For younger patients under 65 years of age, induction followed by high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is the standard treatment in multiple myeloma (MM). There is limited experience with non-cryopreserved autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of non-cryopreserved storage of ASCT in patients undergoing ASCT for MM.

Patients and methods:

Autologous stem cell was mobilized using G-CSF alone (10 µg/kg/day for 5 days). Leukapheresis to harvest stem cells were performed on day -2 and -1. The grafts were kept in a conventional blood bank refrigerator at +4°C until reinfusion on day 0. The conditioning regimen consisted of melphalan 200 mg/m2 in all patients.


From May 2009 to December 2013, 134 patients with MM were treated in our center in Oran. The median age at ASCT was 55 years (range; 27-67). There were 80 males and 54 females. The median harvested CD34+ cell count was 3,5x106/kg (range; 1, 22 to 13, 24). All patients had engraftment on the median of day 10 (range; 7 to 17) and platelet transfusion independence on the median of day 13 (range; 9 to 24). There was no graft failure. Mucositis grade 3/4 was seen in 68% patients. Transplant related mortality at 100 days was 2.9%. The overall response to transplant was 92%.

In the 130 evaluable patients, the median post-transplant overall survival had not been reached. The estimated overall survival at 75 months was 63% with 95% confidence interval and the median post-transplant disease free Survival was 35 months (0.05%). 93 (72%) patients are alive and 75 (81%) without disease activity after a median follow-up of 35 months (range; 3 to 75).


We conclude that high dose chemotherapy and autologous transplant with non cryopreserved ASCT is a simple, effective and safe method for MM with equivalent results, and that cryopreservation is not necessary in the treatment of MM under our work conditions in developing countries


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.