The CD34 antigen is expressed by committed and uncommitted hematopoietic progenitor cells and is increasingly used to assess stem cell content of peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) collections. Quantitative CD34 expression in PBPC collections has been suggested to correlate with engraftment kinetics of PBPCs infused after myeloablative therapy. We analyzed the engraftment kinetics as a function of CD34 content in 692 patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy (HDC). Patients had PBPCs collected after cyclophosphamide based mobilization chemotherapy with or without recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) until > or = 2.5 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg were harvested. Measurement of the CD34 content of PBPC collections was performed daily by a central reference laboratory using a single technique of CD34 analysis. Forty-five patients required a second mobilization procedure to achieve > or = 2.5 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg and 15 patients with less than 2.5 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg available for infusion received HDC. A median of 9.94 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg (range, 0.5 to 112.6 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg) contained in the PBPC collections was subsequently infused into patients after the administration of HDC. Engraftment was rapid with patients requiring a median of 9 days (range, 5 to 38 days) to achieve a neutrophil count of 0.5 x 10(9)/L and a median of 9 days (range, 4 to 53+ days) to achieve a platelet count of > or = 20 x 10(9)/L. A clear dose-response relationship was evident between the number of CD34+ cells per kilogram infused between the number of CD34+ cells per kilogram infused and neutrophil and platelet engraftment kinetics. Factors potentially influencing the engraftment kinetics of neutrophil and platelet recovery were examined using a Cox regression model. The single most powerful mediator of both platelet (P = .0001) and neutrophil (P = .0001) recovery was the CD34 content of the PBPC product. Administration of a post-PBPC infusion myeloid growth factor was also highly correlated with neutrophil recovery (P = .0001). Patients receiving high-dose cyclophosphamide, thiotepa, and carboplatin had more rapid platelet recovery than patients receiving other regimens (P = .006), and patients requiring 2 mobilization procedures versus 1 mobilization procedure to achieve > or = 2.5 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg experienced slower platelet recovery (P = .005). Although a minimal threshold CD34 dose could not be defined, > or = 5.0 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg appears to be optimal for ensuring rapid neutrophil and platelet recovery.

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