BACKGROUND: Although controlled-rate freezing and storage in liquid nitrogen are the standard procedure for peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) cryopreserva-tion, uncontrolled-rate freezing and storage at –80°C have been reported.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The prospective evaluation of 109 autologous PBPC transplantations after uncontrolled-rate freezing and storage at –80°C of apheresis products is reported. The cryoprotectant solution contained final concentrations of 1-percent human serum albumin, 2.5-percent hydroxyethyl starch, and 3.5-percent DMSO.
RESULTS: With in vitro assays, the median recoveries of nucleated cells (NCs), CD34+ cells, CFU–GM, and BFU–E were 60.8 percent (range, 11.2-107.1%), 79.6 percent (6.3-158.1%), 35.6 percent (0.3-149.5%), and 32.6 percent (1.7-151.1%), respectively. The median length of storage was 7 weeks (range, 1-98). The median cell dose, per kg of body weight, given to patients after the preparative regimen was 6.34 × 108 NCs (range, 0.02-38.3), 3.77 × 106 CD34+ cells (0.23-58.5), and 66.04 × 104 CFU–GM (1.38-405.7). The median time to reach 0.5 × 109 granulocytes per L, 20 × 109 platelets per L, and 50 × 109 reticulocytes per L was 11 (range, 0-37), 11 (0-129), and 17 (0-200) days, respectively. Hematopoietic reconstitution did not differ in patients undergoing myeloablative or nonmyeloablative conditioning regimens before transplantation.
CONCLUSION: This simple and less expensive cryopreservation procedure can produce successful engraftment, comparable to that obtained with the standard storage procedure.