Collection of circulating progenitor cells after epirubicin, paclitaxel and filgrastim in patients with metastatic breast cancer

P. Pedrazzoli, C. Perotti, G. A. Da Prada, F. Bertolini, N. Gibelli, L. Torretta, M. Battaglia, L. Pavesi, P. Preti, L. Salvaneschi, G. Robustelli Della Cuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and circulating progenitor cell (CPC) transplantation in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) relies mainly on giving this treatment after a response to conventional induction chemotherapy has been achieved. For this reason an optimal mobilization regimen should be therapeutically effective while minimizing the number of leucaphereses required to support the myeloablative therapy. The combination of an anthracycline and paclitaxel in chemotherapy-untreated MBC has produced impressive response rates. We evaluated the CPC-mobilizing capacity of the combination epirubicin (90 mg m-2) and paclitaxel (135 mg m-2) followed by filgrastim (5 μg kg-1 day-1) starting 48 h after chemotherapy administration in ten patients with MBC who were eligible for an HDC and CPC transplantation programme. Leucaphereses were performed by processing at least two blood volumes per procedure at recovery from neutrophil nadir when CD34+ cells in the peripheral blood exceeded 20 μl-1. In most patients (six out of 10) more than 2.5 x 106 CD34+ cells kg-1, a threshold considered to be sufficient for haematopoietic reconstitution, were collected with a single apheresis. In the remaining four patients an additional procedure, performed the following day, was enough to reach the required number of progenitors. These data suggest that the epirubicin-paclitaxel combination, besides being a very active regimen in MBC, is effective in releasing large amounts of progenitor cells into circulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1372
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Mobilization
  • Progenitor cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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