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A phase I trial of recombinant human thrombopoietin in patients with delayed platelet recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109-1024, USA.


Delayed platelet recovery is a significant complication after both autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). A multicenter, phase I dose-escalation study of recombinant human thrombopoietin (rhTPO) was conducted to assess its safety and to obtain preliminary data on its efficacy in patients with persistent severe thrombocytopenia (<20,000/microL) >35 days after HSCT. Thirty-eight patients, 37 of whom were evaluable, were enrolled in the study from April 1996 through January 1997. rhTPO was administered at doses of 0.6, 1.2, and 2.4 microg/kg as a single dose (group A) or in multiple doses every 3 days for a total of 5 doses (group B). No significant adverse effects were observed. Ten patients had recovery of platelet counts during the 28-day study period; 3 of these 10 had an increase in marrow megakaryocyte content 7 days after completing treatment with rhTPO. When all baseline marrows were compared with samples after rhTPO treatment, there was no difference in marrow megakaryocyte content (P = 0.49). This study design could not answer the question of whether the recoveries of platelet counts observed in some patients were spontaneous or influenced by rhTPO treatment; nonetheless, the authors found no correlation between the dose of rhTPO and the recovery of platelet counts. Increases in serum TPO levels were dose-dependent and remained significantly elevated for up to 72 hours after treatment. To evaluate response, further studies of treatment strategies with rhTPO in patients with delayed platelet recovery are required.

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