Preemptive use of plerixafor in difficult-to-mobilize patients: an emerging concept

Authors

  • Esa Jantunen,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the University of Eastern Finland/Clinical Medicine and Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; and the Department of Hematology and Oncological Sciences “L. & A. Seràgnoli,” Institute of Hematology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
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  • Roberto M. Lemoli

    1. From the University of Eastern Finland/Clinical Medicine and Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; and the Department of Hematology and Oncological Sciences “L. & A. Seràgnoli,” Institute of Hematology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
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Esa Jantunen, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, PO Box 1777, 70211 Kuopio, Finland; e-mail: esa.jantunen@kuh.fi.

Abstract

Mobilized peripheral blood (PB) is the preferred source of stem cells (PBSCs) for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The use of cytokines, alone or in combination with chemotherapy (chemomobilization), is currently the most common strategy applied to collect PBSCs. However, a significant proportion of patients with lymphoid malignancies fail to mobilize enough PBSCs to proceed to ASCT. Plerixafor has been recently introduced for clinical use to enhance PBSC mobilization and has been shown to be more effective than granulocyte–colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) alone in patients with multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There is limited experience on combining plerixafor with chemotherapy plus G-CSF in patients who mobilize poorly. This review attempts to summarize the published experience on the preemptive use of plerixafor after chemomobilization or G-CSF mobilization to enhance stem cell collection and to prevent mobilization failure. Current evidence suggests that addition of plerixafor is safe and effective in the large majority of the patients with low blood CD34+ cell counts after mobilization and/or poor yield after the first collection(s). Circulating CD34+ cell counts can be increased by severalfold with plerixafor and the majority of the patients considered difficult to mobilize can be successfully collected. Although more studies are needed to evaluate proper patient selection and optimal timing for the addition of plerixafor after chemotherapy, its mechanism of action inducing the rapid release of CD34+ cells from the marrow to the PB makes this molecule suitable for its “preemptive” use in patients who are difficult to mobilize.

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