Autologous platelet transfusion in patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and circulating progenitor cell transplantation for stage II/III breast cancer

Paolo Pedrazzoli, Cesare Perotti, Patrizia Noris, Gian Antonio Da Prada, Carlo Zibera, Manuela Battaglia, Nadia Gibelli, Piero Preti, Lorenzo Pavesi, Lorella Torretta, Carlo Luigi Balduini, Laura Salvaneschi, Gioacchino Robustelli Della Cuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective. Concerns about the risk of transfusion therapy are driving towards new strategies which are designed to minimize exposure to allogeneic blood products. We aimed to find out whether it is possible to support the phase of thrombocytopenia following high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and circulating progenitor cells (CPC) transplantation by autologous platelet concentrates (PC). Design and Methods. PC were collected from 32 patients undergoing HDC and CPC transplantation for stage II/III breast cancer. A single plateletpheresis was performed at rebound after high-dose cyclophosphamide, when platelet count exceeded 250x109/L. PC were cryopreserved in 5% DMSO after controlled-rate freezing and stored in liquid nitrogen. In vitro studies of cryopreserved platelets (aggregation, ATP release and change of mean platelet volume induced by EDTA) were performed. When platelet counts dropped below 20x109/L following HDC (thiotepa 600 mg/m2, L-PAM 160 mg/m2) and CPC transplant (CD34+ cells >5x106/kg), PC were thawed in a 37°C water bath, centrifuged to remove DMSO, resuspended in autologous plasma and reinfused within one hour. Results. Large quantities of platelets were harvested in all patients (median 6.6x1011, range 4.8- 12.2). In vitro studies showed preserved platelet function as compared to both fresh platelets and standard PC. Twenty-eight out of 32 patients received autologous PC. At the time of transfusion most of the patients were febrile (>38°C) and had mucositis >G2. The median number of platelets reinfused was 3.8x1011 (range 2.0-8.1) with a median loss during the freeze-thaw-wash procedure of 37%. Autotransfusion was able to maintain platelet count above 20x109/L in most patients, with a corrected count increment > 7.5 in 20 cases. Four patients required one additional allogeneic transfusion, two because of a poor Increment and two due to a late-occurring epistaxis. No side effects related to PC infusion were recorded. Sixteen control patients who received the same HDC and a similar number of CD34+ cells required a total of 17 allogeneic PC units (1 patient did not require platelet transfusion). Interpretation and Conclusions. Our data demonstrate that large doses of autologous platelets can easily be collected and safely administered to support the period of thrombocytopenia in patients undergoing HDC and CPC transplantation. Autologous PC in these patients can abrogate the risks deriving from allogeneic platelet transfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-723
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998


  • Autologous
  • High-dose chemotherapy
  • Platelet transfusion
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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