Collection, tumor contamination, and engraftment kinetics of highly purified hematopoietic progenitor cells to support high dose therapy in multiple myeloma

G Tricot, Y Gazitt, T Leemhuis, S Jagannath, K R Desikan, D Siegel, A Fassas, S Tindle, J Nelson, C Juttner, A Tsukamoto, J Hallagan, K Atkinson, C Reading, R Hoffman, B Barlogie
Blood 1998 June 15, 91 (12): 4489-95
Unfractionated peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) grafts contain measurable quantities of myeloma cells and are therefore a potential source of relapse posttransplantation. In contrast, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-sorted CD34+ Thy1+ Lin- peripheral blood cells are substantially enriched for stem cell activity, yet contain virtually no clonal myeloma cells. A study was performed in patients with symptomatic myeloma, who had received 12 months or less of preceding standard chemotherapy, to evaluate the feasibility of large scale purification of primitive hematopoietic stem cells in order to study engraftment kinetics posttransplantation and the degree of tumor cell contamination of this cell population, based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for the patient-specific complementarity-determining region III (CDR III). PBSC were mobilized with high dose cyclophosphamide and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). A combination of elutriation and chemical lysis was used to deplete PBSC collections of monocytes, granulocytes, erythrocytes, and platelets. Subsequently, CD34+ Thy1+ Lin- progenitor cells were purified with high speed cell sorting. Of the 10 evaluable patients, nine met the required minimum criteria of >/=7.2 x 10(5) cells/kg to support tandem transplants. After high dose melphalan (200 mg/m2) eight engrafted successfully, although granulocyte (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] >0.5 x 10(9)/L, 16 days) and platelet recovery (platelets > 50 x 10(9)/L, 39 days) was substantially delayed when compared with unmanipulated PBSC grafts; one patient required infusion of a reserve graft because of lack of evidence of engraftment by day +28. Three patients proceeded to a second graft with high dose melphalan and total body irradiation; two required infusion of a reserve graft and both died of infectious complications; one showed delayed, but complete, engraftment after this myeloablative regimen. Two of the nine evaluable patients attained a clinical complete remission (CR). The grafts from three patients were tested for tumor contamination and contained no detectable clonal myeloma cells. Larger quantities of purified cells may be required to resolve the problem of delayed engraftment.

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