Chance of finding a good bone marrow match varies by ethnicity, study finds | Breakthrough treatment approach exposes undetectable HIV | Hepatitis B drug does not remove liver cancer risk, data show
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July 24, 2014
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

Top Story
Chance of finding a good bone marrow match varies by ethnicity, study finds
The chances of finding an acceptable donor via the National Marrow Donor Program are good for many bone marrow or cord blood transplant candidates, but the likelihood of finding a suitable donor varies among racial and ethnic groups, according to a new study. Optimal matches are available for three-quarters of white patients, but the likelihood is just 19% for black patients and 34% for Hispanic patients. Chances of a good cord blood match are better, with at least one matched unit available for 81% to 99% of patients. Details of the study appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. HealthDay News (7/23)
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Science & Health
Breakthrough treatment approach exposes undetectable HIV
The cancer drug romidepsin can expose HIV hidden in CD4 cells, where the virus can remain undetectable and unaffected by immune action or treatment, according to new research. The groundbreaking study, which was presented at an international AIDS conference, could provide a new route for treating the disease. After giving six patients three doses of romidepsin for three weeks, researchers detected the virus in the plasma of five patients, although the virus was not reduced. "This suggests when you do this reactivation, you also need to also target and activate the immune system and teach it to recognize these cells and attack," said lead researcher Ole Sogaard. The Guardian (London) (7/22), The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (7/22)
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Hepatitis B drug does not remove liver cancer risk, data show
Patients who take entecavir for chronic hepatitis B remain at risk for liver cancer, even though the antiviral can lead to remission and symptom abatement, according to University of Toronto researchers. Researchers also said risk scores for liver cancer that use demographic, clinical or virologic characteristics may not offer accurate predictions. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (7/21)
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The Technical Manual 18th edition—NOW AVAILABLE
Revised and more relevant than ever, the 18th edition of the Technical Manual includes updated and expanded PBM content, enhanced cellular therapy chapters and inclusion of information on immunohematology reflecting both serologic and molecular aspects. For the first time, methods in SOP format are placed on a USB flash card making them customizable for easy adoption by your facility. Order your copy today!
Emerging Trends
AHA creates online tool to facilitate health care collaboration
The American Hospital Association has created the AHA SmartMarket platform to enable provider-vendor interaction and peer-to-peer collaboration. The social platform can be accessed by any health care professional. (7/22)
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Group creates accountable care accreditation program
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission has created an accreditation program for accountable care organizations. The program will evaluate ACOs' network infrastructure and exchange connectivity, technical performance, resource management, business processes and other performance quality standards. A group in New Jersey and one in Washington, D.C., have been selected to undergo the beta accreditation process. Healthcare Informatics online (7/21)
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Core Principles in Cellular Therapy Now Available
This key resource is derived for a distinct readership in laboratories from the AABB Technical Manual, 18th edition. Methods covered include collection and processing of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCT), umbilical cord blood, blood, marrow and tissue-derive non HSCT sources for use in cell-based therapies. Available now in the AABB Marketplace.
Industry News & Practice
Drug appears to reverse HIV-linked immune impairment
Biotron's new drug BIT225 can restore the normal function of the immune system in patients with HIV, according to clinical trial results presented at an international AIDS conference. Blood samples from 21 patients who were treated for 10 days with the drug also showed lower levels of a marker of immune activation associated with macrophages. Australian Life Scientist (7/23)
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The Buzz
General Registration for the AABB Annual Meeting Now Open.
Join us in Philadelphia Oct. 25-28 for the Annual Meeting. Highlights include; 125 educational sessions, 350 industry expert speakers, 550 scientific and administrative abstracts and the chance to earn up to 24.5 CE/CME credits. AABB members save $200 on the cost of registration, join today to save and enjoy the benefit of early registration. Find meeting info at Register Now.
Government & Regulatory
Gilead's idelalisib gains FDA approval for 3 oncologic indications
Gilead's oral leukemia drug idelalisib, or Zydelig, has been approved by the FDA for three indications. It has been given full approval for use in combination with rituximab for the treatment of patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia and accelerated approval for use in patients with relapsed follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and patients with relapsed small lymphocytic lymphoma who have been previously treated with at least two other systemic drugs. Medscape (free registration) (7/23), (7/23), Reuters (7/23)
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Teva gains tentative OK for HIV treatment
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries obtained tentative FDA approval for its abacavir sulfate and lamivudine tablets for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. Drug Store News (7/22)
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Agency updates informed consent guidance for clinical trials
The FDA last week released an updated version of its informed consent guidance for clinical trials that was first issued in 1998. Among the changes in the document is the addition of a section urging studies to inform participants of the trial results. Despite the updates, several issues remain, such as a failure to discuss what should be done if participants -- including children, unconscious people and those who are mentally ill -- lack the ability to consent for themselves. MedPage Today (free registration) (7/23)
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Association News
AABB offers preconvention workshop on Patient Blood Management
AABB will offer a Patient Blood Management Workshop on Friday, Oct. 24, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center prior to the start of the 2014 AABB Annual Meeting. The workshop will address operational and clinical aspects of PBM. Speakers at this interdisciplinary workshop will discuss, among other issues, the use of data and benchmarking in PBM, the challenge of educating practitioners through credentialing or certification, and platelet function in endothelial cell repair. The workshop will be followed by a vendor showcase reception. Those who wish to register for this workshop can do so through the AABB Annual Meeting registration site.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Transfusion Services Supervisor (Evenings)Puget Sound Blood CenterSeattle, WA
Clinical Nurse SpecialistPuget Sound Blood CenterSeattle, WA
Collections TrainerBlood Bank of HawaiiHonolulu, HI
APHERESIS MANAGERBlood Bank of HawaiiHonolulu, HI
PROJECT MANAGERBlood Bank of HawaiiHonolulu, HI
Click here to view more job listings.
Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible."
-- Norman Cousins,
American journalist
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