FDA Finalizes Move to Recommend Individual Risk Assessment to Determine Eligibility for Blood Donations

FDA finalized recommendations for assessing blood donor eligibility using a set of individual risk-based questions to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV.

source: FDA

Summary

[Posted 31/May/2023]

AUDIENCE: Hematology, Infectious Disease

DETAILS: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized recommendations for assessing blood donor eligibility using a set of individual risk-based questions to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV. These questions will be the same for every donor, regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender. Blood establishments may now implement these recommendations by revising their donor history questionnaires and procedures.

This updated policy is based on the best available scientific evidence and is in line with policies in place in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada. It will potentially expand the number of people eligible to donate blood, while also maintaining the appropriate safeguards to protect the safety of the blood supply.

These final recommendations are consistent with the policy initially proposed in January. The FDA worked diligently to review and consider all comments submitted to the agency to finalize these recommendations as quickly as possible. "The FDA has worked diligently to evaluate our policies and ensure we had the scientific evidence to support individual risk assessment for donor eligibility while maintaining appropriate safeguards to protect recipients of blood products. The implementation of these recommendations will represent a significant milestone for the agency and the LGBTQI+ community," said Peter Marks, M.D., PhD., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "The FDA is committed to working closely with the blood collection industry to help ensure timely implementation of the new recommendations and we will continue to monitor the safety of the blood supply once this individual risk-based approach is in place."

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This policy eliminates time-based deferrals and screening questions specific to men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with MSM. Under the final guidance issued today, all prospective blood donors will answer a series of individual, risk-based questions to determine eligibility. All prospective donors who report having a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the past three months, and anal sex in the past three months, would be deferred to reduce the likelihood of donations by individuals with new or recent HIV infection who may be in the window period for detection of HIV by nucleic acid testing.

Additionally, under these final recommendations, those taking medications to treat or prevent HIV infection (e.g., antiretroviral therapy (ART), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)), will also be deferred. Though these antiretroviral drugs are safe, effective, and an important public health tool, the available data demonstrate that their use may delay detection of HIV by currently licensed screening tests for blood donations, which may potentially give false negative results. Although HIV is not transmitted sexually by individuals with undetectable viral levels, this does not apply to transfusion transmission of HIV because a blood transfusion is administered intravenously, and a transfusion involves a large volume of blood compared to exposure with sexual contact. As stated in the guidance, individuals should not stop taking their prescribed medications, including PrEP, or PEP, in order to donate blood. The FDA remains committed to evaluating additional data and new technological developments as they become available to inform our donor eligibility recommendations.

The FDA has been evaluating alternatives to time-based deferrals for MSM and helping to facilitate the generation of scientific evidence that would support an individual risk based- assessment blood donor questionnaire. This scientific information has given the agency a solid foundation to support this new policy. The FDA strongly believes the implementation of an individual risk-based approach will not adversely affect the safety or availability of the U.S. blood supply.

The FDA carefully reviewed numerous data sources, including data from countries with similar HIV epidemiology that have implemented an individual risk-based approach for assessing donor eligibility, surveillance information obtained from the Transfusion Transmissible Infections Monitoring System, performance characteristics of nucleic acid testing for HIV and the FDA-funded Assessing Donor Variability And New Concepts in Eligibility study. The ADVANCE study examined the rates of HIV risk factors, such as anal sex and rates of HIV infection, as well as the usage of medications to treat or prevent HIV infection, among MSM study participants.

Copyright © FDA. All rights reserved.

Source: FDA Finalizes Move to Recommend Individual Risk Assessment to Determine Eligibility for Blood Donations. FDA. Published: May 11, 2023.



Distribution and Predictors of F-18-FDG Uptake Values of Non-Malignant Cervical Lymph Nodes in Pediatric Patients

SUVmax in ipsilateral palatine tonsil is a strong predictor of the maximal uptake value of non-malignant cervical lymph nodes in children. The intensity of uptake in non-malignant cervical lymph nodes is frequently higher than liver uptake in children, and this tendency increases for younger patients.

source: EJNMMI Research

Summary

[Posted 5/Jun/2024]

AUDIENCE: Oncology, Pediatric

KEY FINDINGS: SUVmax in ipsilateral palatine tonsil is a strong predictor of the maximal uptake value of non-malignant cervical lymph nodes in children. The intensity of uptake in non-malignant cervical lymph nodes is frequently higher than liver uptake in children, and this tendency increases for younger patients.

BACKGROUND: F-18-flurodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT is routinely used for staging, evaluation of response to treatment and follow-up of most pediatric malignancies. Cervical lymph nodes can be involved in some pediatric malignancies, but increased uptake in non-malignant cervical lymph nodes is not exceptional in this population. The aim of the present study is to identify predictors of the maximum uptake in non-malignant cervical lymph nodes in the pediatric population.

DETAILS: 191 FDG PET/CT studies of pediatric patients without malignant involvement of cervical lymph nodes were retrospectively reviewed. The maximal Standard Uptake Value in the hottest cervical lymph node (SUVmaxCLN), as well as demographic, technical and imaging variables were recorded. The predictive effect of those variables on SUVmaxCLN was estimated using linear regression models. Increased FDG activity in cervical nodes was observed in 136/191 studies (71%). The mean SUVmaxCLN was 2.2 ± 1.3. Ipsilateral palatine tonsil SUVmax, mean liver uptake, and treatment status were all statistically significant predictors of SUVmaxCLN. However, in multivariate regression analysis, only ipsilateral palatine tonsil SUVmax was found to be significant. In addition, SUVmaxCLN was greater than the mean liver uptake in 50% of all studies. This proportion was higher in younger children, reaching 77% of studies of children younger than six years.

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Copyright © The Authors. All rights reserved.

Source: Godefroy, J., Godefroy, R., Vedder, K., et al. (2024). Distribution and Predictors of F-18-FDG Uptake Values of Non-Malignant Cervical Lymph Nodes in Pediatric Patients. EJNMMI Research. 2024; 14:52. Published: May 29, 2024. DOI: 10.1186/s13550-024-01110-9.



Ultrasound Features Using MUSA Terms and Definitions in Uterine Sarcoma and Leiomyoma

A postmenopausal patient presenting with abnormal uterine bleeding and a new or growing mesenchymal mass with irregular tumor borders, moderate-to-abundant intralesional vascularity, cystic areas and an absence of calcifications on ultrasonography is at a higher risk of having a uterine sarcoma. Interobserver agreement for most MUSA terms and definitions is moderate.

source: Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol.

Summary

[Posted 10/May/2024]

AUDIENCE: Ob/Gyn

KEY FINDINGS: A postmenopausal patient presenting with abnormal uterine bleeding and a new or growing mesenchymal mass with irregular tumor borders, moderate-to-abundant intralesional vascularity, cystic areas and an absence of calcifications on ultrasonography is at a higher risk of having a uterine sarcoma. Interobserver agreement for most MUSA terms and definitions is moderate. Future studies should validate the abovementioned clinical and ultrasound findings on uterine mesenchymal tumors in a prospective multicenter fashion.

BACKGROUND: Timely and accurate preoperative diagnosis of uterine sarcoma will increase patient survival. The primary aim of this study was to describe the ultrasound features of uterine sarcoma compared with those of uterine leiomyoma based on the terms and definitions of the Morphological Uterus Sonographic Assessment (MUSA) group. A secondary aim was to assess the interobserver agreement for reporting on ultrasound features according to MUSA terminology.

DETAILS: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with uterine sarcoma or uterine leiomyoma treated in a single tertiary center during the periods 1997-2019 and 2016-2019, respectively. Demographic characteristics, presenting symptoms and surgical outcomes were extracted from patients' files. Ultrasound images were re-evaluated independently by two sonologists using MUSA terms and definitions. Descriptive statistics were calculated and interobserver agreement was assessed using Cohen's K (with squared weights) or intraclass correlation coefficient, as appropriate. A total of 107 patients were included, of whom 16 had a uterine sarcoma and 91 had a uterine leiomyoma. Abnormal uterine bleeding was the most frequent presenting symptom (69/107 (64%)). Compared with leiomyoma cases, patients with uterine sarcoma were older (median age, 65 (interquartile range (IQR), 60-70) years vs 48 (IQR, 43-52) years) and more likely to be postmenopausal (13/16 (81%) vs 15/91 (16%)). In the uterine sarcoma cohort, leiomyosarcoma was the most frequent histological type (6/16 (38%)), followed by adenosarcoma (4/16 (25%)). On ultrasound evaluation, according to Observers 1 and 2, the tumor border was irregular in most sarcomas (11/16 (69%) and 13/16 (81%) cases, respectively), but regular in most leiomyomas (65/91 (71%) and 82/91 (90%) cases, respectively). Lesion echogenicity was classified as non-uniform in 68/91 (75%) and 51/91 (56%) leiomyomas by Observers 1 and 2, respectively, and 15/16 (94%) uterine sarcomas by both observers. More than 60% of the uterine sarcomas showed acoustic shadows (11/16 (69%) and 10/16 (63%) cases by Observers 1 and 2, respectively), whereas calcifications were reported in a small minority (0/16 (0%) and 2/16 (13%) cases by Observers 1 and 2, respectively). In uterine sarcomas, intralesional vascularity was reported as moderate to abundant in 13/16 (81%) cases by Observer 1 and 15/16 (94%) cases by Observer 2, while circumferential vascularity was scored as moderate to abundant in 6/16 (38%) by both observers. Interobserver agreement for the presence of cystic areas, calcifications, acoustic shadow, central necrosis, color score (overall, intralesional and circumferential) and maximum diameter of the lesion was moderate. The agreement for shape of lesion, tumor border and echogenicity was fair.

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Copyright © International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. All rights reserved.

Source: De Bruyn, C., Ceusters J., Brande, K. V., et al. (2024). Ultrasound Features Using MUSA Terms and Definitions in Uterine Sarcoma and Leiomyoma: Cohort Study. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol.. 2024; 63(5): 683-390. Published: May, 2024. DOI: 10.1002/uog.27535.



Metastasis Of Skin Squamous Cell Carcinoma In Kidney Transplant Recipients

Both groups, KTRs and ICs, exhibited similar primary tumor grades and metastasis evolution, but KTRs had a higher prevalence of lymphovascular invasion. Metastasis of cSCC was more common in males with low skin phototype, in KTRs, particularly on the head and neck. The study suggests a possible link between lymphovascular invasion and metastasis development in KTRs.

source: Int J Dermatol

Summary

[Posted 8/May/2024]

AUDIENCE: Dermatology, Oncology, Family Medicine

KEY FINDINGS: Both groups, KTRs and ICs, exhibited similar primary tumor grades and metastasis evolution, but KTRs had a higher prevalence of lymphovascular invasion. Metastasis of cSCC was more common in males with low skin phototype, in KTRs, particularly on the head and neck. The study suggests a possible link between lymphovascular invasion and metastasis development in KTRs.

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the most common skin malignancy in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) as a result of immunosuppression.

DETAILS: A worldwide increase in kidney transplantation justifies the determination of prognostic biomarkers by collecting detailed patient data on metastasis development. This study aims to characterize the clinical, epidemiological, and histopathological profiles of KTRs who developed metastasis of cSCC. Authors conducted a retrospective single-center study on 18 KTRs and 21 immunocompetent patients (ICs) with metastatic cSCC, using data from 2004 to 2021. ICs were older (median age 70.5 years) than KTRs (median age: 59.5 years). Both groups were predominantly male with Fitzpatrick skin phototype I/II. The primary tumor appeared around 83.5 ; months post-transplant, usually in sun-exposed areas (61.1%), though some non-exposed areas in ICs (23.8%) contradicted literature findings. KTRs took longer to develop metastasis (median: 11.0 months) compared to ICs (median: 5.5 months). The mean size of the primary tumor was smaller in KTRs (2.50 cm2) compared to ICs (4.55 cm2). The main lymph node chain affected by metastasis was parotid lymph nodes in KTRs (27.8%) and cervical/axillar lymph nodes in ICs (both 19.0%).

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Copyright © John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Alves, F. F. C., de Jesus, L. C. B., Cristelli, M. P., et al. (2024). Metastasis Of Skin Squamous Cell Carcinoma In Kidney Transplant Recipients. Int J Dermatol. 2024; 63(5): 560-564. Published: March, 2024. DOI: 10.1111/ijd.17029.



Rapidly Evolving Pre- and Post-surgical Systemic Treatment of Melanoma

Melanoma therapeutics continues to advance with combination adjuvant approaches now investigating anti-PD1 with lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG3), T-cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains (TIGIT), and individualized neoantigen therapies. How this progress will be integrated into the management of a unique patient to reduce recurrence, limit toxicity, and avoid over-treatment will dominate clinical research and patient care over the next decade.

source: Am J Clin Dermatol

Summary

[Posted 25/Mar/2024]

AUDIENCE: Dermatology, Family Medicine

KEY FINDINGS: Melanoma therapeutics continues to advance with combination adjuvant approaches now investigating anti-PD1 with lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG3), T-cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains (TIGIT), and individualized neoantigen therapies. How this progress will be integrated into the management of a unique patient to reduce recurrence, limit toxicity, and avoid over-treatment will dominate clinical research and patient care over the next decade.

BACKGROUND: With the development of effective BRAF-targeted and immune-checkpoint immunotherapies for metastatic melanoma, clinical trials are moving these treatments into earlier adjuvant and perioperative settings. BRAF-targeted therapy is a standard of care in resected stage III-IV melanoma, while anti-programmed death-1 (PD1) immunotherapy is now a standard of care option in resected stage IIB through IV disease.

DETAILS: With both modalities, recurrence-free survival and distant-metastasis-free survival are improved by a relative 35-50%, yet no improvement in overall survival has been demonstrated. Neoadjuvant anti-PD1 therapy improves event-free survival by approximately an absolute 23%, although improvements in overall survival have yet to be demonstrated. Understanding which patients are most likely to recur and which are most likely to benefit from treatment is now the highest priority question in the field. Biomarker analyses, such as gene expression profiling of the primary lesion and circulating DNA, are preliminarily exciting as potential biomarkers, though each has drawbacks. As in the setting of metastatic disease, markers that inform positive outcomes include interferon-γ gene expression, PD-L1, and high tumor mutational burden, while negative predictors of outcome include circulating factors such as lactate dehydrogenase, interleukin-8, and C-reactive protein. Integrating and validating these markers into clinically relevant models is thus a high priority.

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Copyright © Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

Source: Augustin, R. C. and Luke, J. J. (2024). Rapidly Evolving Pre- and Post-surgical Systemic Treatment of Melanoma. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. Published: March, 2024. DOI: 10.1007/s40257-024-00852-5.



Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis Deciphers Heterogenous Cancer Stem-Like Cells in Colorectal Cancer and Their Organ-Specific Metastasis

By using integrative scRNA-seq, spatial transcriptomic analysis and functional assays, authors have uncovered a stem-like cell cluster marked with PTPRO and ASCL2 as the metastatic culprit, whose subpopulations show further different liver or ovary organotropism.

source: Gut

Summary

[Posted 18/Mar/2024]

AUDIENCE: Gastroenterology, Oncology, Internal Medicine

KEY FINDINGS: By using integrative scRNA-seq, spatial transcriptomic analysis and functional assays, authors have uncovered a stem-like cell cluster marked with PTPRO and ASCL2 as the metastatic culprit, whose subpopulations show further different liver or ovary organotropism.

BACKGROUND: Metastasis is the major cause of cancer death. However, what types of heterogenous cancer cells in primary tumour and how they metastasise to the target organs remain largely undiscovered.

DETAILS: Authors performed single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomic analysis in primary colorectal cancer (CRC) and metastases in the liver (lCRC) or ovary (oCRC). Authors also conducted immunofluorescence staining and functional experiments to examine the mechanism. Integrative analyses of epithelial cells reveal a stem-like cell cluster with high protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO) and achaete scute-like 2 (ASCL2) expression as the metastatic culprit. This cell cluster comprising distinct subpopulations shows distinct liver or ovary metastatic preference. Population 1 (P1) cells with high delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) and MAF bZIP transcription factor A (MAFA) expression are enriched in primary CRC and oCRC, thus may be associated with ovarian metastasis. P3 cells having a similar expression pattern as cholangiocytes are found mainly in primary CRC and lCRC, presuming to be likely the culprits that specifically metastasise to the liver. Stem-like cells interacted with cancer-associated fibroblasts and endothelial cells via the DLL4-NOTCH signalling pathway to metastasise from primary CRC to the ovary. In the oCRC microenvironment, myofibroblasts provide cancer cells with glutamine and perform a metabolic reprogramming, which may be essential for cancer cells to localise and develop in the ovary.

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Copyright © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Society of Gastroenterology. All rights reserved.

Source: Li, R., Liu, X., Huang, X., et al. (2024). Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis Deciphers Heterogenous Cancer Stem-Like Cells in Colorectal Cancer and Their Organ-Specific Metastasis. Gut. 2024; 73(3): 470-484 .Published: March, 2024. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2023-330243.



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