BACKGROUND: Pegylated filgrastim (PEG-f), a long-lasting granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor, has been used in different hematologic conditions to shorten chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells. Data on mobilization efficacy in patients with multiple myeloma are, however, still limited. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The feasibility and mobilizing capacity of DCEP chemotherapy followed by a single subcutaneous dose of 6 mg of PEG-f in 23 myeloma patients (11 females and 12 males) whose median age was 55 years (range, 31-67 years) were investigated. RESULTS: The median number of CD34+ cells collected was 5.72 × 10 6 per kg body weight with a range between 0 × 106 and 29.4 × 106 per kg body weight. Twenty patients (87%) yielded more than 2 × 106 per kg body weight CD34+ cells. Among the 22 patients who mobilized some CD34+ cells, 27 leukapheresis procedures were carried out (a single leukapheresis procedure in 17 patients and 2 leukapheresis procedures in 5). The median interval between the start of chemotherapy and the first leukapheresis procedure was 12 days (range, 11-16 days). With regard to tolerability, 7 patients complained of mild to moderate back pain, controlled with oral analgesics. No patient was hospitalized, and no fever or infections occurred. CONCLUSION: These results, compared with those previously reported for the DCEP-filgrastim combination, suggest that DCEP chemotherapy followed by PEG-f is a promising combination to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells in myeloma patients.
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