May 2022 Editor's pick Jolien Blokken

In this section of the BJH, we provide a snapshot of pivotal studies published in recent issues of the most important international journals focusing on haematology. Importantly, the selection of the studies discussed here was made by Prof. Dr. Jan Philippé (Ghent University and member of the BJH editorial board), based on the added value of the studies in daily clinical practice. In addition to the key highlights of the articles, an expert opinion of Prof. Philippé on each of these topics is included.

Canakinumab in children and young adults with sickle cell anaemia

A recent phase IIa study assessed the safety and efficacy of the interleukin 1-β neutralising antibody canakinumab in children and young adults with sickle cell anaemia (SCA), chronic pain, and inflammation. Although participants receiving the study drug did not experience a significant reduction in average daily pain, a promising reduction of multiple biomarkers of inflammation, number and duration of hospitalisations, and other patient-reported outcomes of pain and fatigue was reported… Read more

Outcomes in adolescent and young adult patients compared to younger patients treated for high-risk B-lymphoblastic leukaemia

In general, adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients, aged 16–30 years old, with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (HR-ALL) have inferior outcomes compared to younger HR-ALL patients. The phase III AALL0232 trial enrolled the largest number of AYA B-ALL patients to date, demonstrating significantly inferior survival and greater rates of treatment-related toxicities compared to younger patients… Read more

Safety and efficacy of the BNT162b mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) are known to show suboptimal humoral responses to vaccination. Although the BNT162b mRNA COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be safe, a negative effect of ongoing therapy with novel anti-CLL agents on the immune response to the vaccine was noticed. Therefore, a simple seven-parameter score was generated to help predict individual immune responses… Read more

2021 Update on measurable residual disease in acute myeloid leukaemia

Assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD) in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is challenging. Several technologies are available for MRD quantification, but the assays and reporting lack standardisation and comparability. The goal of the European LeukemiaNet (ELN) AML MRD expert panel was to update the previous consensus article and provide expert recommendations on different technologies and current clinical uses of MRD… Read more

Flow cytometric MRD assessment in B-cell precursor ALL patients treated with CD19-targeted therapies

The standardised EuroFlow protocol enables highly sensitive and reliable minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (BCP-ALL) patients treated with chemotherapy. Recently, an alternative gating strategy allowing reliable MRD analysis in BCP-ALL patients treated with CD19-targeting therapies, was developed and validated… Read more