematopoietic cell transplantation and in relapsed acute leukemia. European centers performed BCT in 59% and non-European centers in 53%. Median estimated IPA rate was 8% and did not differ between BCT (9%; IQR 5-15%) and non-BCT centers (7%; IQR 5-10%) (p = 0.69). Follow-up computed tomography (CT) for IPA was performed in 98% (n = 90) of centers. In high-risk hematology patients, baseline CT is becoming a standard-of-care. Chest X-ray, while inferior, is still widely used. Randomized, controlled trials are needed to investigate the impact of BCT on patient outcome.
Project description:This needs-assessment aimed to identify clinical challenges faced by hematologists and hematology nurses in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of multiple myeloma, as well as contextual barriers hindering optimal care of patients with multiple myeloma. This manuscript focuses on key findings in relation to decision-making regarding new treatment options. A mixed methods study consisting of qualitative (from semistructured interviews) and quantitative data (from an online survey) was conducted in 8 European countries among hematologists and hematology nurses. The triangulated data led to the identification of 3 key findings related to decision-making: (1) Educational needs regarding mechanisms of action and side effect profiles of new therapies, (2) educational needs regarding the sequencing and combination of new agents with current therapies, and (3) contextual barriers to the integration of new agents. Specific knowledge and skill gaps were identified as causalities of the educational needs, providing information to guide future educational programs. Of note, 34% of hematologists and 69% of nurses reported suboptimal knowledge of the mechanisms of action of new agents and 30% of hematologists reported suboptimal skills integrating new agents in combination with current treatments. This needs-assessment highlighted the importance to address the educational needs and their underlying causes through medical education activities to ensure hematologists and hematology nurses are up-to-date with the latest treatments in the field as they become available. The contextual barriers identified should be considered when designing the educational programs to ensure content is applicable to the clinical reality of learners.
Project description:Genetic hemoglobinopathies are the most common single-gene disorder worldwide. Some automated hematology analyzers have the capability of flagging individuals who may have hematological disorders based on complete blood count (CBC) biomarkers. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of a hematology analyzer in identifying genetic hemoglobinopathies in Cambodian women and to determine which hematological biomarkers are the best predictors. A CBC was completed using a Sysmex XN-1000 analyzer and hemoglobinopathies were determined with capillary hemoglobin electrophoresis for 808 nonpregnant Cambodian women. Sysmex XN-1000 Interpretive Program (IP) messages, which flag potential hematological disorders, were produced from CBC results. Then, 2 × 2 tables were used to determine sensitivity and specificity of the IP message "Hemoglobin defect" to detect a genetic hemoglobinopathy. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses assessed the diagnostic ability of six CBC biomarkers to predict a genetic hemoglobinopathy. In total, 74% of women had a hemoglobinopathy (predominantly Hb E and ?-thalassemia). "Hb defect" IP message sensitivity and specificity for genetic hemoglobinopathy detection were 10.4% and 98.6%, respectively. Variable selection strategies yielded a two-variable model including mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red blood cell (RBC) count (AIC = 99.83, AUC<sup>ROC</sup> = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.97, 0.99)) for the prediction of a homozygous EE disorder. Sensitivity and specificity values do not justify the use of Sysmex XN-1000 IP flag messages for identification of genetic hemoglobinopathies in Cambodian women. Development of an algorithm based on MCV and RBC biomarkers may optimize the screening ability of automated hematology analyzers.
Project description:Heterogeneity is a key feature of all psychiatric disorders that manifests on many levels, including symptoms, disease course, and biological underpinnings. These form a substantial barrier to understanding disease mechanisms and developing effective, personalized treatments. In response, many studies have aimed to stratify psychiatric disorders, aiming to find more consistent subgroups on the basis of many types of data. Such approaches have received renewed interest after recent research initiatives, such as the National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria and the European Roadmap for Mental Health Research, both of which emphasize finding stratifications that are based on biological systems and that cut across current classifications. We first introduce the basic concepts for stratifying psychiatric disorders and then provide a methodologically oriented and critical review of the existing literature. This shows that the predominant clustering approach that aims to subdivide clinical populations into more coherent subgroups has made a useful contribution but is heavily dependent on the type of data used; it has produced many different ways to subgroup the disorders we review, but for most disorders it has not converged on a consistent set of subgroups. We highlight problems with current approaches that are not widely recognized and discuss the importance of validation to ensure that the derived subgroups index clinically relevant variation. Finally, we review emerging techniques-such as those that estimate normative models for mappings between biology and behavior-that provide new ways to parse the heterogeneity underlying psychiatric disorders and evaluate all methods to meeting the objectives of such as the National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria and Roadmap for Mental Health Research.
Project description:Healthy subjects frequently report minor bleedings that are frequently 'background noise' of normality rather than a true disorder. Nevertheless, unexpected or unusual bleeding may be alarming. Thus, the distinction between normal and pathologic bleeding is critical. Understanding the underlying pathologic mechanism in patients with an excessive bleeding is essential for their counseling and treatment. Most of these patients with significant bleeding will result affected by non-severe inherited bleeding disorders (BD), collectively denominated mild or moderate BD for their relatively benign course. Unfortunately, practical recommendations for the management of these disorders are still lacking due to the current state of fragmented knowledge of pathophysiology and lack of a systematic diagnostic approach. To address this gap, an International Working Group (IWG) was established by the European Hematology Association (EHA) to develop consensus-based guidelines on these disorders. The IWG agreed that grouping these disorders by their clinical phenotype under the single category of mild-to-moderate bleeding disorders (MBD) reflects current clinical practice and will facilitate a systematic diagnostic approach. Based on standardized and harmonized definitions a conceptual unified framework is proposed to distinguish normal subjects from affected patients. The IWG proposes a provisional comprehensive patient-centered initial diagnostic approach that will result in classification of MBD into distinct clinical-pathological entities under the overarching principle of clinical utility for the individual patient. While we will present here a general overview of the global management of patients with MBD, this conceptual framework will be adopted and validated in the evidence-based, disease-specific guidelines under development by the IWG.
Project description:Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a disease of the elderly, and by far the most frequent overlap myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm in adults. Aside from the chronic monocytosis that remains the cornerstone of its diagnosis, the clinical presentation of CMML includes dysplastic features, cytopenias, excess of blasts, or myeloproliferative features including high white blood cell count or splenomegaly. Prognosis is variable, with several prognostic scoring systems reported in recent years, and treatment is poorly defined, with options ranging from watchful waiting to allogeneic stem cell transplantation, which remains the only curative therapy for CMML. Here, we present on behalf of the European Hematology Association and the European LeukemiaNet, evidence- and consensus-based guidelines, established by an international group of experts, from Europe and the United States, for standardized diagnostic and prognostic procedures and for an appropriate choice of therapeutic interventions in adult patients with CMML.
Project description:The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has established communication as a core competency for physicians in training. However, data suggest that most pediatric residents perceive inadequate training in the delivery of bad news and the majority of former trainees in pediatric oncology received no formal training in the delivery of bad news during fellowship. The study examines communication training in ACGME accredited US pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) fellowship programs.An online survey was distributed to 315 PHO fellows in training via the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) fellow email registry. Each fellow received an initial request to participate and 2 reminders, while participation was encouraged through a random incentive drawing.One hundred and ten fellows (35%) responded. Eighty percent of respondents perceived communication training to be important to fellow education, however only 32% reported receiving communication training (other than direct observation). The most common reported teaching method of fellowship communication training was formal lecture (42%). Twenty-three percent of respondents reported neither communication training nor frequent feedback on their communication skills from faculty observation. This same group was the least satisfied with their programs' approach to teaching communication (P < 0.001).There is limited communication training in PHO fellowships despite ACGME requirements and fellows' interest in this training. Didactic learning remains the most frequently described training method, yet educational theory identifies the limitation of didactic lectures alone. Communication training employing novel teaching methods and emphasizing communication challenges identified by fellows should be developed and evaluated.