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Background

Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) products have traditionally been transported from the collection center to a transplant center using validated volunteer courier–based procedures. Evolving airline service strategies and security policies have complicated this model of product transport. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of transporting PBSC products using commercial overnight shipping services, while maintaining product quality, compared to courier-transported products.

Study Design and Methods

Five PBSC products were collected from healthy volunteer donors and divided to evaluate product quality when transported either by volunteer courier or by commercial overnight shipping service. Products were evaluated on the day of collection and at 24, 48, and 72 hours postcollection for total nucleated cell (TNC) count, cell viability, progenitor cell numbers, and progenitor cell lineage growth potential (colony-forming units [CFUs]) to assess product composition and quality associated with each cohort.

Results

No delivery delays were encountered and all products were received intact. Measurements of product composition and quality demonstrated no differences in TNC count (p = 0.893), cell viability (p = 0.409), CD34+ progenitor cell content (p = 0.509), or CFU–granulocyte-macrophage growth potential (p = 0.827).

Conclusions

We found no difference in product viability, progenitor cell content, or product potency in PBSC products transported either by volunteer courier or by commercial overnight shipping.