Mobilization and Harvesting of Peripheral Blood Stem Cells in Pediatric Patients With Solid Tumors

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Survival of patients with high-risk pediatric solid tumors has improved with the introduction of a high-dose chemotherapy regimen and autologous stem cell rescue. Here, we present our data regarding the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of hematopoietic stem cell mobilization and harvesting in children with solid tumors. From November 2002 to March 2010, 85 children underwent autologous peripheral blood stem cell collection; 35 (41.1%) of them weighed less than 20 kg and were diagnosed with neuroblastoma, Wilms' tumor, medulloblastoma, yolk sac sarcoma, or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The mobilization regimens included disease-specific chemotherapy plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in most of the patients. The median age and weight at the time of apheresis was 36 months and 13.5 kg, respectively. Large-volume leukapheresis was performed with the aim of reducing the psychological and financial impact of leukapheresis by reducing the number of procedures while collecting a large number of cells. The median number of mobilization and leukapheresis procedures per case was one. The pre-apheresis CD34+ cell count ranged from 2 to 845 μL, with a median of 24 μL. A median of four patient blood volumes was processed per procedure, lasting 279 min (range, 113–420 min). A radial catheter was used for harvesting in 35 procedures (71.4%). The median yield of CD34+ cells was 6.6 × 106/kg per patient. The targeted dose of 5 × 106/kg CD34+ cells was realized in 80% of patients. The tolerance of peripheral blood stem cell collection in our patients was good. In conclusion, the collection of peripheral blood stem cells is an effective and safe procedure, even when conducted on the youngest children.

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