Cryopreservation of stem cells after collection from peripheral blood or bone marrow for autologous transplantation necessitates protection with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Unfortunately, DMSO, when infused with the thawed cell suspension, may induce serious complications and side effects. To assess whether depletion of DMSO before autografting affects safety and efficacy, 56 consenting consecutive patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous blood stem cell transplantation were assigned to obtain either an untreated or DMSO-depleted autograft. On the day of transplantation, the cryopreserved cells were thawed and infused to the patient either immediately or after washing 3 times in normal saline supplemented with 6% anticoagulant citrate dextrose solution. Cell count with viability, clonogenic assay, and phenotyping were performed before and after thawing and after washing. Hematologic recovery, side effects, and complications were recorded. The in vitro and clinical data on 56 patients show that the depletion of DMSO in vitro before autografting does not induce a significant loss of cell number, viability, colony-forming unit-granulocyte-macrophage activity, or number of CD34+ cells. Furthermore, it leads to a safe and sustained engraftment. The complications and side effects, as recorded by continuous monitoring, were substantially less; however, the procedure takes 3 to 4 hours of laboratory work per patient.
- Autologous blood stem cell transplantation
- Dimethyl sulfoxide
- High-dose chemotherapy
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