News

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

A/Prof Eliza HawkesWelcome 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.

Asia-Pacific Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry annual investigator meeting

The APAC MRDR held its annual investigator meeting on 17 December 2021, featuring presentations from Prof Wee Joo Chng (Singapore) on the role of continuous treatment for myeloma, from Dr Kihyun Kim (Korea) on long-term Korean myeloma data, and from Dr Hilary Blacklock (New Zealand), on analysis of data on NZ Maori/Pacific People with myeloma from the Australian/NZ MRDR. The APAC MRDR is funded by Janssen-Cilag. It has enrolled nearly a thousand participants, and is now operating in Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia, with future plans to open in Hong Kong and China.

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

5000th participant joins the Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry

A wonderful end to 2021 for the Australian and New Zealand MRDR! The 5000th participant was recruited by the team at Northern Hospital in Melbourne. Thanks to all participants, steering committee members, site and registry investigators and staff, Myeloma Australia and our funding supporters, on helping to reach this major milestone.

For more information including the meeting recording, please see: mrdr.net.au/news/mrdr-investigator-meeting

MRFF funding for COVID-19 vaccine-associated thrombosis thrombocytopenia syndrome research

TRU researchers are participating in a national, multi-centre study evaluating thrombotic thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) associated with ChAdOx1 (AZD1222) and other SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Led by Prof Huyen Tran, this research has been awarded $2,917,087 to conduct national analyses of vaccine-associated TTS cases (also known as vaccine-induced immune thrombosis/thrombocytopenia – VITT).

LaRDR/ALA investigator meeting

The Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR) held its annual investigator meeting on 28th October 2021, In collaboration with the Australasian Lymphoma Alliance. Prof Stephen Opat, chair of the LaRDR steering committee, provided an overview of site participation, recruitment (now at more than 4700 patients with all types of lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and 31 participating sites). Speakers provided updates on current projects, and opportunities for new research. Thanks to all participants, steering committee members, site and registry investigators and staff and our funding supporters, on another great year for LaRDR.

More information is available at: lardr.org/2021/11/03/alalardr-investigator-meeting-2021

TRU contributions to international scientific meetings continue, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Professor Erica Wood was delighted to participate as the plenary speaker at the Indian Society of Transfusion Medicine’s 9th TRANSMEDCON on 18 December 2021. She also joined Thalassaemia International Federation’s Global forum on access to safe blood products for patients in need of regular transfusion on 5 November 2021 to speak on ‘safe blood and safe transfusion’, and delivered the The JG Jolly Oration, at the International Symposium on Blood Safety, organised by the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India on 2 October 2021.

TRU at Virtual ISOQOL 2021

Dr Elizabeth Moore, MRDR Research Fellow, presented an analysis of quality of life scores for patients with myeloma participating in the Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry (MRDR) at the International Society for Quality of Life Research, Virtual ISOQOL 2021.

Moore E, Wellard C, Irving A, Wood E, McQuilten Z, Spencer A on behalf of the MRDR investigators: Higher EQ-5D-5L utility scores at diagnosis are associated with improved overall survival in Australian patients with multiple myeloma: results from the Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

  1. McQuilten ZK, Busija L, Seymour JF, Stanworth S, Wood EM, Kenealy M, Weinkove R; Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG): Hemoglobin is a key determinant of quality of life before and during azacitidine-based therapy for myelodysplasia and low blast count acute myeloid leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Dec 17:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10428194.2021.2012664.
  2. Willers A, Swol J, van Kuijk SM, Buscher H, McQuilten Z, Ten Cate H, Rycus PT, McKellar S, Lorusso R, Tonna JE: HEROES V-V - HEmorRhagic cOmplications in Veno-Venous Extracorporeal life Support - development and internal validation of multivariable prediction model in adult patients. Artif Organs. 2021 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/aor.14148.
  3. Fulford TS, Van H, Gherardin NA, Zheng S, Ciula M, Drummer HE, Redmond S, Tan HX, Boo I, Center RJ, Li F, Grimley SL, Wines BD, Nguyen THO, Mordant FL, Ellenberg P, Rowntree LC, Kedzierski L, Cheng AC, Doolan DL, Matthews G, Bond K, Hogarth PM, McQuilten Z, Subbarao K, Kedzierska K, Juno JA, Wheatley AK, Kent SJ, Williamson DA, Purcell DFJ, Anderson DA, Godfrey DI: A point-of-care lateral flow assay for neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. EBioMedicine. 2021 Dec 3;74:103729. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103729.
  4. Axfors C, Janiaud P, Schmitt AM, Van't Hooft J, Smith ER, Haber NA, Abayomi A, Abduljalil M, Abdulrahman A, Acosta-Ampudia Y, Aguilar-Guisado M, Al-Beidh F, Alejandria MM, Alfonso RN, Ali M, AlQahtani M, AlZamrooni A, Anaya JM, Ang MAC, Aomar IF, Argumanis LE, Averyanov A, Baklaushev VP, Balionis O, Benfield T, Berry S, Birocco N, Bonifacio LB, Bowen AC, Bown A, Cabello-Gutierrez C, Camacho B, Camacho-Ortiz A, Campbell-Lee S, Cao DH, Cardesa A, Carnate JM, Castillo GJJ, Cavallo R, Chowdhury FR, Chowdhury FUH, Ciccone G, Cingolani A, Climacosa FMM, Compernolle V, Cortez CFN, Costa Neto A, D'Antico S, Daly J, Danielle F, Davis JS, De Rosa FG, Denholm JT, Denkinger CM, Desmecht D, Díaz-Coronado JC, Díaz Ponce-Medrano JA, Donneau AF, Dumagay TE, Dunachie S, Dungog CC, Erinoso O, Escasa IMS, Estcourt LJ, Evans A, Evasan ALM, Fareli CJ, Fernandez-Sanchez V, Galassi C, Gallo JE, Garcia PJ, Garcia PL, Garcia JA, Garigliany M, Garza-Gonzalez E, Gauiran DTV, Gaviria García PA, Giron-Gonzalez JA, Gómez-Almaguer D, Gordon AC, Gothot A, Grass Guaqueta JS, Green C, Grimaldi D, Hammond NE, Harvala H, Heralde FM, Herrick J, Higgins AM, Hills TE, Hines J, Holm K, Hoque A, Hoste E, Ignacio JM, Ivanov AV, Janssen M, Jennings JH, Jha V, King RAN, Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Klenerman P, Kotecha A, Krapp F, Labanca L, Laing E, Landin-Olsson M, Laterre PF, Lim LL, Lim J, Ljungquist O, Llaca-Díaz JM, López-Robles C, López-Cárdenas S, Lopez-Plaza I, Lucero JAC, Lundgren M, Macías J, Maganito SC, Malundo AFG, Manrique RD, Manzini PM, Marcos M, Marquez I, Martínez-Marcos FJ, Mata AM, McArthur CJ, McQuilten ZK, McVerry BJ, Menon DK, Meyfroidt G, Mirasol MAL, Misset B, Molton JS, Mondragon AV, Monsalve DM, Moradi Choghakabodi P, Morpeth SC, Mouncey PR, Moutschen M, Müller-Tidow C, Murphy E, Najdovski T, Nichol AD, Nielsen H, Novak RM, O'Sullivan MVN, Olalla J, Osibogun A, Osikomaiya B, Oyonarte S, Pardo-Oviedo JM, Patel MC, Paterson DL, Peña-Perez CA, Perez-Calatayud AA, Pérez-Alba E, Perkina A, Perry N, Pouladzadeh M, Poyato I, Price DJ, Quero AKH, Rahman MM, Rahman MS, Ramesh M, Ramírez-Santana C, Rasmussen M, Rees MA, Rego E, Roberts JA, Roberts DJ, Rodríguez Y, Rodríguez-Baño J, Rogers BA, Rojas M, Romero A, Rowan KM, Saccona F, Safdarian M, Santos MCM, Sasadeusz J, Scozzari G, Shankar-Hari M, Sharma G, Snelling T, Soto A, Tagayuna PY, Tang A, Tatem G, Teofili L, Tong SYC, Turgeon AF, Veloso JD, Venkatesh B, Ventura-Enriquez Y, Webb SA, Wiese L, Wikén C, Wood EM, Yusubalieva GM, Zacharowski K, Zarychanski R, Khanna N, Moher D, Goodman SN, Ioannidis JPA, Hemkens LG: Association between convalescent plasma treatment and mortality in COVID-19: a collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 20;21(1):1170. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06829-7.
  5. Lucas R, Dennington P, Wood EM, Cheng AC, Burgner D, Singh-Grewal D. The epidemiology of Kawasaki Disease in Australia using two nationally complete datasets. J Paediatrics and Child Health, 2021, October 30. doi.org/10.1111/jpc.15816.
  6. Gordon SF, Clothier HJ, Morgan H, Buttery JP, Phuong LK, Monagle P, Chunilal S, Wood EM, Tran H, Szer J, Crawford NW; SAEFVIC and VicSIS investigators. Immune thrombocytopenia following immunisation with Vaxzevria ChadOx1-S. (AstraZeneca) vaccine, Victoria, Australia. Vaccine 2021 Oct 29:S0264-410X(21)01350-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.10.030.
  7. Shaw B, Wood E, McQuilten Z, Callum J, Romon I, Sanroma P, Garcia D, Crispin P, Castilho L, Kutner JM, Yokoyama APH, Bravo A, Sanchez EF, Silva KM, Arora S, Radhakrishnan N, Dua S, Ziman A, Wikman A, Lubenow N, Zingmark LB, Louw V, Loebenberg P, Sidhu D, Redfern T, Nahirniak S, Dunbar N: International Forum on Home-Based Blood Transfusion: Responses and Summary. Vox Sang. 2021 Oct 25. doi: 10.1111/vox.13199, doi: 10.1111/vox.13200.
  8. McQuilten ZK, Flint AW, Green L, Sanderson B, Winearls J, Wood EM: Epidemiology of massive transfusion - A common intervention in need of a definition. Transfus Med Rev. 2021 Oct;35(4):73-79. doi: 10.1016/j.tmrv.2021.08.006.

Congratulations to Dr Jasmine Singh, awarded a PhD scholarship from the Leukaemia Foundation and Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand

Jasmine’s PhD studies focus on risk factors for development of clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) and the role of inflammation and its consequences with the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study. This NHMRC-funded study is being led by A/Prof Zoe McQuilten and Prof Erica Wood of TRU, and Prof David Curtis of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at Monash University.

Congratulations to Dr Allison Mo, awarded the best abstract presentation on patient blood management at BLOOD 2021

Allison presented the results of one of her PhD project studies on changing red cell and platelet transfusion needs in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes: A 15-year Australian population data linkage study. The award is supported by ANZSBT and the National Blood Authority.

Transfusion Research Unit at the BLOOD 2021 conference

At the BLOOD 2021 conference, held virtually from 20-23 September, the TRU team contributed to more than 25 invited, oral abstract and poster presentations, including in the ANZSBT Presidential and the HSANZ Baikie Young Investigator sessions. These covered the spectrum from transfusion medicine (including a plenary lecture on convalescent plasma for COVID-19, results from the Australian/NZ Massive Transfusion Registry, and use of immunoglobulins for patients with blood cancers – the RATIONAL trial) to results of projects from our lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplasia, aplastic anaemia and other bone marrow failure syndromes, and haemoglobinopathy registries. Many were presented by TRU students or other young investigators. Congratulations to all involved!

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

REMAP-CAP Investigators: Effect of convalescent plasma on organ support-free days in critically ill patients with COVID-19: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2021 Oct 4. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.18178.

Kreuzberger N, Hirsch C, Chai KL, Tomlinson E, Khosravi Z, Popp M, Neidhardt M, Piechotta V, Salomon S, Valk SJ, Monsef I, Schmaderer C, Wood EM, So-Osman C, Roberts DJ, McQuilten Z, Estcourt LJ, Skoetz N. SARS-CoV-2-neutralising monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 Sep 2;9(9):CD013825. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013825.pub2.

Aubron C, Hourmant B, Menguy J, Sparrow RL: Transfusion-related respiratory complications in intensive care: A diagnosis challenge. Transfus Clin Biol. 2021 Sep 15:S1246-7820(21)00473-0. doi: 10.1016/j.tracli.2021.09.007.

REMAP-CAP Investigators; ACTIV-4a Investigators; ATTACC Investigators: Therapeutic anticoagulation with heparin in critically ill patients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 26;385(9):777-789. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2103417.

ATTACC Investigators; ACTIV-4a Investigators; REMAP-CAP Investigators: Therapeutic anticoagulation with heparin in noncritically ill patients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 26;385(9):790-802. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2105911.

Arabi YM, Gordon AC, Derde LPG, REMAP-CAP Investigators. Lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine for critically ill patients with COVID-19: REMAP-CAP randomized controlled trial. Intensive Care Med. 2021 Aug;47(8):867-886. doi: 10.1007/s00134-021-06448-5.

Launch of the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030

Professor Erica Wood participated in the official launch of the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 on 4-5 August 2021.

Read the plan at who.int/teams/integrated-health-services/patient-safety/policy/global-patient-safety-action-plan

TRU at Serious Hazards of Transfusion Symposium

Professor Erica Wood joined colleagues from around the world at the annual Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) symposium on 14-15 July 2021, in a panel discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on haemovigilance for hospitals, blood centres and others.

The annual SHOT report for 2020 was launched at the meeting, and is available at shotuk.org

RCPA Pathology Update

A/Prof Zoe McQuilten was invited to speak at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Pathology Update – this year held virtually. Zoe joined Dr James Daly of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in a plenary session on 4 July 2021 to discuss the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19.

NHMRC Blood Synergy program PhD scholarships available

The Blood Synergy program is seeking expressions of interest from potential PhD candidates to join the Blood Synergy research that focuses on improving patient outcomes and making better use of blood products. PhD projects should be aligned with the objectives of the Blood Synergy, and in one of the target areas of critical bleeding, critical illness, or blood diseases or immunoglobulin use.

Candidates will ideally have a background in medicine or clinical sciences, and an interest in haematology, transfusion medicine, critical care, emergency/trauma, surgery, and/or health economics.

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

Expressions of interest should be sent to sphpm.bloodsynergy@monash.edu by 1 August 2021.

LaRDR at 16th International Congress on Malignant Lymphoma

On behalf of the Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR), A/Prof Eliza Hawkes and colleagues contributed to an analysis by the International Prospective T-cell project 2.0, presented at the 16th International Congress on Malignant Lymphoma.

LaRDR contributed 159 cases to the total of 594 included in the analysis of these rare and important types of lymphoma.

See: Federico M, Chiattone CS, Prince HM…Hawkes EA…S. Luminari S: Subtypes of mature T and NK cell lymphomas according to 2016 WHO Classification: Preliminary report of the International Prospective T‐Cell Project 2.0. Available at: doi: 10.1002/hon.135_2880.

More information on the Prospective Observational International Registry of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma is available at clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03964480

MRFF funding for genomics studies in bone marrow failure syndromes

TRU researchers are delighted that their grant application “Diagnosis, discovery and novel phenotype characterisation using multimodal genomics in patients with inherited bone marrow failure and related disorders” has received $2.997 million from the MRFF Genomics Health Futures Mission. This research is a collaboration between many investigators, led by Dr Piers Blombery at the University of Melbourne/Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and institutions around Australia, including Prof Erica Wood (CIB) and Dr Lucy Fox (CIC) at Monash University.

The Aplastic Anaemia and other Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes Registry (AAR) will contribute to this important project to improve diagnosis and management for patients with inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and related disorders.

aaregistry.org.au

World Blood Donor Day 2021

Prof Erica Wood joined celebrations for World Blood Donor Day on 14-15 June, conveying greetings to the WBDD opening session in Rome in her role as president of the International Society of Blood Transfusion, and attending the WBDD Scientific Symposium.

More information is available at: www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day/2021

RATIONAL trial results presented at the European Hematology Association Congress

A/Prof Zoe McQuilten presented the preliminary results of the RATIONAL feasibility trial at the European Hematology Association Congress on 13 June 2021. The results showed that similar proportions of patients receiving immunoglobulin or prophylactic antibiotics were alive and on their assigned treatment arm at 12 months (the study’s primary outcome) and there were no significant differences in time to first major infection, or adverse events.

The trial was funded by the National Blood Authority and supported by the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group.

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

1.Mo A, Stanworth SJ, Shortt J, Wood EM, McQuilten ZK. Red cell transfusions: Is less always best?: How confident are we that restrictive transfusion strategies should be the standard of care default transfusion practice? Transfusion. 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.1111/trf.16429.
2.Boyle S, Wellard C, Moore EM, Blacklock H, Harrison SJ, Ho PJ, Hocking J, McQuilten ZK, Quach H, Spearing R, Wood EM, Spencer A, Mollee P; Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry investigators. Receiving four or fewer cycles of therapy predicts poor survival in newly diagnosed transplant-ineligible patients with myeloma who are treated with bortezomib-based induction. Eur J Haematol. 2021 Jun 15. doi: 10.1111/ejh.13677.
3.Saadah NH, Wood EM, Bailey MJ, Cooper DJ, French CJ, Haysom HE, Sparrow RL, Wellard CJ, McQuilten ZK; Australian and New Zealand Massive Transfusion Registry Steering Committee. Age of red blood cells is not associated with in-hospital mortality in massively transfused patients. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000003192.
4.Winearls J, Reade MC, McQuilten Z, Curry N. Fibrinogen in traumatic haemorrhage. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2021 Aug 1;34(4):514-520. doi: 10.1097/ACO.000000000000102

RATIONALISE study grant application successful with the MRFF and NHMRC

The RATIONALISE investigators are delighted that the phase II/III trial (Role of antibiotic therapy or Ig on infections in haematology – Ig Stopping or Extension) was successful with both the MRFF as part of the 2020 Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need General Grant Opportunity, and with the NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies scheme. The trial will be going ahead funded by the NHMRC.

This important trial, part of the Blood Synergy research program, will help address questions about immunoglobulin use, and alternative therapies such as oral antibiotics, for patients with blood cancers in the novel therapies era.

Read more at nhmrc.gov.au/funding/find-funding/clinical-trials-and-cohort-studies-grants-2021

TRU participates in the 2nd Annual Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes Symposium

The TRU team was well represented at the Symposium, 27-29 May, with updates on the Aplastic Anaemia and Other Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes Registry (AAR) presented by Dr Lucy Fox, and an update on the DIAAMOND trial of avatrombopag for patients with severe aplastic anaemia presented by A/Prof Stephen Ting. Professor Melissa Southey provided an introduction to the new Australian Marrow Failure Biobank, which is in development through Biobanking Victoria and will link closely with the AAR.

Prof Erica Wood chaired the session on aplastic anaemia, which featured a keynote presentation by Professor Neal Young from the NHLBI.

Survey on decision support for massive transfusion published

This study was conducted by Dr Brenton Sanderson, anaesthetist at Westmead Hospital and PhD student in the Centre for Health Informatics at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, as part of his program of work to develop a clinical decision support tool for managing massive transfusions. Most anaesthetists responding to the survey reported that they managed relatively few massive transfusions each year, and would welcome and use a clinical decision support tool for this purpose. Dr Sanderson is supervised by Prof Enrico Coiera, Prof Erica Wood and Dr Lise Estcourt.

Ref: Sanderson BJ, Field JD, Estcourt LJ, Wood EM, Coiera EW. Massive transfusion experience, current practice and decision support: A survey of Australian and New Zealand anaesthetists. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2021 May 5:310057X20974035. doi: 10.1177/0310057X20974035.

TRU success in Round 5 of the National Blood Sector Research and Development Program

TRU researchers and collaborators were delighted to receive news of funding by the National Blood Authority for two important studies.

The funding application led by A/Prof Zoe McQuilten and Dr Andrew Flint will support Australian and NZ participation in the International Point Prevalence Study of Intensive Care Unit Transfusion Practices – the InPUT study. This study is led from the Netherlands by Prof Alexander Vlaar and colleagues and endorsed by the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group. The results will provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive description of current transfusion practice in ICUs across the country.

Prof Biswadev (Dev) Mitra and colleagues secured funding for a pilot study of prehospital lyophilised (freeze-dried) plasma in the setting of major haemorrhage from trauma.

Details at blood.gov.au/Round-5

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

  1. Myles PS, Richards T, Klein A, Smith J, Wood EM, Heritier S, McGiffin D, Zavarsek S, Symons J, McQuilten ZK, Baker RA, Karkouti K, Wallace S; ANZCA Clinical Trials Network. Rationale and design of the intravenous iron for treatment of anemia before cardiac surgery (ITACS) trial. Am Heart J. 2021 May 22:S0002-8703(21)00137-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2021.05.008.
  2. Piechotta V, Iannizzi C, Chai KL, Valk SJ, Kimber C, Dorando E, Monsef I, Wood EM, Lamikanra AA, Roberts DJ, McQuilten Z, So-Osman C, Estcourt LJ, Skoetz N. Convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin for people with COVID-19: a living systematic review. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 May 20;5(5):CD013600. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013600.pub4.
  3. Bergin K, Wellard C, Augustson B, Cooke R, Blacklock H, Harrison SJ, Ho J, King T, Quach H, Mollee P, Walker P, Moore E, McQuilten Z, Wood E, Spencer A; Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry. Real-world utilisation of ASCT in multiple myeloma: a report from the Australian and New Zealand myeloma and related diseases registry. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2021 May 19. doi: 10.1038/s41409-021-01308-8.
  4. Sanderson BJ, Field JD, Estcourt LJ, Wood EM, Coiera EW. Massive transfusion experience, current practice and decision support: A survey of Australian and New Zealand anaesthetists. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2021 May 5:310057X20974035. doi: 10.1177/0310057X20974035.
  5. Solves P, Lozano M, Zhiburt E, Anguita Velasco J, Maria Pérez-Corral A, Monsalvo-Saornil S, Yamazaki S, Okazaki H, Selleng K, Aurich K, Krüger W, Buser A, Holbro A, Infanti L, Stehle G, Pierelli L, Matteocci A, Rigacci L, De Vooght KMK, Kuball JHE, Fielding KL, Westerman DA, Wood EM, Cohn CS, Johnson A, Koh MBC, Qadir D, Cserti-Gazdewich C, Daguindau E, Angelot-Delettre F, Tiberghien P, Wendel-Neto S, Fachini RM, Morton S, Craddock C, Lumley M, Antoniewicz-Papis J, Hałaburda K, Łętowska M, Dunbar N. International Forum on transfusion practices in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Vox Sang. 2021 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/vox.13021.
  6. Skrifvars MB, Bailey M, Moore E, Mårtensson J, French C, Presneill J, Nichol A, Little L, Duranteau J, Huet O, Haddad S, Arabi YM, McArthur C, Cooper DJ, Bendel S, Bellomo R; Erythropoietin in traumatic brain injury (EPO-TBI) Investigators and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Clinical Trials Group. A post hoc analysis of osmotherapy use in the Erythropoietin in Traumatic Brain Injury Study-Associations with acute kidney injury and mortality. Crit Care Med. 2021 Apr 1;49(4):e394-e403. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004853

TRU on the radio

Prof Erica Wood joined the 3RRR Radiotherapy team  to discuss how blood is made, why we have blood groups, and who needs a blood transfusion, including why we need trials of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 in order to know whether this treatment works. Listen via the 3RRR website.

Blood Spotlight on convalescent plasma for COVID-19

Convalescent plasma has been in the news recently. Prof Erica Wood and A/Prof Zoe McQuilten were pleased to write a review article for Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, and invited Dr Lise Estcourt from NHS Blood and Transplant/University of Oxford to join them.
doi: 10.1182/blood.2020008903

First results from IMPROVE study of immunoglobulin use and infections in patients with myeloma presented at ICHS

Dr Khaili Chai presented the preliminary results from the IMPROVE study at the 21st ICHS Symposium of the International Immunocompromised Host Society (ICHS). Thanks to the organisers and to the participants for some good discussion in the virtual poster session!

IMPROVE (Immunoglobulins in myeloma patients: research into outcomes, variation in practice and epidemiology) is using the Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry (MRDR) to capture data on measures to prevent and manage infection in patients with myeloma. Final follow-up and analysis is now underway. The poster is available here.

Welcome Dr Fiona (Pin-Yen) Chen, Dr Adam Irving, and Fazla Fawwaz

TRU welcomes Dr Fiona Chen as Data Officer to contribute to our expanding number of registry projects and analyses.

Dr Adam Irving joins TRU as part of our collaboration with the Monash Centre for Health Economics through the Blood Synergy program.

And as part of TRU’s collaboration with RMIT Pharmaceutical Sciences program, we’re delighted to welcome Fazla Fawwaz for her professional placement with us in 2021.

Recent publications from the Transfusion Research Unit

  1. Chai KL, Wood EM. What is clinically significant bleeding? Transfusion. 2021 Feb;61(2):340-343. doi: 10.1111/trf.16277.
  2. Chapalain X, Ozier Y, Le Niger C, McQuilten Z, Huet O, Aubron C. Is there an optimal trade-off between anaemia and red blood cell transfusion in surgical critically ill patients after oncologic surgery? Vox Sang. 2021 Jan 25. doi:10.1111/vox.13068.
  3. Hughes CM, Gregory GP, Pierce AB, Druce JD, Catton M, Chong B, Sherry NL, Graham M, Chen M, Salvaris R, Eise N, Lee JY, McQuilten Z, Crouch S, Looker C, Korman TM, Stuart RL. Clinical illness with viable SARS-CoV-2 virus presenting 72 days after infection in an immunocompromised patient. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Mar 19:1-12. doi: 10.1017/ice.2021.120.
  4. Alves D, Sparrow R, Garnier G. Rapidly freeze-dried human red blood cells for pre-transfusion alloantibody testing reagents. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2021 Mar 10. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34825.
  5. Goel R, Bloch EM, Pirenne F, Al-Riyami AZ, Crowe E, Dau L, Land K, Townsend M, Jecko T, Rahimi-Levene N, Patidar G, Josephson CD, Arora S, Vermeulen M, Vrielink H, Montemayor C, Oreh A, Hindawi S, van den Berg K, Serrano K, So-Osman C, Wood E, Devine DV, Spitalnik SL; ISBT COVID-19 Working Group. ABO blood group and COVID-19: a review on behalf of the ISBT COVID-19 working group. Vox Sang. 2021 Feb 12. doi: 10.1111/vox.13076.
  6. Bergin K, Wellard C, Moore E, McQuilten Z, Augustson B, Blacklock H, Harrison S, Ho PJ, King T, Quach H, Mollee P, Walker P, Wood E, Spencer A, Australian and New Zealand MRDR investigators: The myeloma landscape in Australia and New Zealand: The first eight years of the Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2021 Jan 30:S2152-2650(21)00034-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2021.01.016.

The Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry (LaRDR) reaches 4000 participants

Thanks and congratulations to all the patients and sites participating in LaRDR and supporters of the registry on this wonderful achievement. More information is available at: lardr.org

TRU welcomes Dr Jasmine Singh to the ASPREE CHIP project team

Dr Jasmine Singh is a haematologist and has recently commenced her PhD studies into risk factors for development of clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) and the role of inflammation and its consequences with the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) CHIP study.

The NHMRC-funded ASPREE-CHIP study is being led by A/Prof Zoe McQuilten and Prof Erica Wood of TRU, and Prof David Curtis of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at Monash University.

National transfusion dataset: new research funded by the Australian Data Partnerships Program

A new national transfusion dataset to collect information on transfusion practice and clinical outcomes will be developed as a collaboration between the Australian and New Zealand Massive Transfusion Registry, Ambulance Victoria, Blood Synergy and national registries for myeloma, lymphoma, bone marrow failure diseases, and critical care. This project (doi: 10.47486/DP708) received investment from the Australian Data Research Commons through the Australian Data Partnerships Program. The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

TRU welcomes Associate Professor Eliza Hawkes

A/Prof Hawkes is an NHMRC fellow and Lymphoma Lead at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre, Austin Health and Eastern Health in Melbourne. After completing Medical Oncology training in Melbourne, she undertook a fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital, UK and doctoral studies at Melbourne University. She founded the Australasian Lymphoma Alliance, chairs the ALLG Lymphoma Working Party, and is a member of Steering Committees for Australian National Lymphoma Registry, international Women in Lymphoma group, and EviQ Haematology. Eliza has over 70 publications, and regularly presents at international conferences. She runs a large research program focusing on immune targets in lymphoma.

A/Prof Hawkes has joined the team to provide additional clinical support and expertise to the Lymphoma and Related Diseases Registry.