Viable CD34+/CD133+ blood progenitor cell dose as a predictor of haematopoietic engraftment in multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
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Both CD34 (cluster of differentiation 34) and the more recently described CD133 are markers of primitive stem cells with haematopoietic repopulating ability. Most transplanting centres use a minimum number of CD34+ cells as the requirement for a transplant and consider this a predictor of haematopoietic engraftment. However, transplanted CD34+ cell dose does not always give a close correlation with time to engraftment nor explain delayed engraftment in some patients. We have retrospectively evaluated the potential of measuring viable CD133+ cell numbers in the autograft as an alternative predictor of haematological engraftment after autologous stem-cell transplantation in a cohort of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We found an average 32% loss of viability of CD34+ cells in the post-thaw sample compared with the fresh sample. Of the original estimated CD34+ cell numbers transplanted per kg, 43% of the thawed samples were double positive for CD34+/CD133+. In this patient group, the CD34+/CD133+ subset gave the closest statistical correlation with time to neutrophil engraftment (p < 0.05), particularly for patients given above median (1.8 × 106/kg) dose of the double-positive cells. The CD34+/CD133+ population was the only parameter to give a significant correlation with white cell engraftment in this patient cohort (p < 0.05). There was no significant correlation between CD34+, viable CD34+ or viable CD34+/CD133+ cells/kilogram with platelet engraftment. Determination of viable CD34+/CD133+ progenitor cell dose in the autograft may be a useful tool to predict neutrophil recovery after autologous transplantation than conventional assessment of CD34+ numbers. These results warrant further investigation of the role of CD133 in haematopoietic engraftment.
KeywordsCD34 CD133 Stem cells Haematopoiesis Engraftment Multiple myeloma
Dr. Alhossain Abdallah and Dr. Freda Passam, St. George Hospital Haematology registrar and visiting staff specialist, respectively, for the statistical correlation and helpful discussions. Thanks also to Sue Smith for her technical assistance and helpful discussions with the flow cytometry.
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