BACKGROUND: In the past two decades peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) have increasingly replaced marrow as stem cells source for allogeneic transplantation. The PBSC donation initially applied only to related donors; later, due to the safety of the procedure, it was extended to unrelated donors.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We have retrospectively collected data regarding mobilization, collection, and short- and long-term follow-up of 190 consecutive donors, 174 related and 16 unrelated. All donors followed a standard protocol for mobilization and underwent at least one PBSC collection. Follow-up in related donors was performed every 4 months in the first year and then annually, with no time limits, while unrelated donors were monitored for 10 years.
RESULTS: All 190 donors completed the established mobilization protocol. The mobilizing capacity was significantly greater in males and in donors less than 60 years old. No case of major toxicity by granulocyte–colony-stimulating factor was found, nor thromboembolic events. The total dose of CD34+/recipient (median 5.8 × 106/kg recipient/body weight) was statistically correlated with age, CD34+ before and after mobilization, and collection efficiency. Compliance to follow-up was 66%, with a significant difference between related and unrelated (63% vs. 100%, p = 0.03). During follow-up no significant abnormalities in hematologic variables or hematologic malignancies were reported.
CONCLUSION: Our study allowed us to define the PBSC donation as “a safe procedure for the donors,” with short- and long-term effects limited to a small percentage of donors and “effective for the recipient,” due to the dose of collected CD34+, adequate for transplantation in almost all recipients.