BACKGROUND: Monocytes collected by leukapheresis are increasingly used for dendritic cell (DC) culture in cell factories suitable for DC vaccination in cancer.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Using modified MNC programs on two apheresis systems (Cobe Spectra and Fresenius AS.TEC204), leukapheresis components collected from 84 patients with metastatic malignant melanoma and from 31 healthy male donors were investigated. MNCs, monocytes, RBCs, and platelets (PLTs) in donors and components were analyzed by cell counters, WBC differential counts, and flow cytometry.
RESULTS: In 5-L collections, Astec showed better results regarding monocyte collection rates (11.0 vs. 7.4 × 106/min, p = 0.04) and efficiencies (collection efficiency, 51.9 vs. 31.9%; p < 0.001). Both devices resulted in monocyte yields at an average of 1 × 109 (donors) and 2.5 × 109 (patients), whereas Astec components contained high residual RBCs. Compared to components with low residual PLTs, high PLT concentration resulted in higher monocyte loss (48 vs. 20%, p < 0.0001) before DC culture.
CONCLUSION: The Astec is more efficient in 5-L MNC collections compared to the Spectra. Components with high residual PLTs result in high MNC loss by purification procedures. Thus, optimizing MNC programs is essential to obtain components with high MNC yields and low residual cells as prerequisite for high DC yields.