Myeloablative treatment and peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation are increasingly used for lymphomas and leukemias. We have sought to optimize conditions for priming, collection, and engraftment of the leukapheresis product. Fifty-four consecutive adult patients were eligible, 31 with high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of poor prognosis, 12 with Hodgkin's disease in chemosensitive relapse, and 11 with poor prognosis acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Filgrastim was administered after routine chemotherapy with VAPEC-B or HiCCOM to mobilize PBPC. A rapidly increasing white blood cell count was used to predict the time of peak PBPC release and plan leukapheresis. Forty- five patients underwent leukapheresis. A median of 14 L of blood was processed at a single apheresis. A median of 2.4 x 10(8)/kg mononuclear cells (MNCs), 1.04 x 10(6)/kg granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (GM-CFCs), and 10.6 x 10(6)/kg CD34+ cells were obtained. Slightly fewer MNCs were obtained from the heavily pretreated Hodgkin's disease group. There were no other significant differences in the size or composition of the leukapheresis harvest in the three patient groups. Forty patients underwent high-dose therapy and PBPC transplantation. Filgrastim was administered by daily subcutaneous injection until the absolute neutrophil count was > or = 1 x 10(9)/L for 2 consecutive days. Rapid and sustained hematopoietic engraftment occurred in all patients. The median time to achieve a neutrophil count > or = 0.5 x 10(9)/L was 9 days (range, 8 to 16 days); to achieve a platelet count > or = 20 x 10(9)/L was 10 days (range, 6 to 88 days); and to achieve a platelet count > or = 50 x 10(9)/L was 15.5 days (range, 10 to 100 days). Neutrophil recovery was faster than that of a historical control group treated with autologous bone marrow transplantation and filgrastim, but platelet recovery times were halved in the PBPC group. There was no secondary engraftment failure. Requirements for blood and platelet transfusions, antibiotic use, and parenteral nutrition were similar in the three patient groups. The median number of days in the hospital was 13 (range, 10 to 55) in the PBPC patients, compared with 19 (range, 14 to 51) in the historical controls. Leukapheresis yields (MNC, GM-CFC, and CD34+ cell numbers) were not useful for predicting the times to engraftment. We have shown that sufficient PBPC for transplantation can be obtained at a single leukapheresis after mobilization with routine chemotherapy and filgrastim in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even those heavily pretreated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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