What to expect?
During the harvest, I think it's
your calcium levels, can get out of whack. If they do you
will start to feel tingling in your lips or possibly
somewhere else. You tell your nurse and she will give you some
Tums to chew on which quickly set things right.
You will have a nurse with you constantly while harvesting
cells. You're pretty much confined to the bed you're in
for the duration because you are hooked up to the machine, so
bring with you something to read, a computer or someone to chat
with. Post harvest there really is nothing. Your cells will be
either frozen there or sent somewhere to be frozen.
~ source: Lay comment from Pooh-Bah
How long can
stem cells be stored?
processing, PBSC are cryopreserved for later infusion.
Controlled-rate freezing with temperature curve monitoring is
required. Until required for infusion, products are stored in
the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen. Usually the storage period
is weeks to months; however, stem cell products have provided
adequate engraftment when infused 10 years after
thawing, PBSC again are checked for viability. Because granulocytes
do not survive cryopreservation, loss of this cell
fraction from the collection is expected. To allow survival
during freezing and thawing, cells are placed in a medium
containing 7.5-10% dimethyl sulfoxide.
Because cells lose
viability over a short period in this medium, infusing the cells
immediately after thawing is important."
Although preferred to be stored at the center of eventual
transplant they are fully portable. It was not a consideration
as they transport stored cells from center to center all the
time as a standard practice.
~ Source: RB (Lay comment)
coverage for harvesting?
For stem cell
transplant, the harvesting portion will be covered as part of
the package. Otherwise your doctor will have to submit the
rationale to the provider: that it is reasonable and/or there's
a pressing need. Just banking for a relapse by itself probably
will not be compelling enough with most insurance companies.
Source: ~ KS & RB (lay comment)
to harvest stem cells?
it’s appropriate to harvest stem cells depends on many factors,
such as one’s age and performance (the likelihood that the stem
cells would be utilized) … but also the bone marrow status, and
whether you have high or low risk lymphoma.
It can also be a judgment call – for example: could the cells be
harvested later, when the decision to use them is made – instead
of in advance for long term storage?
These are all questions that can only be addressed by a trained
physician with first-hand information about your case. So you
might consult an independent expert, ideally at a center that
stores stem cells for future use – not every center does this.
=We propose, but only as a starting point for discussions
with your doctors:
A) You feel that you will require and be eligible for stem cell rescue
therapy in future (favoring younger age, good performance, higher-risk lymphoma)
B) A is true, and you've completed therapy and have minimal disease?
C) A is true, and just prior to therapy that is considered harsh on stem
cells (Fludarabine-based chemo / RIT)?
lymphoma expert commented:
" [The proposal] sounds reasonable, however we don't typically harvest stem cells (without using them) in MCL or DLBCL in advance of immediately using."
=Another expert wrote:
"To me, in fnhl stem cell harvest may take place after first CR (if any bad prognosis indicator is found), or after second CR. As for when to
use them, to me, currently, second CR should almost always be consolidated with an autologous stem cell transplant (but this is only
=A patient wrote:
I completed CVP but did not achieve a persisting remission, so I was prescribed RCHOP. Before starting it,
my oncologist suggested that on completion of that therapy, I should stockpile my stem cells in case of future transformation. His recommendation was that I take that opportunity before damaging my marrow/stem cells irrevocably with subsequent treatments (eg Fludara or RIT). Since my indolent follicular disease was not seen as appropriate for treatment with autologous stem cell transplantation, the stockpiling was solely to deal with the possibility of transformation to diffuse (aggressive) lymphoma for which autologous transplant might have some utility. The RCHOP cleared my marrow (at least in the area they biopsied) and was able to store stem cells in case I need them in future.
=Our experience (follicular):
Joanne had her stem cells harvested prior to
Bexxar (RIT) in case an autoSCT was needed later. She had many prior treatments, including CHOP, and her marrow was clean (PCR testing) following low dose PEP-C. We felt the conditioning protocol for harvesting (high dose
Cytoxan) would also debulk further, prior to RIT, giving her a better chance to get a durable CR from
about purging to remove lymphoma cells from harvested stem cells?
=We expect the answer of benefit from purging is dependent
on clinical factors, including the lymphoma subtype and methods
used to purge.
"Purging of neoplastic cells for autologous stem cell
transplantation is usually done in vivo by administering
chemotherapy and/or other agents before harvesting. It is also
possible to decrease malignant cells counts directly in the cell
"In vitro purging is labour intensive, costly and, as yet,
the effect on relapse is unclear." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11840153
Related report: Progenitor
and lymphoma cells in blood stem cell harvests: impact on
survival following transplantation http://bit.ly/tk7sJ
"Lymphoma contamination of transplanted apheresis products
had no apparent impact on event-free and overall survival."
Bone Marrow Transplantation (2001) 28, 207-212.
Progenitor and lymphoma
cells in blood stem cell harvests: impact on survival
"Lymphoma contamination of transplanted
apheresis products had no apparent impact on event-free and
overall survival." Bone Marrow Transplantation (2001) 28,
Chemotherapy time interval predicts NHL
survival - 28/4/2006 -
The time interval between last chemotherapy and apheresis –
the removal of whole blood – in patients with non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma (NHL) due to undergo stem cell transplantation,
appears to predict their likelihood of survival, US
researchers have discovered.
Rituximab During PBSCT for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma -
Immunotherapy With Rituximab During Peripheral Blood Stem Cell
Transplantation for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma -
Isolation and transplantation of highly purified
autologous peripheral CD34(+) progenitor cells: purging efficacy,
hematopoietic reconstitution in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL): results of
Japanese phase II study. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2005 Jan 17;
15654349 | Related
 Increasing the Number of Apheresis
Collections Increases Lymphocyte Collection and Affects Survival [+]
after Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Session Type: Poster Session 46-I -
"These data suggest that increasing the number of peripheral
blood apheresis collections beyond the minimum number required to meet
CD34+ collection targets may result in improved overall and
progression-free survival mediated by an increase in autograft absolute
Time Interval from Last Chemotherapy to
Stem Cell Collection Correlates with Peripheral Blood Absolute
Lymphocyte Count at Apheresis and Survival Post-Autologous Stem Cell
Transplantation in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Session Type: Poster
Session 197-III -
AMD3100 is a stem cell mobilizer. By blocking CXCR4, a
specific cellular receptor, AMD3100 triggers the rapid movement of stem
cells out of the bone marrow and into circulating blood. Once in the
circulating blood, the stem cells can be collected for use in stem cell
transplant. Stem cell transplant is a procedure used to restore the
immune system of cancer patients who have had treatments that previously
destroyed their immune cells.