In 1999, Golub et al. proposed for the first time microarray-based transcriptional profiling to be used as a new technology for the differential diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemias and acute lymphocytic leukemias. This very preliminary study sparked great enthusiasm beyond the leukemias. Over the last 10 years, numerous studies addressed the use of gene expression profiling of peripheral blood from patients with malignancies, infectious diseases, autoimmunity and even cardiovascular diseases. Despite this great effort, no single test has yet been established using microarray-based transcriptional profiling of peripheral blood. Here we highlight the advances in the field of blood transcriptomics during the last 10 years and also critically discuss the issues that need to be resolved before blood transcriptomics will become part of daily diagnostics in the leukemias, as well as in other diseases showing involvement of peripheral blood.