High-dose regimens of hypomethylating agents promote transfusion independence in IPSS lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes: a meta-analysis of prospective studies
The hypomethylating agents (HMAs) azacytidine (AZA) and decitabine (DAC) are usually administered after the failure of erythropoietin-stimulating agents for lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (LR-MDS). However, it is unclear whether one of these HMAs has superior efficacy and safety. This was investigated in the present study by means of a meta-analysis of prospective studies published between January 1990 and July 2020 in PubMed, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases; 19 studies with 1076 patients were included in the final analysis. The transfusion independence (TI) rate (66.7% [95% confidence interval: 41.7%-87.4%]) was higher with AZA 75 mg/m(2)/day for 7 days than with other regimens (all p<0.025). The proportion of patients with intermediate-1 risk influenced overall survival (p<0.05). There were no differences in treatment response, survival, and adverse event rates between patients treated with AZA (75 mg/m(2)/day for 5 days) and DAC (20 mg/m(2)/day for 3 days), although the latter group had a higher rate of grade 3/4 anemia (15.8% vs 0.0%; p<0.0001) and lower rate of diarrhea/constipation (6.9% vs 25.0%; p=0.002). Thus, both HMAs at high doses achieved reasonable response and TI rates with acceptable side effects, but did not prolong the overall survival in LR-MDS patients.
rhTPO combined with chemotherapy and G-CSF for autologous peripheral blood stem cells in patients with refractory/relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Cancer management and research. 2019;11:8371-8377
Objective: The mobilization and collection of sufficient autologous peripheral blood stem cells (APBSCs) are important for the fast and sustained reconstruction of hematopoietic function after autologous transplantation. This study aims to evaluate the mobilization effect and safety of thrombopoietin (TPO) combined with chemotherapy + G-CSF for APBSCs in patients with refractory/relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Methods: A total of 78 patients were included in the present study. After receiving mobilization chemotherapy, all patients were randomly divided into two groups: TPO group (n=40), patients were given subcutaneous injection of rhTPO + G-CSF, and control group (n=38), patients were given subcutaneous injection of G-CSF. The primary endpoint was the total number of obtained CD34+ cells. The secondary endpoints were the mononuclear cell count, the proportion of target and minimum mobilization, the engraftment time of neutrophils and platelets after APBSCT, the number of platelet and red blood cell infusions, the incidence of infectious fever and fever duration, and TPO-related side effects in patients. Results: TPO participation significantly increased the total CD34+ cell count. A higher proportion of patients in the TPO group achieved the minimum and target CD34+ cells, when compared to the control group. TPO-related adverse events were not observed in either of these groups. In addition, there were no significant differences in engraftment time, the number of platelet and red blood cell transfusions, the incidence of infectious fever, and fever duration between these two groups. Conclusion: TPO combined with chemotherapy + G-CSF can safely and effectively enhance the mobilization effect for APBSCs in patients with refractory/relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Hemostatic efficacy of pathogen-inactivated- versus untreated- platelets: a randomized controlled trial
Pathogen inactivation of platelet concentrates reduces the risk of blood-borne infections. However, its effect on platelet function and hemostatic efficacy of transfusion is unclear. We conducted a randomized noninferiority trial comparing the efficacy of pathogen inactivated platelets using riboflavin and ultraviolet B illumination technology (intervention) compared to standard plasma-stored platelets (control) for the prevention of bleeding in patients with hematologic malignancies and thrombocytopenia. The primary outcome parameter was the proportion of transfusion treatment periods in which the patient had grade 2 or higher bleeding as defined by World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Between November 2010 and April 2016, 469 unique patients were randomized to 567 transfusion treatment periods (283 in the control arm, 284 in the intervention arm). There was a 3% absolute difference in grade ≥ 2 bleeding in the intention-to-treat analysis: 51% of the transfusion treatment periods in the control arm and 54% in the intervention arm (95% CI -6 to 11, p-value for noninferiority 0.012). In the per-protocol analysis, however, difference in grade ≥ 2 bleeding was 8%: 44% in the control arm and 52% in the intervention arm (95% CI -2 to 18, p-value for noninferiority 0.19). Transfusion increment parameters were about 50% lower in the intervention arm. There was no difference in the proportion of patients developing HLA class I alloantibodies. In conclusion, the noninferiority criterion for pathogen inactivated platelets was met in the intention-to-treat analysis. This finding was not demonstrated in the per protocol analysis. (The Netherlands National Trial Registry number: NTR2106).
Comparison of the hemostatic efficacy of pathogen-reduced platelets vs untreated platelets in patients with thrombocytopenia and malignant hematologic diseases: a randomized clinical trial
Jama Oncology. 2018;4((4):):468-475
Importance: Pathogen reduction of platelet concentrates may reduce transfusion-transmitted infections but is associated with qualitative impairment, which could have clinical significance with regard to platelet hemostatic capacity. Objective: To compare the effectiveness of platelets in additive solution treated with amotosalen-UV-A vs untreated platelets in plasma or in additive solution in patients with thrombocytopenia and hematologic malignancies. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Evaluation of the Efficacy of Platelets Treated With Pathogen Reduction Process (EFFIPAP) study was a randomized, noninferiority, 3-arm clinical trial performed from May 16, 2013, through January 21, 2016, at 13 French tertiary university hospitals. Clinical signs of bleeding were assessed daily until the end of aplasia, transfer to another department, need for a specific platelet product, or 30 days after enrollment. Consecutive adult patients with bone marrow aplasia, expected hospital stay of more than 10 days, and expected need of platelet transfusions were included. Interventions: At least 1 transfusion of platelets in additive solution with amotosalen-UV-A treatment, in plasma, or in additive solution. Main Outcomes and Measures: The proportion of patients with grade 2 or higher bleeding as defined by World Health Organization criteria. Results: Among 790 evaluable patients (mean [SD] age, 55 [13.4] years; 458 men [58.0%]), the primary end point was observed in 126 receiving pathogen-reduced platelets in additive solution (47.9%; 95% CI, 41.9%-54.0%), 114 receiving platelets in plasma (43.5%; 95% CI, 37.5%-49.5%), and 120 receiving platelets in additive solution (45.3%; 95% CI, 39.3%-51.3%). With a per-protocol population with a prespecified margin of 12.5%, noninferiority was not achieved when pathogen-reduced platelets in additive solution were compared with platelets in plasma (4.4%; 95% CI, -4.1% to 12.9%) but was achieved when the pathogen-reduced platelets were compared with platelets in additive solution (2.6%; 95% CI, -5.9% to 11.1%). The proportion of patients with grade 3 or 4 bleeding was not different among treatment arms. Conclusions and Relevance: Although the hemostatic efficacy of pathogen-reduced platelets in thrombopenic patients with hematologic malignancies was noninferior to platelets in additive solution, such noninferiority was not achieved when comparing pathogen-reduced platelets with platelets in plasma. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01789762.
Comparison of a therapeutic-only versus prophylactic platelet transfusion policy for people with congenital or acquired bone marrow failure disorders
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2018;5:CD012342.
BACKGROUND Bone marrow disorders encompass a group of diseases characterised by reduced production of red cells, white cells, and platelets, or defects in their function, or both. The most common bone marrow disorder is myelodysplastic syndrome. Thrombocytopenia, a low platelet count, commonly occurs in people with bone marrow failure. Platetet transfusions are routinely used in people with thrombocytopenia secondary to bone marrow failure disorders to treat or prevent bleeding. Myelodysplastic syndrome is currently the most common reason for receiving a platelet transfusion in some Western countries. OBJECTIVES To determine whether a therapeutic-only platelet transfusion policy (transfusion given when patient is bleeding) is as effective and safe as a prophylactic platelet transfusion policy (transfusion given to prevent bleeding according to a prespecified platelet threshold) in people with congenital or acquired bone marrow failure disorders. SEARCH METHODS We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, and controlled before-after studies (CBAs) in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (the Cochrane Library 2017, Issue 9), Ovid MEDLINE (from 1946), Ovid Embase (from 1974), PubMed (e-publications only), the Transfusion Evidence Library (from 1950), and ongoing trial databases to 12 October 2017. SELECTION CRITERIA We included RCTs, non-RCTs, and CBAs that involved the transfusion of platelet concentrates (prepared either from individual units of whole blood or by apheresis any dose, frequency, or transfusion trigger) and given to treat or prevent bleeding among people with congenital or acquired bone marrow failure disorders.We excluded uncontrolled studies, cross-sectional studies, and case-control studies. We excluded cluster-RCTs, non-randomised cluster trials, and CBAs with fewer than two intervention sites and two control sites due to the risk of confounding. We included all people with long-term bone marrow failure disorders that require platelet transfusions, including neonates. We excluded studies of alternatives to platelet transfusion, or studies of people receiving intensive chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used the standard methodological procedures outlined by Cochrane. Due to the absence of evidence we were unable to report on any of the review outcomes. MAIN RESULTS We identified one RCT that met the inclusion criteria for this review. The study enrolled only nine adults with MDS over a three-year study duration period. The trial was terminated due to poor recruitment rate (planned recruitment 60 participants over two years). Assessment of the risk of bias was not possible for all domains. The trial was a single-centre, single-blind trial. The clinical and demographic characteristics of the participants were never disclosed. The trial outcomes relevant to this review were bleeding assessments, mortality, quality of life, and length of hospital stay, but no data were available to report on any of these outcomes.We identified no completed non-RCTs or CBAs.We identified no ongoing RCTs, non-RCTs, or CBAs. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS We found no evidence to determine the safety and efficacy of therapeutic platelet transfusion compared with prophylactic platelet transfusion for people with long-term bone marrow failure disorders. This review underscores the urgency of prioritising research in this area. People with bone marrow failure depend on long-term platelet transfusion support, but the only trial that assessed a therapeutic strategy was halted. There is a need for good-quality studies comparing a therapeutic platelet transfusion strategy with a prophylactic platelet transfusion strategy; such trials should include outcomes that are important to patients, such as quality of life, length of hospital admission, and risk of bleeding.
What is known?
Thrombocytopenia represents a common problem for patients withchronic bone marrow failure disorders, the most common of which are myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and anaplastic anemia (AA). In addition to thrombocytopenia, both morphologic and functional platelet abnormalities may be seen in these patients as well. Platelet transfusion support is the primary management option for thrombocytopenia and active bleeding in these patients. Platelets are usually transfused prophylactically at counts less than 10 x 109/L and with higher counts in patients with hemorrhage. As compared with no prophylaxis, prophylactic platelet transfusions have been shown to be superior in reducing moderate to severe bleeding, primarily in people with leukemia. However, the evidence of prophylactic use for platelet transfusions in people with chronic bone marrow failure is lacking. Meanwhile, platelets are a precious resource and platelet transfusion carries many risks. Thus, avoiding unnecessary prophylactic platelet transfusions will have significant financial and safety implications for health services.
What did this paper set out to examine?
The authors set out to to review in thrombocytopenic patients with chronic bone marrow failure, whether prophylactic transfusions are really necessary or whether these patients can be effectively supported with only therapeutic platelet transfusions given with the onset of bleeding. In particular, they wanted to show that a therapeutic-only platelet transfusion strategy is as effective and safe as a prophylactic platelet transfusion strategy for the prevention of clinically significant bleeding in thrombocytopenic patients with primary bone marrow failure disorders.
What did they show?
The review included all patients with MDS, acquired AA, or congenital bone marrow failure disorders that were not being actively treated with a stem cell transplant or intensive chemotherapy. To maximize the number of studies eligible for inclusion, not only randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but good quality non-RCTs, and controlled before-after studies were included. Only one trial met the inclusion criteria for this review. Unfortunately, the trial was incomplete due to an unexpected slow recruiting rate. Therefore, no results were provided by the trial authors. Although the review was unable to make any recommendations on prophylactic platelet transfusion policies for this patient population, it did identify an urgent need for good quality studies in this area.
What are the implications for practice and for future work?
Thrombocytopenia (platelet counts < 10 x 109/L) is one of the most common complications in patients with chronic bone marrow failure. For example, 40% to 65% of MDS patients have thrombocytopenia. Meanwhile, in some Western countries, bone marrow failure is one of the most common underlying reasons for receiving a prophylactic platelet transfusion. However, guidelines on a therapeutic platelet transfusion strategy versus a prophylactic platelet transfusion strategy in this population are still lacking. Due to the absence of relevant data, the current review was not able to reach any conclusions on the safety and efficacy of prophylactic platelet transfusion compared with therapeutic platelet transfusion for patients with chronic bone marrow failure. Nontheless, this review identified a major gap in the literature and underscored the urgency of prioritizing research in this area. In the meantime, platelet transfusions for people with bone marrow disorders should still be managed according to national transfusion guidelines.
Effect of allogeneic blood transfusion on levels of IL-6 and sIL-R2 in peripheral blood of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia
Oncology Letters. 2018;16((1)):849-852.
Effect of allogeneic blood transfusion on the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in peripheral blood of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was investigated. A total of 91 ALL children admitted to Nanfang Hospital from June 2014 to January 2017 were selected as the study group. Patients were randomly divided into allogeneic blood transfusion group (n=38) and non-transfusion group (n=53). In addition, a total of 64 healthy children were also selected from June 2014 to January 2017 as the control group. Patients in allogeneic blood transfusion group were transfused with red blood cell suspension and machine-collected platelets, while patients in non-transfusion group were not treated with blood transfusion. Peripheral venous blood was collected before and at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after blood transfusion to prepare serum. Serum IL-6 and sIL-2R levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Before transfusion, serum levels of IL-6 and sIL-2R were significantly lower in the study group than those in control group (p<0.05), and no significant differences in serum levels of IL-6 and sIL-2R were found between the allogeneic blood transfusion and non-transfusion group. After transfusion, serum levels of IL-6 and sIL-2R were stable for 12 weeks in the non-transfusion group, while IL-6 and sIL-2R levels were significantly increased in the allogeneic blood transfusion group. The results showed that serum level of IL-6 and sIL-2R was increased in ALL patients with allogeneic blood transfusion, which resulted in reduced antibody production and decreased cellular immunity. The patients had low immunity, and attention should be paid on the pathogen infection prevention.
A phase 3 randomized placebo-controlled trial of darbepoetin alfa in patients with anemia and lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes
Use of darbepoetin alfa to treat anemia in patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) was evaluated in a phase 3 trial. Eligible patients had low/intermediate-1 risk MDS, hemoglobin 10 g/dl, low transfusion burden, and serum erythropoietin 500 mU/ml. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive 24 weeks of subcutaneous darbepoetin alfa 500 mug or placebo every 3 weeks (Q3W), followed by 48 weeks of open-label darbepoetin alfa. A total of 147 patients were randomized, with median hemoglobin of 9.3 (Q1:8.8, Q3:9.7) g/dl and median baseline serum erythropoietin of 69 (Q1:36, Q3:158) mU/ml. Transfusion incidence from weeks 5-24 was significantly lower with darbepoetin alfa versus placebo (36.1% [35/97] versus 59.2% [29/49], P=0.008] and erythroid response rates increased significantly with darbepoetin alfa (14.7% [11/75 evaluable] versus 0% [0/35 evaluable], P=0.016). In the 48-week open-label period, dose frequency increased from Q3W to Q2W in 81% (102/126) of patients; this was associated with a higher HI-E rate (34.7% [34/98]). Safety results were consistent with a previous darbepoetin alfa phase 2 MDS trial. In conclusion, 24 weeks of darbepoetin alfa Q3W significantly reduced transfusions and increased rates of erythroid response with no new safety signals in lower-risk MDS (registered as EudraCT#2009-016522-14 and NCT#01362140).Leukemia accepted article preview online, 19 June 2017. doi:10.1038/leu.2017.192.
Restrictive versus liberal red blood cell transfusion strategies for people with haematological malignancies treated with intensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both, with or without haematopoietic stem cell support
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;((1)):CD011305.
BACKGROUND Many people diagnosed with haematological malignancies experience anaemia, and red blood cell (RBC) transfusion plays an essential supportive role in their management. Different strategies have been developed for RBC transfusions. A restrictive transfusion strategy seeks to maintain a lower haemoglobin level (usually between 70 g/L to 90 g/L) with a trigger for transfusion when the haemoglobin drops below 70 g/L), whereas a liberal transfusion strategy aims to maintain a higher haemoglobin (usually between 100 g/L to 120 g/L, with a threshold for transfusion when haemoglobin drops below 100 g/L). In people undergoing surgery or who have been admitted to intensive care a restrictive transfusion strategy has been shown to be safe and in some cases safer than a liberal transfusion strategy. However, it is not known whether it is safe in people with haematological malignancies. OBJECTIVES To determine the efficacy and safety of restrictive versus liberal RBC transfusion strategies for people diagnosed with haematological malignancies treated with intensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both, with or without a haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). SEARCH METHODS We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised trials (NRS) in MEDLINE (from 1946), Embase (from 1974), CINAHL (from 1982), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (the Cochrane Library 2016, Issue 6), and 10 other databases (including four trial registries) to 15 June 2016. We also searched grey literature and contacted experts in transfusion for additional trials. There was no restriction on language, date or publication status. SELECTION CRITERIA We included RCTs and prospective NRS that evaluated a restrictive compared with a liberal RBC transfusion strategy in children or adults with malignant haematological disorders or undergoing HSCT. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS We identified six studies eligible for inclusion in this review; five RCTs and one NRS. Three completed RCTs (156 participants), one completed NRS (84 participants), and two ongoing RCTs. We identified one additional RCT awaiting classification. The completed studies were conducted between 1997 and 2015 and had a mean follow-up from 31 days to 2 years. One study included children receiving a HSCT (six participants), the other three studies only included adults: 218 participants with acute leukaemia receiving chemotherapy, and 16 with a haematological malignancy receiving a HSCT. The restrictive strategies varied from 70 g/L to 90 g/L. The liberal strategies also varied from 80 g/L to 120 g/L.Based on the GRADE rating methodology the overall quality of the included studies was very low to low across different outcomes. None of the included studies were free from bias for all 'Risk of bias' domains. One of the three RCTs was discontinued early for safety concerns after recruiting only six children, all three participants in the liberal group developed veno-occlusive disease (VOD). Evidence from RCTsA restrictive RBC transfusion policy may make little or no difference to: the number of participants who died within 100 days (two trials, 95 participants (RR: 0.25, 95% CI 0.02 to 2.69, low-quality evidence); the number of participants who experienced any bleeding (two studies, 149 participants; RR:0.93, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.18, low-quality evidence), or clinically significant bleeding (two studies, 149 participants, RR: 1.03, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.43, low-quality evidence); the number of participants who required RBC transfusions (three trials; 155 participants: RR: 0.97, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.05, low-quality evidence); or the length of hospital stay (restrictive median 35.5 days (interquartile range (IQR): 31.2 to 43.8); liberal 36 days (IQR: 29.2 to 44), low-quality evidence).We are uncertain whether the restrictive RBC transfusion strategy: decreases quality of life (one trial, 89 participants, fatigue score: restrictive median 4.8 (IQR 4 to 5.2); liberal m
Thrombopoietin mimetics for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;((9)):CD009883.
BACKGROUND Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is one of the most frequent haematologic malignancies of the elderly population and characterised by progenitor cell dysplasia with ineffective haematopoiesis and a high rate of transformation to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Thrombocytopenia represents a common problem for patients with MDS. ranging from mild to serious bleeding events and death. To manage thrombocytopenia, the current standard treatment includes platelet transfusion, unfortunately leading to a range of side effects. Thrombopoietin (TPO) mimetics represent an alternative treatment option for MDS patients with thrombocytopenia. However, it remains unclear, whether TPO mimetics influence the increase of blast cells and therefore to premature progression to AML. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the efficacy and safety of thrombopoietin (TPO) mimetics for patients with MDS. SEARCH METHODS We searched for randomised controlled trials in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (January 2000 to August 2017), trials registries (ISRCTN, EU clinical trials register and clinicaltrials.gov) and conference proceedings. We did not apply any language restrictions. Two review authors independently screened search results, disagreements were solved by discussion. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised controlled trials comparing TPO mimetics with placebo, no further treatment or another TPO mimetic in patients with MDS of all risk groups, without gender, age or ethnicity restrictions. Additional chemotherapeutic treatment had to be equal in both arms. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed the quality of trials, disagreements were resolved by discussion. Risk ratio (RR) was used to analyse mortality during study, transformation to AML, incidence of bleeding events, transfusion requirement, all adverse events, adverse events >= grade 3, serious adverse events and platelet response. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) have been extracted as hazard ratios, but could not be pooled as results were reported in heterogenous ways. Health-related quality of life and duration of thrombocytopenia would have been analysed as standardised mean differences, but no trial reported these outcomes. MAIN RESULTS We did not identify any trial comparing one TPO mimetic versus another. We analysed six eligible trials involving 746 adult patients. All trials were reported as randomised and double-blind trials including male and female patients. Two trials compared TPO mimetics (romiplostim or eltrombopag) with placebo, one trial evaluated eltrombopag in addition to the hypomethylating agent azacitidine, two trials analysed romiplostim additionally to a hypomethylating agent (azacitidine or decitabine) and one trial evaluated romiplostim in addition to the immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide. There are more data on romiplostim (four included, completed, full-text trials) than on eltrombopag (two trials included: one full-text publication, one abstract publication). Due to small sample sizes and imbalances in baseline characteristics in three trials and premature termination of two studies, we judged the potential risk of bias of all included trials as high.Due to heterogenous reporting, we were not able to pool data for OS. Instead of that, we analysed mortality during study. There is little or no evidence for a difference in mortality during study for thrombopoietin mimetics compared to placebo (RR 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 to 1.27, N = 6 trials, 746 patients, low-quality evidence). It is unclear whether the use of TPO mimetics induces an acceleration of transformation to AML (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.77, N = 5 trials, 372 patients, very low-quality evidence).Thrombopoietin mimetics probably improve the incidence of all bleeding events (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.99, N = 5 trials, 390 patients, moderate-quality evidence). This means that in the study population, 713 out of 1000 in the placebo arm will have a bleeding event, com
Risk of bleeding and use of platelet transfusions in patients with hematologic malignancies: recurrent event analysis
A recent randomized trial (TOPPS) compared prophylactic platelet transfusions (for counts <10x10(9)/L) with a strategy of no-prophylaxis in adults with hematologic malignancies. Seventy percent of enrolled patients received an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Statistical models were developed to explore which patient factors or clinical characteristics are important prognostic factors for bleeding. These models were presented for baseline characteristics and for recurrent analysis of bleeding to assess the risks of World Health Organization grade 2-4 bleeding on any given day. Additional analyses explored the importance of fever. Treatment plan (chemotherapy/allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant), female sex, and treatment arm (no-prophylaxis) were significantly associated with an increased number of days of bleeding. The number of days with a platelet count <10x109/L was significantly associated with a grade 2-4 bleed (P<0.0001). Patients with a temperature of at least 38degreeC had the highest hazard of a grade 2-4 bleed (hazard ratio: 1.7, 95% confidence interval: 1.3 to 2.4, compared with the risk in patients with a temperature <37.5degreeC). There was no evidence that minor bleeding predicted a grade 2-4 bleed. The results highlighted the limited role of correction of thrombocytopenia by platelet transfusion in reducing the risk of bleeding. Clinically stable patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation had the lowest risk of bleeding and benefited least from prophylactic platelet transfusions. Prospective studies are required to address the usefulness of risk factors to support better targeted platelet transfusions. TOPPS Controlled-Trials.com number ISRCTN08758735. Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.