Absence of damaging effects of stem cell donation in unrelated donors assessed by FISH and gene variance screening


Granulocyte–Colony-Stimulating factor (G-CSF) is currently the standard mobilising agent for peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation. Concerns that it may trigger chromosome aberrations similar to those observed in leukaemia patients were refuted but long-term effects of G-CSF mobilisation on genome integrity remains unclear. In the setting of a multi-centre clinical trial we screened blood samples from 50 PBSC donors at cellular and gene level for aberrations common in haematological malignancies using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) and next generation sequencing (NGS) assays. Analysis of samples collected before, on the day of donation, 90 and 180 days after G-CSF admission confirmed the absence of short-term effects in PBSC donors on both quiescent and dividing cells. This data did not differ from the results of 50 individuals tested 3–5 years after bone marrow donation and 50 healthy persons. NGS using a panel targeting 54 genes recurrently affected in myeloid disorders (TruSight Myeloid panel, Illumina) showed that the gene profiles of samples from 48 PBSC donors remained stable throughout the study period. These data strongly indicate absence of detrimental effects on the genome integrity caused by PBSC donation.

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Fig. 1: Gene variants detected using TruSight Myeloid panel in G-CSF mobilised donors.


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We are grateful to all the donors who agreed to take part in this study and the nursing staff who assisted us. We also thank all the office staff at the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) and at Anthony Nolan, for their support in tracing the samples. The laboratory investigations were performed by A. Virgili, K. Gancheva, L. Rai, G. Uka and S. Phyo. Chugai, Amgen and Illumina, the Royal Free Charity, the BBMDA Charity, Anthony Nolan and the BBMR through NHSBT provided the financial support for this study.

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Nacheva, E., Ahyee, T., Addada, J. et al. Absence of damaging effects of stem cell donation in unrelated donors assessed by FISH and gene variance screening. Bone Marrow Transplant (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0945-y

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