A study looking at plerixafor with G-CSF before a stem cell transplant using your own cells (PHANTASTIC)

Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Hodgkin lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma




Phase 2

This study looked at a drug called plerixafor which could help to move stem cells from your bone marrow into your bloodstream. It was for people having a stem cell transplant using their own cells (an autologous transplant).
An autologous stem cell transplant can be part of treatment for

More about this trial

Stem cells Open a glossary item  are collected from your blood using a stem cell collecting machine Open a glossary item. After having treatment to kill the lymphoma or myeloma cells, you have the collected stem cells back through a drip. They find their way into the bone marrow Open a glossary item and start to make blood cells again.

Before your stem cell collection, you usually have chemotherapy Open a glossary item and a growth factor called G-CSF. This helps the bone marrow to make more stem cells and move them into your bloodstream. It can work well for many people, but the chemotherapy can cause side effects.

In this study, they looked at a drug called plerixafor, which can stimulate the immune system. Researchers knew from research that plerixafor could help move stem cells in people with myeloma or lymphoma, but they didn’t know if it was better than standard chemotherapy.

The aims of this study were to see

  • If having G-CSF and plerixafor allowed as many stem cells to be collected as G-CSF and standard chemotherapy
  • Whether the stem cell collection could be done more quickly and cause fewer side effects
  • If the length of time it took for the stem cells to start working again was affected

Summary of results

The study team found that plerixafor was better than chemotherapy for stem cell collection and had fewer side effects.

This was a phase 2 study. It recruited 98 people with myeloma or lymphoma. The research team compared the results for these 98 people to the results of 151 people who’d already had standard chemotherapy before their stem cell collection.

The 98 people recruited as part of this study all had plerixafor and G-CSF before having a stem cell transplant using their own stem cells. The researchers took blood samples and compared them with blood samples from the151 people who’d had a standard chemotherapy and G-SCF.

The research team looked at the number of stem cell collections people needed to get a good number of stem cells. They found that after one stem cell collection they had enough stem cells for

  • 96 out of 98 people (98%) who’d had plerixafor
  • 114 out of 151 people (75%) who’d had chemotherapy

They also looked at how many people had a drop in white blood cells (called neutrophils). They found this happened in

  • No one who had plerixafor
  • 67 out of 151 people (44%) of people who’d had chemotherapy

Those having plerixafor didn’t report any bad side effects. 11 people did have mild tummy upsets, difficulty getting to sleep and headaches. But it was not clear that these were caused by plerixafor..

The researchers concluded that plerixafor worked better than chemotherapy before a stem cell collection and caused fewer side effects.

We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Richard Clark

Supported by

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust
University of Liverpool

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Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 7774

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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