Although several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of large volume leukapheresis (LVL) to yield high numbers of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC), the mechanisms of stem cell release into circulation and the postulated phenomenon of PBPC recruitment during apheresis have not been investigated in detail. Therefore, we analyzed the kinetics of stem cell enrichment in a total of 34 standardized LVL for patients with hematologic malignancies (lymphoma, multiple myeloma) and solid tumors (breast cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma). LVL was started 2 h after administration of G-CSF processing six times the patient's blood volume. Cells were sequentially collected into six bags and the numbers of leukocytes, mononuclear cells (MNC), CD34+ cells and colony-forming cells (CFU-GM) in each collection bag were analyzed. The numbers of PBPC collected demonstrated a continuous decrease starting after an early maximum during the second processed blood volume (P = 0.001). Interestingly, these kinetics of decreasing stem cell yields during LVL were similar for both entities of patients with hematologic malignancies as well as for both groups of patients with solid tumors. In summary, a recruitment phenomenon, defined as a time-dependent and LVL-induced increase of PBPC, could not be demonstrated in any of the diseases investigated.