Granulocytapheresis as a possible cancer treatment
We assessed the effect of granulocyte apheresis in patients exhibiting increased granulocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio in order to overcome granulocytosis occurring in the terminal stages of malignancies. 17 patients with post-operative recurrent metastatic tumors including 6 gastric, 3 colonic, 2 rectal, 1 esophageal and 5 breast cancers were selected. The granulocytapheresis was performed by extracorporeal vein-to-vein circulation equipped with an apheresis column filled with cellulose acetate beads. Each week the patients underwent one or two sessions of treatment that lasted 30 to 50 minutes per session at a flow rate of 30 to 50 ml/min. 15 sessions formed 1 therapeutic cycle. The effect of granulocytapheresis resulted in partial response (PR) in 4 cases, no change (NC) in 7 cases and partial disease (PD) in 6 cases. The performance status showed 30% remission. None of the patients exhibited significant side effects. Since the treatment demonstrated anti-tumor effects, granulocytapheresis may be applied during combined cancer treatments.
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