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Leuk Lymphoma ; 61(12): 2900-2904, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-647011


The anemia of MDS often results in decreased quality of life, which is invoked to justify red cell transfusions; however, there are sparse data regarding the minimum hemoglobin (Hb) at which it is safe to forgo transfusions for patients with no evidence of end-organ damage. This issue is even more important in the COVID-19 era, where decreases in blood donations have stressed the blood supply. In March 2018, using a modified Delphi method, we convened a panel of 13 expert MDS clinicians for three iterative rounds to discuss a minimum safe Hb for this population. While the panel was unable to reach the pre-set consensus of 75% for a specific Hb threshold, there was 100% consensus that it be no greater than 7.5 g/dL. Our data suggest that, given no end-organ effects of anemia, patients with MDS can safely forgo transfusions with a Hb of 7.5 g/dL or higher.

Anemia/therapy , Blood Transfusion/standards , Hemoglobins/analysis , Myelodysplastic Syndromes/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Anemia/diagnosis , Anemia/etiology , Blood Donors , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Clinical Decision-Making , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Hematology/standards , Hemoglobins/standards , Humans , Myelodysplastic Syndromes/blood , Myelodysplastic Syndromes/complications , Pandemics/prevention & control , Reference Values , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Tissue and Organ Harvesting/standards
Acta Haematol ; 144(2): 132-145, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-237075


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses several challenges to the management of patients with leukemia. The biology of each leukemia and its corresponding treatment with conventional intensive chemotherapy, with or without targeted therapies (venetoclax, FLT3 inhibitors, IDH1/2 inhibitors, Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors), introduce additional layers of complexity during COVID-19 high-risk periods. The knowledge about COVID-19 is accumulating rapidly. An important distinction is the prevalence of "exposure" versus "clinical infectivity," which determine the risk versus benefit of modifying potentially highly curative therapies in leukemia. At present, the rate of clinical infection is <1-2% worldwide. With a mortality rate of 1-5% in CO-VID-19 patients in the general population and potentially of >30% in patients with cancer, careful consideration should be given to the risk of COVID-19 in leukemia. Instead of reducing patient access to specialized cancer centers and modifying therapies to ones with unproven curative benefit, there is more rationale for less intensive, yet effective therapies that may require fewer clinic visits or hospitalizations. Here, we offer recommendations on the optimization of leukemia management during high-risk COVID-19 periods.

COVID-19/complications , Leukemia/complications , Leukemia/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Acute Disease , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chronic Disease , Humans , Myelodysplastic Syndromes/complications , Myelodysplastic Syndromes/therapy , Myeloproliferative Disorders/complications , Myeloproliferative Disorders/therapy , Pandemics , Risk Factors