News

Transfusion Research Unit at BLOOD 2022

The TRU team and collaborators were in full action at the annual BLOOD conference in Sydney (11-14 September 2022), contributing to 17 abstracts accepted as oral or poster presentations, 2 invited presentations, and hosting investigator meetings for the lymphoma and myeloma registries. It was wonderful to catch up with colleagues from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

Congratulations to Dr Allison Mo on her research on platelet transfusion practices in myelodysplasia selected for the ANZSBT Presidential Symposium. For the second year in a row, Allison received the ANZSBT-National Blood Authority award for best presentation on patient blood management.

LaRDR holds annual investigator meeting at BLOOD 2022

In collaboration with the Australasian Lymphoma Alliance and Lymphoma Australia, Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR) investigators and students from around Australia and New Zealand met in Sydney on 13 September 2022 to share updates on the work of the registry, and plans for the future. Chaired by Dr Nicole Wong Doo, LaRDR investigator from Concord Hospital, the meeting was very well attended and interactive, with in person and online participation from patients, advocacy groups, clinicians, industry supporters and researchers, and a panel discussion on how patients can partner in lymphoma research.

MRDR holds its 10th annual investigator meeting at Blood 2022

The Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry (MRDR) held a milestone meeting on 12 September 2022 celebrating 10 years of successful registry activities. Chaired by Prof Joy Ho, a member of the MRDR Steering Committee and MRDR site investigator at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the meeting was held online and in person in Sydney during the BLOOD conference. Updates were provided on important registry progress and the many research activities in Australia and New Zealand, and from the Asia-Pacific MRDR, including a panel discussion.

Welcome to Lauren Young, Louise Robertson and Laura Oliver

Dr Lauren YoungDr Lauren Young holds a PhD from Swinburne University and is an experienced manager of complex clinical trials. She has joined the TRU team managing the MRFF-funded, AAR-based DIAAMOND trial.

Louise RobertsonLouise Robertson has graduate qualifications in communications from Deakin University, and brings her extensive experience in the health, professional, and not-for-profit sectors as she joins TRU as Executive Assistant.

Laura OliverLaura Oliver has qualifications in health science and social work, and substantial healthcare experience having worked in both the public and sectors. She joins TRU to work on the Asia-Pacific Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry.

Haemoglobinopathy Registry sickle cell health economics project for Dr Steve Oguguo Nwokeocha

TRU and the Monash Centre for Health Economics welcomed Steve Nwokeocha, visiting under the TURING scheme from the University of Birmingham, during July-September 2022. Steve performed an analysis of sickle cell data from the Australian Haemoglobinopathy Registry, which will be used for a research dissertation supporting his MSc candidature in Health Policy and Health Economics, and a planned publication.

Prof Erica Wood awarded the International Haemovigilance Network Medal

Congratulations to Erica Wood, who has been awarded the International Haemovigilance Network (IHN) Medal, recognising her service to IHN and to haemovigilance internationally. Erica delivered the opening presentation at the International Haemovigilance Network-Serious Hazards of Transfusion Symposium in Brighton, July 2022.

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

de Vos TW, Winkelhorst D, Árnadóttir V, van der Bom JG, Canals Surís C, Caram-Deelder C, Deschmann E, Haysom HE, Hverven HBC, Lozar Krivec J, McQuilten ZK, Muñiz-Diaz E, Nogués N, Oepkes D, Porcelijn L, van der Schoot CE, Saxonhouse M, Sola-Visner M, Tiblad E, Tiller H, Wood EM, Young V, Železnik M, de Haas M, Lopriore E. Postnatal treatment for children with fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia: a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study. Lancet Haematol. 2022 Sep 12:S2352-3026(22)00243-5. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(22)00243-5.

McQuilten Z, Wellard C, Moore E, Augustson B, Bergin K, Blacklock H, Harrison S, Ho PJ, King T, Quach H, Mollee P, Rosengarten B, Walker P, Wood E, Spencer A; Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry. Predictors of early mortality in multiple myeloma: Results from the Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry (MRDR). Br J Haematol. 2022 Sep;198(5):830-837. doi: 10.1111/bjh.18324.

Myles PS, Richards T, Klein A, Wood EM, Wallace S, Shulman MA, Martin C, Bellomo R, Corcoran TB, Peyton PJ, Story DA, Leslie K, Forbes A; RELIEF Trial Investigators. Postoperative anaemia and patient-centred outcomes after major abdominal surgery: a retrospective cohort study. Br J Anaesth. 2022 Sep;129(3):346-354. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2022.06.014.

Chai KL, Wong JWK, Weinkove R, Keegan A, Crispin PJ, Stanworth SJ, Morrissey O, Wood EM, McQuilten Z. Interventions to reduce infections in patients with hematological malignancies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Blood Adv. 2022 Jul 26:bloodadvances.2022008073. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2022008073.

Willers A, Swol J, van Kuijk SMJ, Buscher H, McQuilten Z, Ten Cate H, Rycus PT, McKellar S, Lorusso R, Tonna JE. HEROES V-A-HEmoRrhagic cOmplications in veno-arterial Extracorporeal life Support-Development and internal validation of a multivariable prediction model in adult patients. Artif Organs. 2022 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/aor.14340.

Tong SYC, Mora J, Bowen AC, Cheng MP, Daneman N, Goodman AL, Heriot GS, Lee TC, Lewis RJ, Lye DC, Mahar RK, Marsh J, McGlothlin A, McQuilten Z, Morpeth SC, Paterson DL, Price DJ, Roberts JA, Robinson JO, van Hal SJ, Walls G, Webb SA, Whiteway L, Yahav D, Davis JS; SNAP study group. The Staphylococcus aureus Network Adaptive Platform Trial protocol: New tools for an old foe. Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Jun 19:ciac476. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac476.

Hirsch C, Park YS, Piechotta V, Chai KL, Estcourt LJ, Monsef I, Salomon S, Wood EM, So-Osman C, McQuilten Z, Spinner CD, Malin JJ, Stegemann M, Skoetz N, Kreuzberger N. SARS-CoV-2-neutralising monoclonal antibodies to prevent COVID-19. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Jun 17;6(6):CD014945. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD014945.pub2.

Shaw B, Wood EM, Callum J, McQuilten ZK. Home Delivery: Transfusion Services When and Where They Are Needed. Transfus Med Rev. 2022 Jul;36(3):117-124. doi: 10.1016/j.tmrv.2022.06.003.

Zhang L, Li H, Su S, Wood EM, Ma T, Sun Y, Guo L, Cheng Q, Gu X, Wu W, Wang L, Ding M, Zhang L, Shen Y, Yang J. Cohort Profile: The Shaanxi Blood Donor Cohort in China. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 May 11;9:841253. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.841253.

Mitra B, Wood EM, Reade MC. Whole blood for trauma resuscitation? Injury. 2022 May;53(5):1573-1575. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2022.04.001.

MRFF support for Monash University immunoglobulin research

A/Prof Dennis PetrieA/Prof Zoe McQuiltenCongratulations to A/Prof Zoe McQuilten of the Transfusion Research Unit and A/Prof Dennis Petrie of the Monash Centre for Health Economics, and their co-investigators, for successful grant applications focussed on improving the use of immunoglobulins. These studies form part of the immunoglobulin stream of the NHMRC-funded Blood Synergy research program.

A/Prof McQuilten leads the RATIONAL Platform Trial: Generating evidence to improve use of immunoglobulin replacement to reduce infections in blood cancers: the RATIONAL Platform Trial. This study (#2018373) has been funded for $3,984,139 by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Optimising the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulins Grant - Stream 1.

A/Prof Petrie leads the VALUE-Ig study: eVidence synthesis to inform the optimAL UsE of Immunoglobulin. This study (#2017480) is funded for $1,723,772 by the MRFF 2021 Optimising the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulins Grant - Stream 4.

Congratulations to the REMAP-CAP team on winning 'Trial of the Year' at the annual Australian Clinical Trials Alliance Awards

A/Prof Zoe McQuilten and Dr Alisa Higgins collected the award on behalf of the REMAP-CAP team at the awards ceremony on 20 May 2022.

REMAP-CAP team wins 'Trial of the Year' at the annual Australian Clinical Trials Alliance Awards, 20 May 2022

Blood Synergy open meeting

Over 100 in person and online participants enjoyed the Blood Synergy open day on 3 May 2022. Highlights included discussions of national blood sector research priorities, progress on updates of patient blood management guidelines, enabling technologies such as machine learning for transfusion research, and reports from Synergy projects, investigators and students.  It was also an opportunity to share the Synergy Research Report.

More information about the Synergy is available at: bloodsynergy.org

Blood Synergy Open Day, 3 May 2022

Dr Thao LeWelcome Dr Thao Le

Dr Thao Le has joined the Transfusion Research Unit and the Blood Synergy team. Dr Le is a Senior Research Fellow and biostatistician with experience in clinical trials, and will contribute to the design and analysis of a wide range of studies across our research program.

TREATT trial recruitment completed

The TREATT team was delighted to complete recruitment to the trial in February 2022. This has been a huge effort from site staff, trial staff, investigators and collaborators across Australia and the UK. We thank all the 616 participants and their families for their valuable participation in the study of the role of tranexamic acid to prevent bleeding in patients with low platelet counts due to haematologic malignancies.

The Australian TREATT arm is funded by the NHMRC (#1085062) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion, and in the UK TREATT is funded by the NHS Blood and Transplant (12-01-CSU).

More information about TREATT is available at treatt.org

Sara Carrillo De Albornoz San JuanWelcome Sara Carrillo, new Synergy PhD student

We welcome Sara Carrillo De Albornoz San Juan, who has commenced a PhD with the NHMRC Blood Synergy program. Sara is a health economist with qualifications in public health, who is experienced in health technology assessments. She joins us from the Monash University Centre for Health Economics. Her research will focus on health economics evaluations of immunoglobulin use for acquired hypogammaglobulinaemia secondary to haematological malignancies such as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

More information about the Synergy is available at bloodsynergy.org

Asia-Pacific Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry reaches 1000 participants

The APAC MRDR has reached an important milestone with recruiting its 1000th participant to the registry in March 2022. Hospitals in Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan are currently recruiting patients, and China is scheduled to start patient recruitment in 2022. We acknowledge the interest and support of all the study participants, the investigators and study coordinators, the Steering Committee and Janssen-Cilag, who fund the APAC MRDR.

More information on the APAC MRDR is available at apacmrdr.org

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

Congratulations: FEISTY II trial funded by the MRFF

Dr James WinearlsA/Prof Zoe McQuiltenA/Prof Zoe McQuilten and colleagues have been successful in securing $3,162,379 in funding for the Fibrinogen Early In Severe Trauma StudY II through the 2021 MRFF Rare Cancers Rare Diseases and Unmet Need grant call. FEISTY II is a phase III randomised clinical trial that will evaluate determine whether earlier replacement of fibrinogen – a key clotting factor – using fibrinogen concentrate improves outcomes for patients with major haemorrhage following trauma, compared to the current standard of care, cryoprecipitate. It builds on the successful FEISTY pilot study, led by Dr James Winearls, and will be managed as a collaboration between the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC) and the NHMRC Blood Synergy Program at Monash University. Congratulations to Zoe, James and all the investigators: Jamie Cooper, Michael Reade, Craig French, Jeffrey Presneill, Alisa Higgins, Zsolt Balogh, Stephane Heritier, Erica Wood, Nicola Curry, Donald Campbell, Elizabeth Wake, Biswadev Mitra, Katherine Martin, Jeremy Hsu, James Daly, Gillian Heller, Brian Burns and David Conway.

A/Prof Eliza HawkesCongratulations to A/Prof Eliza Hawkes, awarded Faculty Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to A/Prof Eliza Hawkes, who has been awarded a Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2022. Eliza is a medical oncologist at Austin Health and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and Senior Research Fellow and clinical lead for the Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry at SPHPM.

LaRDRLymphoma and Related Diseases Registry reaches 5000 participants

Congratulations to all participating sites, investigators and staff of the Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR) on reaching 5000 participants. Monash Health in Melbourne enrolled the 5000th patient on 12 February 2022. The registry thanks all patients and their families, site teams, industry sponsors and supporters for their ongoing contributions to LaRDR.

More information on LaRDR’s activities and research is available at: lardr.org

Congratulations: MY-PROMPT-2 trial funded by the MRFF

The MY-PROMPT investigators, led by Professor Andrew Spencer, have been awarded $1,678,493 in funding from the MRFF Rare Cancers Rare Diseases and Unmet Need grant call for the “More efficient delivery of high-cost standard-of-care therapies in relapsed multiple myeloma using real-time feedback of patient-reported outcome measures: the MY-PROMPT-2 trial”. This builds on the MY-PROMPT pilot study, led by Dr Elizabeth Moore and colleagues. The trial will be managed as a collaboration between the Australasian Myeloma Research Consortium (AMaRC) and the Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry (MRDR). The MY-PROMPT-2 trial will test whether real-time symptom feedback using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) improves duration on treatment, leading to better patient outcomes and more efficient use of high-cost therapies and complex regimens for myeloma. Congratulations to Andrew, Liz and all the investigators: Claudia Rutherford, John Reynolds, P. Joy Ho, Zoe McQuilten, Elizabeth Moore, Tracy King, Erica Wood, Simon Harrison, Adam Irving, Peter Mollee, Susanna Park, Cameron Wellard, Dennis Petrie, Stephen Roach and Georgia McCaughan.

AMARC MRDR

PhD position available with the CLIP-II trial and Synergy research program

A fully-funded PhD position is available to undertake research in the CLIP cryopreserved (frozen) platelet clinical trial health economics program. The proposed project will utilise the National Transfusion Dataset containing clinical, laboratory and transfusion data from multiple hospitals to refine an existing profile of platelet use in Australia and develop a better understanding of current platelet use in different patient groups.

The prospective student will have the opportunity to work with a highly dynamic multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers within the ANZIC RC, NHMRC Blood Synergy program, Transfusion Research Unit, and Centre for Health Economics, all at Monash University. The supervisor team will include Dr Lisa Higgins, A/Prof Zoe McQuilten, and Prof Michael Reade.

Candidates must have a degree or masters in a relevant discipline, with strong academic results. The project would suit candidates with prior experience in transfusion, health economics, public health or health-related research. Applicants must fulfil the criteria for PhD admission to Monash University.

More information on the Blood Synergy is available at bloodsynergy.org/news

Enquiries: Lisa.Higgins@monash.edu

Applications close 9 January 2022.