CD34+ stem cell augmentation of elutriated allogeneic bone marrow grafts: results of a phase II clinical trial of engraftment and graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in high-risk hematologic malignancies
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Although T cell depletion of allografts used in BMT has reduced GVHD, it has been associated with inferior engraftment and an increased risk of relapse. We have found that T cell depletion by counterflow centrifugal elutriation (CCE) also results in depletion of CD34+ stem cells. In order to determine if the discarded CD34+ cells would improve engraftment, we undertook a phase II trial of allogeneic BMT in which 110 patients (median age 43) with a variety of hematologic malignancies received CD34+ stem cell augmented, elutriated marrow grafts. The T cell-depleted grafts were tightly controlled and contained a mean of 4.3 x 10(7) mononuclear cells/kg, 3.3 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg, 1.5 x 10(5) CFU-GM/kg and 5.5 x 10(5) CD3+ T cells/kg. Median time to engraftment of granulocytes (>500/microl) was 16 days and of platelets (>50000/microl) was 25 days, comparable to that seen with unmanipulated marrow. No mixed hematopoietic chimerism was observed that was not associated with disease relapse. The four patients (3.6%) who failed to engraft were all at high risk because of prior donor transfusions or underlying marrow disorders. The incidence of GVHD was dependent on the duration of cyclosporin A (CsA) immunosuppression. In patients who received CsA for > or = 80 days, the incidence of clinically significant acute GVHD (>stage 1) and extensive, chronic GVHD was 5% and 11%, respectively. Peritransplant (< or = 100 day post-BMT) mortality for this group of patients was 15%. Event-free survival in selected subsets of patients compared favorably to previous studies in which patients received unmanipulated marrow allografts.
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