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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2006 Sep;38(6):399-405. Epub 2006 Aug 7.

Has allogeneic stem cell cryopreservation been given the 'cold shoulder'? An analysis of the pros and cons of using frozen versus fresh stem cell products in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Donor stem cells for allogeneic transplant traditionally are collected and transfused 'fresh' into the recipient on the day of transplant; alternatively such cells can be collected in advance and cryopreserved until needed. Most centers favor the former approach based on theoretical concerns that cryopreservation and thawing may worsen clinical outcomes. Limited published data from single institution retrospective studies show no significant impairment of engraftment or reduced day 100 survival for cryopreserved bone marrow recipients. There are no reported outcomes for recipients of cryopreserved peripheral blood allografts. Use of cryopreserved stem cells is associated with a higher incidence of adverse events (transfusion reactions, bacterial graft contamination and collection of grafts which are not utilized). Conversely, use of cryopreserved grafts introduces a greater flexibility into a stressed healthcare system and results in a more streamlined experience for the donor. Some data suggest that transplantation with a cryopreserved product may lower the incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease. We compare the pros and cons of using 'fresh' versus cryopreserved stem cell products for allogeneic transplantation and suggest that the current standard of using 'fresh' products may not be warranted. We also suggest future areas of exploration to better elucidate this issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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