Background: Failure to mobilize PBPCs for auto-logous transplantation has mostly been attributed to previous therapy and poses therapeutic problems.
Study design and methods: The role of underlying disease was analyzed in 17 of 73 (23%) patients with PBPC mobilization failure, and secondary mobilization with high-dose filgrastim was attempted.
Results: Of 16 patients with acute leukemia, 13 (81%) mobilized poorly. In contrast, of 57 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and solid tumor, 53 (93%, p < 0.001) showed good PBPC mobilization. Relapsed disease did not predispose to poor mobilization. As secondary mobilization attempt, 7 patients received 25 micro g per kg per day filgrastim without chemotherapy leading to a 3.7 +/- 2.8-fold (SD) increase in the maximum number of circulating CD34+ cells (p = 0.104). PBPC apheresis yielded 3.3 (+/-0.5) x 10(6) CD34+ cells per kg of body weight in 5 patients. Four poor mobilizers received 50 micro g per kg per day filgrastim as second or third mobilization attempt. Circulating CD34+ cells in these patients increased by 1.5 (+/-0.7) compared with the primary G-CSF application.
Conclusion: Selective PBPC mobilization failure was seen in patients with acute leukemia whereas remarkably good mobilization was seen in other malignancies. Increasing the filgrastim dose to 25 micro g per kg per day may allow PBPC collection in patients failing PBPC mobilization.