Vol 52, No 3 (2021)
Original research article
Published online: 2021-04-28

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Safety and cost effectiveness of outpatient autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma — single-center experience of a pilot Early Discharge Program

Dominik Dytfeld1, Anna Łojko-Dankowska1, Adam Nowicki1, Magdalena Matuszak1, Anna Wache1, Lidia Gil1
Acta Haematol Pol 2021;52(3):178-181.


Introduction: Multiple myeloma (MM) is the leading indication for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), with over 12,000 transplants per year in Europe. Due to low toxicity, an entirely outpatient procedure or an early discharge after ASCT can be considered as alternatives to inpatient transplantation. Thus, we launched an Early Discharge Program (EDP) for patients qualified for ASCT due to MM who were under 60 years of age, without significant comorbidities, who had a caregiver available 24/7, and who lived within a 60-minute drive of our hospital.

Material and methods: Patients spent 72 hours in the hospital being administered melphalan 200 mg/m2 intravenous followed by an infusion of hematopoietic stem cells. They were eventually discharged and remained under outpatient care. The program was launched in September 2019 and was temporarily halted due to the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic in early 2020. Five patients were enrolled to the EDP.

Results: Non-hematological toxicity was mild and manageable in an outpatient setting. Only one patient was readmitted due to exacerbation of ulcerative colitis that was probably not related to ASCT. We observed neither infections nor bleeding. Due to hematological toxicity, three of the five patients received platelet transfusion on the 6th day after ASCT as outpatients. No packed erythrocytes were transfused. The EDP demonstrated lower costs compared to an inpatient approach.

Conclusions: We believe that early discharge, which is an intermediate step to full at-home transplantation due to patients’ wellbeing, reduction of infections caused by resistant microorganisms, and costs, will eventually replace a full inpatient procedure for a significant population of patients suffering from multiple myeloma and indeed other diseases.

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