Background: A randomised trial comparing filgrastim-mobilised peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplants with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) for haematopoietic stem cell support has not been done. We compared the effects of filgrastim-mobilised PBPC or autologous bone marrow reinfused to lymphoma patients after high-dose chemotherapy in a prospective randomised multicentre trial.
Methods: The trial was done at six centres in three European countries. After high-dose chemotherapy (carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan [BEAM protocol]) 58 patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease or high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma received either filgrastim-mobilised PBPC (n = 27) or bone marrow (n = 31) for haemopoietic reconstitution.
Findings: The median number of days with platelet transfusions after grafting was 6 in the PBPC transplantation group and 10 in the ABMT group (estimate of treatment difference 5 days, 95% CI 3-7 days). Time to platelet recovery above 20 x 10(9)/L was 16 days in the PBPC transplantation group and 23 days in the ABMT group (p = 0.02). Time to neutrophil recovery above 0.5 x 10(9)/L was also reduced in the PBPC transplantation group (11 vs 14 days, p = 0.005). Patients randomised to PBPC transplantation needed fewer red blood cell transfusions (two vs three, p = 0.002) and spent less time in hospital (17 vs 23 days, p = 0.002). Early post-transplant morbidity and mortality as well as overall survival (median follow-up 311 days) were similar in both groups. There was no notable toxicity ascribed to filgrastim administration or the leucapheresis procedures.
Interpretation: In patients with lymphoma treated with high-dose chemotherapy, reinfusing filgrastim-mobilised PBPC instead of autologous bone marrow significantly reduced the number of platelet transfusions, the time to platelet and neutrophil recovery, and led to earlier discharge from hospital.