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Haematologica. 2009 Sep;94(9):1282-8. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2009.006924.

Is mobilized peripheral blood comparable with bone marrow as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for allogeneic transplantation from HLA-identical sibling donors? A case-control study.

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  • 1Clinical Haematology Department, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Josep Trueta, Avda. França s/n, Girona, Spain.



Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor mobilized peripheral blood stem cells are increasingly used instead of bone marrow as a stem cell source for transplantation. Whereas this change is almost complete for autologous transplantation, there are some concerns when considering allogeneic transplants.


We performed a retrospective case-control study including 820 adult patients who had received an allogeneic stem cell transplant from an HLA-identical sibling donor. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed in 150 patients using the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (QLQ-C30).


There were no statistically significant differences in overall survival at ten years (bone marrow: 48.9% vs. peripheral blood stem cells: 39.8%; p=0.621), transplant-related mortality (bone marrow: 28.9% vs. peripheral blood stem cells: 34.4%; p=0.682) or relapse incidence at 9 years (29.4% vs. 35.2%, respectively; p=0.688). Similar outcomes were maintained independently of the phase of the disease. However, multivariate analysis identified a higher incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease grades II-IV (p: 0.023; Hazard ratio [HR]: 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.89) and grades III-IV (p: 0.006; HR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.20-2.98), in the peripheral blood stem cells-stem cell transplant group. As previously described, extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease was also more frequent in the peripheral blood stem cells group (28% vs. 15.6%; p<0.001). Patients transplanted with peripheral blood stem cells had significant impairment of role and social functioning.


Although overall survival was not affected by the stem cell source, peripheral blood stem cell transplants were associated with a higher risk of both acute and chronic GvHD. Global quality of life was similar in both groups, but patients transplanted with peripheral blood stem cells showed worse role and social functioning scores, probably related to the increased incidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease.

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