Prophylaxis of thromboembolism during therapy with asparaginase in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2020;10:Cd013399
BACKGROUND The risk of venous thromboembolism is increased in adults and enhanced by asparaginase-based chemotherapy, and venous thromboembolism introduces a secondary risk of treatment delay and premature discontinuation of key anti-leukaemic agents, potentially compromising survival. Yet, the trade-off between benefits and harms of primary thromboprophylaxis in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) treated according to asparaginase-based regimens is uncertain. OBJECTIVES The primary objectives were to assess the benefits and harms of primary thromboprophylaxis for first-time symptomatic venous thromboembolism in adults with ALL receiving asparaginase-based therapy compared with placebo or no thromboprophylaxis. The secondary objectives were to compare the benefits and harms of different groups of primary systemic thromboprophylaxis by stratifying the main results per type of drug (heparins, vitamin K antagonists, synthetic pentasaccharides, parenteral direct thrombin inhibitors, direct oral anticoagulants, and blood-derived products for antithrombin substitution). SEARCH METHODS We conducted a comprehensive literature search on 02 June 2020, with no language restrictions, including (1) electronic searches of Pubmed/MEDLINE; Embase/Ovid; Scopus/Elsevier; Web of Science Core Collection/Clarivate Analytics; and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and (2) handsearches of (i) reference lists of identified studies and related reviews; (ii) clinical trials registries (ClinicalTrials.gov registry; the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) registry; the World Health Organisation's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP); and pharmaceutical manufacturers of asparaginase including Servier, Takeda, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Ohara Pharmaceuticals, and Kyowa Pharmaceuticals), and (iii) conference proceedings (from the annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology (ASH); the European Haematology Association (EHA); the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH)). We conducted all searches from 1970 (the time of introduction of asparaginase in ALL treatment). We contacted the authors of relevant studies to identify any unpublished material, missing data, or information regarding ongoing studies. SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised controlled trials (RCTs); including quasi-randomised, controlled clinical, cross-over, and cluster-randomised trial designs) comparing any parenteral/oral preemptive anticoagulant or mechanical intervention with placebo or no thromboprophylaxis, or comparing two different pre-emptive anticoagulant interventions in adults aged at least 18 years with ALL treated according to asparaginase-based chemotherapy regimens. For the description of harms, non-randomised observational studies with a control group were eligible for inclusion. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Using a standardised data collection form, two review authors independently screened and selected studies, extracted data, assessed risk of bias for each outcome using standardised tools (RoB 2.0 tool for RCTs and ROBINS-I tool for non-randomised studies) and the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach. Primary outcomes included first-time symptomatic venous thromboembolism, all-cause mortality, and major bleeding. Secondary outcomes included asymptomatic venous thromboembolism, venous thromboembolism-related mortality, adverse events (i.e. clinically relevant non-major bleeding and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia for trials using heparins), and quality of life. Analyses were performed according to the guidelines of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. For non-randomised studies, we evaluated all studies (including studies judged to be at critical risk of bias in at least one of the ROBINS-I domains) in a sensitivity analysis exploring confounding. MAIN RESULTS We identified 23 non-randomised studies that met the inclusion criteria of this review, of which 10 studies provided no outcome data for adults with ALL. We included the remaining 13 studies in the 'Risk of bias' assessment, in which we identified invalid control group definition in two studies and judged outcomes of nine studies to be at critical risk of bias in at least one of the ROBINS-I domains and outcomes of two studies at serious risk of bias. We did not assess the benefits of thromboprophylaxis, as no RCTs were included. In the main descriptive analysis of harms, we included two retrospective non-randomised studies with outcomes judged to be at serious risk of bias. One study evaluated antithrombin concentrates compared to no antithrombin concentrates. We are uncertain whether antithrombin concentrates have an effect on all-cause mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26 to 1.19 (intention-to-treat analysis); one study, 40 participants; very low certainty of evidence). We are uncertain whether antithrombin concentrates have an effect on venous thromboembolism-related mortality (RR 0.10, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.94 (intention-to-treat analysis); one study, 40 participants; very low certainty of evidence). We do not know whether antithrombin concentrates have an effect on major bleeding, clinically relevant non-major bleeding, and quality of life in adults with ALL treated with asparaginase-based chemotherapy, as data were insufficient. The remaining study (224 participants) evaluated prophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin versus no prophylaxis. However, this study reported insufficient data regarding harms including all-cause mortality, major bleeding, venous thromboembolism-related mortality, clinically relevant non-major bleeding, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and quality of life. In the sensitivity analysis of harms, exploring the effect of confounding, we also included nine non-randomised studies with outcomes judged to be at critical risk of bias primarily due to uncontrolled confounding. Three studies (179 participants) evaluated the effect of antithrombin concentrates and six studies (1224 participants) evaluated the effect of prophylaxis with different types of heparins. When analysing all-cause mortality; venous thromboembolism-related mortality; and major bleeding (studies of heparin only) including all studies with extractable outcomes for each comparison (antithrombin and low-molecular-weight heparin), we observed small study sizes; few events; wide CIs crossing the line of no effect; and substantial heterogeneity by visual inspection of the forest plots. Although the observed heterogeneity could arise through the inclusion of a small number of studies with differences in participants; interventions; and outcome assessments, the likelihood that bias due to uncontrolled confounding was the cause of heterogeneity is inevitable. Subgroup analyses were not possible due to insufficient data. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS We do not know from the currently available evidence, if thromboprophylaxis used for adults with ALL treated according to asparaginase-based regimens is associated with clinically appreciable benefits and acceptable harms. The existing research on this question is solely of non-randomised design, seriously to critically confounded, and underpowered with substantial imprecision. Any estimates of effect based on the existing insufficient evidence is very uncertain and is likely to change with future research.
Red cell transfusion in outpatients with myelodysplastic syndromes: a feasibility and exploratory randomised trial
British journal of haematology. 2020
Optimal red cell transfusion support in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has not been tested and established. The aim of this study was to demonstrate feasibility of recruitment and follow-up in an outpatient setting with an exploratory assessment of quality of life (QoL) outcomes (EORTC QLQ-C30 and EQ-5D-5L). We randomised MDS patients to standardised transfusion algorithms comparing current restrictive transfusion thresholds (80 g/l, to maintain haemoglobin 85-100 g/l) with liberal thresholds (105 g/l, maintaining 110-125 g/l). The primary outcomes were measures of compliance to transfusion thresholds. Altogether 38 patients were randomised (n = 20 restrictive; n = 18 liberal) from 12 participating sites in UK, Australia and New Zealand. The compliance proportion for the intention-to-treat population was 86% (95% confidence interval 75-94%) and 99% (95-100%) for restrictive and liberal arms respectively. Mean pre-transfusion haemoglobin concentrations for restrictive and liberal arms were 80 g/l (SD6) and 97 g/l (SD7). The total number of red cell units transfused on study was 82 in the restrictive and 192 in the liberal arm. In an exploratory analysis, the five main QoL domains were improved for participants in the liberal compared to restrictive arm. Our findings support the feasibility and need for a definitive trial to evaluate the effect of different red cell transfusion thresholds on patient-centred outcomes.
Patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, (n=38).
Restrictive transfusion threshold (80 g/l, to maintain haemoglobin 85-100 g/l), (n=20).
Liberal transfusion threshold (105 g/l, to maintain haemoglobin 110-125 g/l), (n=18).
The compliance proportion for the intention-to-treat population was 86% and 99% for restrictive and liberal arms respectively. Mean pre-transfusion haemoglobin concentrations for restrictive and liberal arms were 80 g/l (SD6) and 97 g/l (SD7). The total number of red cell units transfused on study was 82 in the restrictive and 192 in the liberal arm. In an exploratory analysis, the five main QoL domains were improved for participants in the liberal compared to restrictive arm.
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.
The role of pathogen-reduced platelet transfusions on HLA alloimmunization in hemato-oncological patients
BACKGROUND Platelet transfusions can induce alloimmunization against HLA antigens. The use of pathogen-reduced platelet concentrates (PCs) was suggested to reduce HLA alloimmunization and concomitant transfusion refractoriness. METHODS This study investigated HLA alloimmunization in available samples from 448 hemato-oncological patients who were randomized for the Pathogen Reduction Evaluation and Predictive Analytical Rating Score (PREPAReS) trial to receive either untreated or pathogen-reduced PCs (Mirasol, Terumo BCT Inc.). Anti-HLA Class I and II antibodies were determined before the first platelet transfusion and weekly thereafter using multiplex assay with standard cutoffs to detect low- as well as high-level antibodies. RESULTS When using the lower cutoff, in patients who were antibody negative at enrollment, 5.4% (n = 12) developed anti-HLA Class I antibodies after receiving untreated PCs, while this was significantly higher in patients receiving pathogen-reduced PCs, 12.8% (n = 29; p = 0.009, intention-to-treat [ITT] analysis). A similar but nonsignificant trend was observed in the per-protocol (PP) analysis (5.4% vs. 10.1%; p = 0.15). HLA class II antibody formation was similar between both types of PCs in the ITT analysis, while the PP analysis showed a trend toward lower immunization after receiving pathogen-reduced PCs. Multivariate analysis identified receiving pathogen-reduced platelets as an independent risk factor for HLA Class I alloimmunization (ITT: odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 3.02 [1.42-6.51], PP: odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 2.77 [1.00-5.40]), without affecting HLA Class II alloimmunization. When using the high cutoff value, the difference in HLA Class I alloimmunization between study arms remained significant in the ITT analysis and again was not significant in the PP analysis. CONCLUSION Our data clearly indicate that Mirasol pathogen inactivation does not prevent HLA Class I or II alloimmunization after platelet transfusions.
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.
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
Alternatives, and adjuncts, to prophylactic platelet transfusion for people with haematological malignancies undergoing intensive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;((8)):CD010982.
BACKGROUND Platelet transfusions are used in modern clinical practice to prevent and treat bleeding in people with thrombocytopenia. Although considerable advances have been made in platelet transfusion therapy since the mid-1970s, some areas continue to provoke debate especially concerning the use of prophylactic platelet transfusions for the prevention of thrombocytopenic bleeding. OBJECTIVES To determine whether agents that can be used as alternatives, or adjuncts, to platelet transfusions for people with haematological malignancies undergoing intensive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation are safe and effective at preventing bleeding. SEARCH METHODS We searched 11 bibliographic databases and four ongoing trials databases including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, 2016, Issue 4), MEDLINE (OvidSP, 1946 to 19 May 2016), Embase (OvidSP, 1974 to 19 May 2016), PubMed (e-publications only: searched 19 May 2016), ClinicalTrials.gov, World Health Organization (WHO) ICTRP and the ISRCTN Register (searched 19 May 2016). SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised controlled trials in people with haematological malignancies undergoing intensive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation who were allocated to either an alternative to platelet transfusion (artificial platelet substitutes, platelet-poor plasma, fibrinogen concentrate, recombinant activated factor VII, desmopressin (DDAVP), or thrombopoietin (TPO) mimetics) or a comparator (placebo, standard care or platelet transfusion). We excluded studies of antifibrinolytic drugs, as they were the focus of another review. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two review authors screened all electronically derived citations and abstracts of papers identified by the review search strategy. Two review authors assessed risk of bias in the included studies and extracted data independently. MAIN RESULTS We identified 16 eligible trials. Four trials are ongoing and two have been completed but the results have not yet been published (trial completion dates: April 2012 to February 2017). Therefore, the review included 10 trials in eight references with 554 participants. Six trials (336 participants) only included participants with acute myeloid leukaemia undergoing intensive chemotherapy, two trials (38 participants) included participants with lymphoma undergoing intensive chemotherapy and two trials (180 participants) reported participants undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Men and women were equally well represented in the trials. The age range of participants included in the trials was from 16 years to 81 years. All trials took place in high-income countries. The manufacturers of the agent sponsored eight trials that were under investigation, and two trials did not report their source of funding.No trials assessed artificial platelet substitutes, fibrinogen concentrate, recombinant activated factor VII or desmopressin.Nine trials compared a TPO mimetic to placebo or standard care; seven of these used pegylated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and differentiation factor (PEG-rHuMGDF) and two used recombinant human thrombopoietin (rhTPO).One trial compared platelet-poor plasma to platelet transfusion.We considered that all the trials included in this review were at high risk of bias and meta-analysis was not possible in seven trials due to problems with the way data were reported.We are very uncertain whether TPO mimetics reduce the number of participants with any bleeding episode (odds ratio (OR) 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.10 to 1.62, one trial, 120 participants, very low quality evidence). We are very uncertain whether TPO mimetics reduce the risk of a life-threatening bleed after 30 days (OR 1.46, 95% CI 0.06 to 33.14, three trials, 209 participants, very low quality evidence); or after 90 days (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.06 to 16.37, one trial, 120 participants, very low quality evidence). We are very uncertain whether TPO mimetics reduce platelet transfusion requirements after 30 days (mean difference -3.00 units, 95% CI
Prophylactic platelet transfusions in patients with haematological malignancies – lessons from the TOPPS trial
Transfusion Medicine. 2016;26((Suppl. 1)):23.. Abstract No. S34.
Red blood cell transfusion triggers in acute leukemia: a randomized pilot study
BACKGROUND Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion thresholds have yet to be examined in large randomized trials in hematologic malignancies. This pilot study in acute leukemia uses a restrictive compared to a liberal transfusion strategy. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A randomized (2:1) study was conducted of restrictive (LOW) hemoglobin (Hb) trigger (7 g/dL) compared to higher (HIGH) Hb trigger (8 g/dL). The primary outcome was feasibility of conducting a larger trial. The four requirements for success required that more than 50% of the eligible patients could be consented, more than 75% of the patients randomized to the LOW arm tolerated the transfusion trigger, fewer than 15% of patients crossed over from the LOW arm to the HIGH arm, and no indication for the need to pause the study for safety concerns. Secondary outcomes included fatigue, bleeding, and RBCs and platelets transfused. RESULTS Ninety patients were consented and randomly assigned to LOW to HIGH. The four criteria for the primary objective of feasibility were met. When the number of units transfused was compared, adjusting for baseline Hb, the LOW arm was transfused on average 8.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.9-9.1) units/patient while the HIGH arm received 11.7 (95% CI, 10.1-13.2) units (p = 0.0003). There was no significant difference in bleeding events or neutropenic fevers between study arms. CONCLUSION This study establishes feasibility for trial of Hb thresholds in leukemia through demonstration of success in all primary outcome metrics and a favorable safety profile. This population requires further study to evaluate the equivalence of liberal and restrictive transfusion thresholds in this unique clinical setting.