New Clinical Practice Guidelines for von Willebrand Disease, Announcing the 2021 ASH Scholar Award Recipients, and more

Just Published: Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of von Willebrand Disease

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has developed clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand Disease (VWD) in partnership with the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, National Hemophilia Foundation, World Federation of Hemophilia, and the University of Kansas Medical Center. The guidelines were published in Blood Advances January 12.

The publication of the two guidelines on diagnosis and management will be accompanied by clinical tools and educational resources to help patients, hematologists, and other health care providers understand and implement the recommendations.

“While VWD is a common bleeding disorder, it is also complex, presenting challenges in the timely diagnosis and appropriate management of bleeding for patients,” said 2021 ASH President Martin S. Tallman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Because diagnosis is not straightforward and symptoms range in severity, there is a need for trustworthy guidelines to help improve the quality of care for patients.”

Together, the guidelines on diagnosis and management include a combined 19 recommendations.

Highlights from the guideline recommendations for diagnosis of VWD include:

  • A call to improve education around the value and use of bleeding assessment tools.
  • Suggestion to broaden the classification of VWD to be more inclusive of individuals who experience VWD-like bleeding but whose von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels used to confirm diagnosis of type 1 VWD do not meet the previously proposed diagnostic threshold of 30% or less.
  • Suggestion to change the approach for a type 1 VWD patient with normalized VWF levels over time, specifically to reconsider diagnosis as opposed to removing diagnosis.
  • Recommendation to use targeted genetic testing to diagnose type 2B VWD.

Highlights from the guideline recommendations for management of VWD include:

  • How to address a wide array of VWD manifestations and best-practices for management in medical or other settings, including:
    • prophylaxis for frequent recurrent bleeding
    • desmopressin trials to determine therapy
    • use of antiplatelet agents and anticoagulant therapy
    • target VWF and factor VIII activity levels for major surgery
    • strategies to reduce bleeding during minor surgery or invasive procedures
    • management options for heavy menstrual bleeding
    • management of VWD in the context of epidurals during labor and delivery
    • management in the postpartum setting

The guidelines were developed by two expert panels made up of 32 individuals, including U.S.-based and international hematologists, individuals living with VWD, and scientists with expertise in evidence synthesis and appraisal and guideline development methodology. Clinical questions were developed by the panels and prioritized, and an international survey was completed to identify the most important clinical questions. A systematic review of available evidence was conducted by the University of Kansas Medical Center and the panel referred to this evidence to make recommendations. This process shed light on the lack of strong evidence on which to base recommendations, and therefore the report calls for more research.

Find the guidelines and corresponding education and implementation resources at hematology.org/VWDguidelines.


New Toolkit Aims to Improve Quality of Thrombosis Data Collected in COVID-19 Clinical Trials

The ASH Research Collaborative (ASH RC) and the International Society of Haemostasis and Thrombosis (ISTH) have developed a toolkit to help clinical researchers from across medical disciplines design clinical trials that further the understanding of blood clotting events associated with COVID-19.

The Toolkit for the Collection of Thrombosis-Related Data Elements in COVID-19 Clinical Studies, published December 17 in Blood Advances, defines a series of endpoints that should be included in study design to collect and analyze important, relevant, and standardized data on blood clots that form in patients with COVID-19.

“Researchers across various disciplines are conducting clinical trials in COVID-19, and be-cause they are not attuned to collecting these data we are seeing ranges of incidences,” said 2020 ASH and ASH RC President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. “ASH RC and ISTH developed this toolkit to harmonize data collection and help all clinical researchers speak the same language. Standardizing how thrombosis is defined and measured across all COVID-19 trials will give us a more complete picture of the magnitude of risk – who is experiencing blood clots, what predisposes them to clotting – which could lead to the development of more targeted interventions and treatments.”

The toolkit includes a customizable range of options for maximal flexibility, from a limited set of essential variables to a comprehensive set of clinical and biological variables, including variable definitions, permissible values, and measurement tools and units. Depending on the individual study objectives, design, and available resources, investigators can select from three levels of detail in seven domains: venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, stroke/transient ischemic attack, peripheral artery thrombosis, bleeding, laboratory investigations, and antithrombotic therapy.

This and other COVID-19 resources are available at hematology.org/COVID-19.


Congratulations to the 2021 ASH Scholar Award Recipients!

ASH is pleased to announce the 36 recipients of its 2021 Scholar Awards, which financially support fellows and junior faculty dedicated to careers in hematology research as they transition from training programs to careers as independent investigators.

Each Scholar Award provides $100,000 for the Fellow level, $125,000 for the new Fellow to Faculty Scholars level, or $150,000 for the Junior Faculty level.

“When you’re beginning your research career, receiving funding from an organization like ASH not only provides the necessary support to pursue your goals but it also instills confidence that your work is worthwhile,” said 2021 ASH President Martin S. Tallman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The ASH Scholar Award has been a turning point in the careers of fellows and early career faculty who have gone on to become leaders in our field. We congratulate this year’s recipients and look forward to watching their promising research careers unfold.”

ASH Scholar Awards are made possible through support from the ASH Foundation as well as from the corporate community, individual donors, and funds committed by the Society. ASH gratefully acknowledges this year’s corporate supporters: AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen Biotech, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., and Pharmacyclics LLC.

The 2021 Scholar Awards recipients are:

Basic/Translational Research Fellows

  • Casey Katerndahl, PhD
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Christine Zhang, PhD
    Washington University School of Medicine
  • Diu Nguyen, DPhil
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Eugene Khandros, MD, PhD
    The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Han Dong, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Kristen Schratz, MD
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Marlise L. Guerrero Schimpf, PhD
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Moua Yang, PhD
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Scott Millman, MD, PhD
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Yimeng Gao, PhD
    Yale University

Basic/Translational Fellow to Faculty

  • Aaron Viny, MD
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Brooke Sadler, PhD
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Coraline Mlynarczyk, PhD
    Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Courtney Jones, PhD
    University Health Network
  • Elisa Ten Hacken, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Franco Izzo, PhD
    Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Roger Belizaire, MD, PhD
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Samuel Ng, MD, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Basic/Translational Junior Faculty

  • Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD
    Stanford University
  • Dang Nguyen, PhD
    University of Minnesota
  • Jeevisha Bajaj, PhD
    University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Koichi Takahashi, MD, PhD
    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Lisa Roth, MD
    Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Rui Lu, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Satheesh Chonat, MD
    Emory University School of Medicine
  • Shannon Buckley, PhD
    University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Stanley Lee, PhD
    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Clinical Fellows

  • Ghadeer Dawwas, PhD
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Julia Xu, MD
    National Institutes of Health
  • Roni Shouval, MD, PhD
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Clinical Junior Faculty

  • Aimee Talleur, MD
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Ami Patel, MD
    Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Eboni Lance, MD, PhD
    Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Inc.
  • Oreofe Odejide, MD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Richard Lin, MD, PhD
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Shruti Chaturvedi, MBBS
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine