Hematopoietic progenitor cell levels were monitored in the peripheral blood and bone marrow of 30 cancer patients receiving recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating-factor (rG-CSF) in a phase I/II clinical trial. The absolute number of circulating progenitor cells of granulocyte-macrophage, erythroid, and megakaryocyte lineages showed a dose-related increase up to 100-fold after four days of treatment with rG-CSF and often remained elevated two days after the cessation of therapy. The relative frequency of different types of progenitor cells in peripheral blood remained unchanged. The frequency of progenitor cells in the marrow was variable after rG-CSF treatment but in most patients was slightly decreased. The responsiveness of bone marrow progenitor cells to stimulation in vitro by rG-CSF and granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor did not change significantly during rG-CSF treatment. In patients nine days after treatment with melphalan and then rG-CSF, progenitor cell levels were very low with doses of rG-CSF at or below 10 micrograms/kg/d, but equaled or exceeded pretreatment values when 30 or 60 micrograms/kg/d of rG-CSF was given.
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