Increased hematopoietic progenitor cell maintenance in long-term bone marrow cultures containing minimal numbers of contaminating breast cancer cells

S. L. Mann, S. S. Joshi, D. A. Crouse, J. O. Armitage, A. Kessinger, D. D. Weisenburger, W. P. Vaughan, J. G. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The maintenance of hematopoietic progenitor cells as assayed in the mixed colony (CFU-GEMM) assay in human long-term bone marrow cultures was compared between normal allogeneic marrow transplantation donor collections and those from candidates for high-dose therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). To be eligible for ABMT, patients were required to have a histologically normal appearing bone marrow and therefore any tumor contamination was at minimal levels and detectable only after evaluation of the cultured harvests. Marrow from 15 normal donors, 36 patients with breast cancer, and 30 patients with Hodgkin's disease was evaluated. The number of mononuclear cells placed in culture was standardized. In all groups, significantly more progenitor cells were recovered at 4-6 weeks of culture than at 12-14 weeks. At 4-6 and 12-14 weeks, there were no significant differences in the number of progenitor cells recovered from the cultures of normal donors and tumor negative cultures of breast cancer or Hodgkin's disease patients. However, following 4-6 and 12-14 weeks of culture, progenitor cell numbers of cultures which contained breast cancer cells were significantly higher than the pooled values for cultures from the concurrent normal controls, and those from breast cancer and Hodgkin's disease patients with tumor negative cultures. These results suggest that minimal breast cancer cell contamination of the bone marrow can influence the production of marrow progenitor cells. Exposure to prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy does not appear to be the cause of this effect. The most likely mechanism is the local production of cytokines by the tumor cells, although a process involving direct adhesive contact of the tumor cells with hematopoietic cells, which is sometimes observed in semisolid cultures, cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 1997

Keywords

  • Long-term bone marrow cultures
  • Occult tumor
  • Progenitor cells
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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