High-dose chemotherapy, followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, holds significant promise for increasing the probability of long-term remission and possibly cure in a variety of cancers. Hematopoietic cell culture, or ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic cells, may play a significant role in reducing the danger and expense associated with the transplantation procedure. Phase I clinical trials have shown that ex vivo expanded cells have no significant toxicities, and some benefits. Ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic cells is likely to find other applications in gene therapy, tumor purging, production of dendritic cells for immunotherapy and the production of mature blood cells for transfusion therapies.
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