Collection of hematopoietic stem cells from patients with autoimmune diseases

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 Jul;28(1):1-12. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1703081.


We reviewed data from 24 transplant centers in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America to determine the outcomes of stem cell collection including methods used, cell yields, effects on disease activity, and complications in patients with autoimmune diseases. Twenty-one unprimed bone marrow harvests and 174 peripheral blood stem cell mobilizations were performed on 187 patients. Disease indications were multiple sclerosis (76 patients), rheumatoid arthritis (37 patients), scleroderma (26 patients), systemic lupus erythematosus (19 patients), juvenile chronic arthritis (13 patients), idiopathic autoimmune thrombocytopenia (8 patients), Behcet's disease (3 patients), undifferentiated vasculitis (3 patients), polychondritis (1 patient) and polymyositis (1 patient). Bone marrow harvests were used in the Peoples Republic of China and preferred worldwide for children. PBSC mobilization was the preferred technique for adult stem cell collection in America, Australia, and Europe. Methods of PBSC mobilization included G-CSF (5, 10, or 16 microg/kg/day) or cyclophosphamide (2 or 4 g/m2) with either G-CSF (5 or 10 microg/kg/day) or GM-CSF (5 microg/kg/day). Bone marrow harvests were without complications and did not affect disease activity. A combination of cyclophosphamide and G-CSF was more likely to ameliorate disease activity than G-CSF alone (P < 0.001). g-csf alone was more likely to cause disease exacerbation than the combination of cyclophosphamide and g-csf (P = 0.003). Three patients died as a result of cyclophosphamide-based stem cell collection (2.6% of patients mobilized with cyclophosphamide). When corrected for patient weight and apheresis volume, progenitor cell yields tended to vary by underlying disease, prior medication history and mobilization regimen. Trends in the approaches to, and results of, progenitor cell mobilization are suggested by this survey. While cytokine-based mobilization appears less toxic, it is more likely to result in disease reactivation. Optimization with regard to cell yields and safety are likely to be disease-specific and prospective disease-specific studies of mobilization procedures appear warranted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / toxicity
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / toxicity
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / toxicity
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization / methods
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Cyclophosphamide