ASH Releases Clinical Practice Guidelines on SCD-Related Transfusion Support, Opens Access to LLS’ Clinical Trial Support Center, and more

ASH Releases Clinical Practice Guidelines on Sickle Cell Disease-Related Transfusion Support

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has released new clinical practice guidelines on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)-Related Transfusion Support, the latest in the Society’s series of five new guidelines for the treatment of SCD.

The 12 panel recommendations, which were published in Blood Advances, aim to help physicians standardize and improve their SCD patients’ care and reduce side effects related to transfusions. Highlights include:

  • Patients with SCD who require transfusions should receive red blood cells that have undergone more extensive profiling that goes beyond traditional blood-type testing techniques to reduce development of allo-immunization.
  • Therapies to suppress the immune system should be used under certain circumstances, such as in patients with a sudden and pressing need for transfusion if they are at high risk of an immune response to the transfusion, a serious complication that can occur after a blood transfusion.

“We know that people living with SCD often require blood transfusions to prevent or treat organ damage associated with the disease, said Stella T. Chou, MD, panel co-chair for the ASH Guidelines on SCD-Related Transfusion Support, and associate professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The ASH guidelines took the latest evidence into account to make recommendations that will help physicians and caregivers standardize and advance their patients’ care and decrease side effects. We’ve also provided best-practices and tips for patients and caregivers to help inform conversations with their health care providers.”

ASH published SCD-Related Cardiopulmonary and Kidney Disease Guidelines in December 2019, and three more chapters are in development: Cerebrovascular Disease, Management of Acute and Chronic Pain, and Transplantation.

Find the new guidelines and learn about the guideline development process at hematology.org/SCDguidelines.


Gabriela Hobbs, MD
Oluwatoyosi Onwuemene, MD, MS

Minority Hematology Scholars Selected for Medical Faculty Development Program

ASH is pleased to announce that Gabriela Hobbs, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Oluwatoyosi Onwuemene, MD, MS, of Duke University, have been selected to participate in the ASH-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP), a partnership between ASH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The program, designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars who have academic and research appointments in the field of hematology, provides 4-year research awards, totaling $420,000. Drs. Hobbs and Onwuemene will spend at least 70% of their research time under the mentorship of a senior faculty member at their respective institutions.

Dr. Hobbs’ research focuses on integrating molecular genetics into clinical decision making to improve outcomes in patients with myelofibrosis (MF) undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. She aims to assess the impact of cellular composition and persistent molecularly positive disease on clinically important outcomes after transplantation for MF.

Dr. Onwuemene’s research focuses on developing apheresis-specific outcomes to facilitate a multicenter study of therapeutic plasma exchange in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. She aims to determine the serologic effects of therapeutic plasma exchange and intra-operative heparin exposure on post-surgical anti-PF4/heparin antibody levels.

“Drs. Hobbs and Onwuemene are two dedicated physician investigators who are addressing critical research questions in their respective fields,” said 2020 ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “The Society is pleased to support such promising young investigators who will be part of the next generation to propel the science and practice of hematology forward.”

The ASH-AMFDP program is a component of the ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative, which is dedicated to increasing minority faculty in medical schools to encourage the participation of minority medical trainees in biomedical research.

Learn more about the ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative at hematology.org/mri.


The ASH Portal to Access LLS’ Clinical Trial Support Center (CTSC) Is Now Open!

ASH members can visit hematology.org/clinicaltrialnavigation for free access to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s CTSC, a personalized service that helps patients with blood cancers find relevant clinical trials. The portal enables the referring hematologist to provide key clinical details about their patients directly to LLS’ Nurse Navigators, who work one-on-one with patients and families to navigate trial inclusion and exclusion criteria and overcome potential barriers to enrollment.

Save the Date for the ASH Meeting on Lymphoma Biology

August 6-9, 2020
Westfields Marriott, Chantilly, VA
(near Washington, DC)

The 2020 program will focus on:

  • Understanding the biology of lymphoma
  • Pathogenic mechanisms in lymphoma
  • Clinical applications of novel technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphomas

Visit hematology.org/mlb for more details.