Cytokine-primed bone marrow stem cells vs. peripheral blood stem cells for autologous transplantation: A randomized comparison of GM-CSF vs. G-CSF

Daniel Weisdorf, Jeffrey Miller, Catherine Verfaillie, Linda Bums, John Wagner, Bruce Blazar, Stella Davies, Wesley Miller, Peter Hannan, Michael Steinbuch, Norma Ramsay, Philip McGlave

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Autologous transplantation for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease is widely used as standard therapy for those with high-risk or relapsed tumor. Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collections have nearly completely replaced bone marrow stern cell (BMSC) harvests because of the perceived advantages of more rapid engraftment, less tumor contamination in the inoculum, and better survival after therapy. The advantage of PBSC, however, may derive from the hematopoietic stimulating cytokines used for PBSC mobilization. Therefore, we tested a randomized comparison of GM-CSF vs. G-CSF used to prime either BMSC or PBSC before collection for use in autologous transplantation. Sixty-two patients receiving transplants (31 PBSC; 31 BMSC) for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=51) or Hodgkin's disease (n=11) were treated. All patients received 6 days of randomly assigned cyctokine. Those with cellular marrow in morphologic remission underwent BMSC harvest, while those with hypocellular marrow or microscopic marrow tumor involvement had PBSC collected. Neutrophil recovery was similarly rapid in all groups (median 14 days; range 10-23 days), though two patients had delayed neutrophil recovery using GM-CSF primed PBSC (p = 0.01). Red cell and platelet recovery were significantly quicker after BMSC mobilized with GM-CSF or PBSC mobilized with G-CSF. This speedier hematologic recovery resulted in earlier hospital discharge as well. However, in multivariate analysis, neither the stem cell source nor randomly assigned G-CSF vs. GM-CSF was independently associated with earlier multilineage hematologic recovery or shorter hospital stay. Relapse-free survival was not independently affected by either the assigned stem cell source or the randomly assigned priming cytokine, though malignant relapse was more frequent in those assigned to PBSC (RR of relapse 3.15, p = 0.03). These data document that BMSC, when collected following cytokine priming, can yield a similarly rapid hematologic recovery and short hospital stay compared with cytokine-primed PBSC. Using primed BMSC, no difference in malignant relapse or relapse-free survival was observed. These findings suggest that despite widespread use of PBSC for transplantation, BMSC, when collected following hematopoietically stimulating cytokines, may remain a satisfactory source of stem cells for autologous transplantation. G-CSF and GM-CSF are both effective in priming autologous PBSC or BMSC for collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • Autologous
  • Marrow
  • Primed
  • Stem cell
  • Transplantation


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