Hemopoietic recovery and infectious complications in breast cancer and multiple myeloma after autologous CD34+ cell-selected peripheral blood progenitor cell transplantation

Luca De Rosa, Gabriel Anghel, Annino Pandolfi, Massimo Riccardi, Rachele Amodeo, Ignazio Majolino
International Journal of Hematology 2004, 79 (1): 85-91
Autografting with CD34+ cell-selected peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) is often associated with a prolonged recovery time and a higher incidence of infections. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether underlying disease influences hemopoietic recovery and the infectious complications occurring after transplantation. We studied 19 breast cancer (BC) patients and 17 multiple myeloma (MM) patients entered in a high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) program of tandem autografting with CD34+ cell-selected PBPC. PBPC were collected after mobilizing chemotherapy plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and were processed for selection of CD34+ cells. After selection, a median of 53% CD34+ cells was recovered with a median final purity of 92% with no significant differences between the MM (52% and 92%, respectively) and BC (53% and 89%, respectively) patients. Medians of 4.5 x 10(6)/kg CD34+ cells (BC, 4.4 x 10(6)/kg; MM, 5.4 x 10(6)/kg) and 18 x 10(4)/kg colony-forming units-granulocyte-macrophage (BC, 21 x 10(4)/kg: MM, 16 x 10(4)/kg) were reinfused after each HDC. Twenty-six patients (10 MM and 16 BC) underwent tandem autografting, and 10 patients received only 1 autograft because of inadequate collection (5 patients), clinical condition (3 patients), and refusal (2 patients). In the BC patients, the HDC regimen included a high-dose melphalan course followed by an ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide) course. In the MM patients, the regimen consisted of a course of high-dose melphalan therapy and a course of ICBV (idarubicin, cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan], BCNU, and etoposide) or total body irradiation, etoposide, and Cytoxan. We found a significantly prolonged time for neutrophil recovery to > 500/microL in the MM patients (13 days versus 10 days; P < .002), whereas the times for platelet recovery to > 20,000/microL in the two groups were not different (13 days versus 12 days; not significant). No late engraftment failures and no toxic deaths were observed. The incidences of extrahematologic toxicity were similar for the two patient groups. All patients received similar anti-infection prophylaxis for 3 months after transplantation. After 12 months of observation, we found a statistically significant higher incidence of bacterial infections in MM patients in both the early (77.8% versus 48.6%; P < .034) and the late (41.1% versus 0%; P < .014) posttransplantation periods, whereas the incidences of fungal infections were similar in the two groups. Viral infections consisted of herpes zoster virus infection in 2 patients of each group, and cytomegalovirus infection was observed in 3 MM patients and no BC patients. Our experience demonstrates a prolonged neutrophil recovery time and higher incidences of bacterial and viral infections in MM patients compared with BC patients. These observations, although limited by the small sample size, suggest that the underlying disease may influence the incidence of infections after CD34- cell-selected transplantation and should be considered in the planning of appropriate antimicrobial prophylaxis in the autologous transplantation setting.


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