PBSCs help donors and researchers with treatments and therapies

Breaking down acronyms with the experts who work with them day in and day out
May 13, 2019

Rogelio Zamilpa, Director of Cord Blood, and Jessica Raley, Director of the Center for Apheresis and Therapeutic Services, oversee the cord blood program, marrow, and peripheral blood stem cell collection centers at GenCure. They answer the question “What are PBSCs?”

What are PBSCs?

PBSCs stand for peripheral blood stem cells. PBSCs come from peripheral blood, or the blood circulating in your body.

PBSCs are given to patients who need a stem cell transplant because they are battling a blood disorder or cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma. They work by treating and regenerating a patient’s blood and immune system. PBSCs are easier to collect than bone marrow or cord blood, which are the other stem cell sources for regeneration of blood and immune cells.

There is a process in collecting these stem cells. GenCure community services recruitment, search, and workup teams find donors with the same human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) as the patient in need of a transplant using a potential donor list generated by Be the Match Registry.

Potential donors are tested for HLAs and infectious diseases, and they undergo a physical before they can be selected as the match for a patient in need.

Before the donation, PBSCs are mobilized using a drug that increases the amount of stem cells in the bloodstream. At our apheresis center, PBSCs are collected from the blood of a donor’s arm. The number of stem cells is quantified by the cord blood laboratory technicians. The stem cells then go into coolers and are taken by courier immediately to the transplant center to help a patient in need.

Our apheresis center also supports clinical research. We provide cells to researchers and cellular therapy companies creating new treatments for blood disorders and other conditions such as prostate cancer.

Taken together, GenCure uses PBSCs to help patients and families in need. PBSC collection and distribution truly exemplifies the BBG mission to save and enhance lives through the healing power of human cells and tissue.

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