Peripheral blood stem cell tumor cell contamination and survival of neuroblastoma patients

Maria Valeria Corrias, Riccardo Haupt, Barbara Carlini, Stefano Parodi, Lucia Rivabella, Alberto Garaventa, Vito Pistoia, Sandro Dallorso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Contribution of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) contaminating tumor cells to subsequent relapse and overall survival of neuroblastoma patients remains controversial. Experimental Design: Neuroblastoma cell contamination of 27 PBSC harvests from stage IV neuroblastoma patients was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR for both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and GD2 synthase (GD2-s). The effect of PBSC contamination on survival was then analyzed. Results: Seven PBSC tested negative for both markers; 19 were positive for GD2-s, 6 for TH, with 5 positive for both. Survival of the 20 patients with positive PBSC did not differ from that of the patients with negative PBSC (log-rank test, P = 0.134 and 0.218 for event-free survival and overall survival, respectively). By considering the TH and GD2-s results independently, a borderline (P = 0.053) negative effect on event-free survival was observed in patients reinfused with GD2-s-positive PBSC. When the status at transplant was taken into account, only the event-free survival of the patients rescued when in complete remission with GD2-s-negative PBSC was better, although not significantly, than that of patients infused with GD2-s-positive PBSC. Conclusions: Our results obtained in a small cohort of homogeneously treated stage IV patients suggest that patient survival is not affected by PBSC contamination with the exception of a borderline negative effect on event-free survival in patients rescued when in complete remission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5680-5685
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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