BACKGROUND: The most widely used system for peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) cryopreservation is controlled-rate freezing (CRF). Uncontrolled-rate freezing (URF) at -80°C has also been used, but its clinical impact has not been studied sufficiently yet. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Two groups of patients were compared: Group A consisted of 69 patients autotransplanted with PBPCs cryopreserved with CRF; Group B consisted of 192 patients autotransplanted with PBPCs cryopreserved with URF at -80°C. The same cryoprotectant solution and storage system were used. RESULTS: A significant delay of hematologic reconstitution (HR) in the URF group was observed for neutrophils greater than 0.5 × 109 per L and for platelets greater than 20 × 109 per L and greater than 50 × 109 per L; we did not observe any differences in the clinical course. The long-term HR was comparable in the two groups, all patients showed stable engraftment, and no late graft failures were observed. CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that URF is safe and allows sustained long-term engraftment without increasing the risks of transplantation, even though the early engraftment after URF is slower.
ASJC Scopus subject areas