Ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic progenitor cells: preliminary results in breast cancer.
Ex-vivo expanded progenitor cells have been proposed as a source of cells to support high-dose chemotherapy and to decrease or eliminate the period of neutropenia following transplantation. To date, no clinical studies using ex vivo expanded cells, have demonstrated any decrease in the time to neutrophil or platelet recovery, although a number of clinical studies have been performed using a variety of growth factor cocktails and culture conditions. Over the past 6 years we have developed a static culture system that results in optimal expansion of myeloid progenitor cells. We have initiated a clinical study to evaluate this culture system in breast cancer patients receiving peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) to support high-dose chemotherapy. CD34 selected cells were cultured for 10 days in 800 ml of defined media (Amgen Inc.) containing 100 ng/ml each of rhSCF, rhG-CSF and rhMGDF in 1L teflon bags (American Fluoroseal) at 20,000 to 50,000 cells per ml. After culture the cells were washed with 3 volumes of PBS to remove all media and growth factors and reinfused on day 0 of transplant followed by daily administration of rhG-CSF. On day +1 the patients received an unexpanded PBPC product to ensure the durability of the graft. Patients transplanted with expanded PBPC cells recovered neutrophil counts (ANC > 500/microl) as early as day 4 post transplant with a median of 6 days (range 4 to 14 days). In comparison, our historical control group of patients (N=175) had a median time to neutrophil engraftment of 9 days (range 7 to 24 days). A second cohort of patients were transplanted with expanded cells alone and a similar rapid engraftment was obtained. The first patients are now over 70 days post transplant with durable engraftment. No effect on platelet recovery has been observed in any patients to date. These data demonstrate that PBPC expanded under the conditions defined can significantly shorten the time to engraftment of neutrophils.
McNiece, I; Jones, R; Cagnoni, P; Bearman, S; Nieto, Y; Shpall, EJ
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