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Exp Hematol. 2001 Jan;29(1):3-11.

Ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic progenitor cells and mature cells.

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  • 1BMT-Program B-116, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. Ninth Ave., Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Hematopoietic cells have the potential for providing benefit in a variety of clinical settings. These include cells for support of patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy, as a target for replacement gene therapy, and as a source of cells for immunotherapy. The limitation to many of these applications has been the total absolute number of defined target cells. Therefore many investigators have explored methods to culture hematopoietic cells in vitro to increase the numbers of these cells. Studies attempting to expand hematopoietic stem cells, progenitor cells, and mature cells in vitro have become possible over the past decade due to the availability of recombinant growth factors and cell selection technologies. To date, no studies have demonstrated convincing data on the expansion of true stem cells, and so the focus of this review is the expansion of committed progenitor cells and mature cells. A number of clinical studies have been preformed using a variety of culture conditions, and several studies are currently in progress that explore the use of ex vivo expanded cells. These studies will be discussed in this review. There are evolving data that suggest that there are real clinical benefits associated with the use of the expanded cells; however, we are still at the early stages of understanding how to optimally culture different cell populations. The next decade should determine what culture conditions and what cell populations are needed for a range of clinical applications.

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