Leucocyte depletion filter removes cancer cells in human blood


The Norwegian Radium Hospital Montebello, 0310 Oslo Norway


Background. Autologous blood transfusion has been avoided in cancer surgery because of the metastatic potential of reinfused tumour cells.

Methods. This study evaluated the efficacy of a blood transfusion filter in removing tumour cells from blood. Whole human blood was admixed with two different malignant cell lines (breast cancer PMI and MCF7). The blood was filtered through a RC400TE leucocyte depletion filter. Unfiltered blood was used as a control. Detection of malignant cells was performed with immuno-magnetic beads and clonogenic assays.

Results No viable tumour cells were found after filtration with the leucocyte depletion filter.

Conclusion. These findings suggest that the use of a leucocyte filter after intra-operative blood salvage may make autotrans-fusion safe even in tumour surgery.