Negative immunomagnetic purging of peripheral blood stem cell harvests from breast carcinoma patients reduces tumor cell contamination while not affecting hematopoietic recovery

Cancer. 2000 Jun 15;88(12):2758-65. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(20000615)88:12<2758::aid-cncr14>;2-e.


Background: Because tumor contamination of hematopoietic stem cell grafts may influence the outcome in breast carcinoma (BC) patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy (HDC), several ex vivo procedures for the purging of autologous harvests have been investigated. The authors studied the presence of epithelial tumor cells and the growth of hematopoietic progenitors in peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collections from patients with metastatic breast carcinoma before and after a purging procedure performed by a negative immunomagnetic BC cell separation.

Methods: Eighteen patients entered the study. Tumor contamination was assessed by conventional immunocytochemistry (ICC) and by a liquid culture assay developed in the study laboratory. Committed and more primitive hematopoietic progenitors were quantitated before and after the negative selection. Ten patients received HDC with purged PBSC support.

Results: Before purging, 4 of 18 PBSC collections were found to be contaminated by liquid culture; among these samples, only 1 was positive by ICC. Three of the four positive collections, including the ICC positive sample, became negative after immunomagnetic selection whereas BC cells still were present after the procedure in one harvest. A high recovery of both primitive and mature hematopoietic progenitors was found after the purging procedure. Patients receiving purged PBSC after myeloablation had a prompt and complete hematopoietic reconstitution, and no graft failure was observed at a median follow-up of 1 year.

Conclusions: The preliminary results of the current study suggest that negative selection of BC cells is able to purge PBSC effectively while having no apparent affect on hematopoietic progenitor recovery in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Female
  • Hematopoiesis*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization / methods*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunomagnetic Separation / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting
  • Transplantation Conditioning*