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There are various types of stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells, unlike embryonic stem cells, can be collected from the peripheral blood by apheresis. HSC are the progenitor cells that give rise to all the components of the bone marrow and immune system, including red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets.
The Cobe Spectra is used for stem cell harvest apheresis.
Before the hematopoietic stem cell collection, you may receive injections of growth factors to increase the number of peripheral stem cells in the blood. On the day that the blood cell count has reached a sufficient level, blood is removed through a needle or catheter and circulated into a blood cell separator machine. The blood is separated and mononuclear white blood cells and peripheral blood stem cells are transferred to a collection bag. They are saved and frozen. The other blood components (plasma, red blood cells, platelets) circulate back to the patient through a return needle. One or two HSC harvests are usually sufficient to obtain enough cells from normal allogeneic donors, but in autologous cases some patients may have to undergo three, four or more daily apheresis procedures.
HSC harvest apheresis is a safe procedure with a few possible side effects. You may have discomfort at the needle site and occasional light-headedness during treatment. A nurse will check on you regularly during treatment and a physician will be onsite.
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