Human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are widely used as a cellular source for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in the clinical treatment of hematological malignancies. After transplantation therapy, delays in hematopoietic recovery due to insufficient donor-derived HSCs can lead to increased risks of life-threatening infections and bleeding. Our previous studies developed an efficient ex vivo expansion culture medium (3a medium) for umbilical cord blood-derived HSCs (CBSCs), offering a potential solution to this problem. Nevertheless, the broader applicability of our culture method to alternative cell sources and, of greater significance, its efficacy in eliminating potentially disease-associated contaminated tumor cells, especially in autologous transplantation, raise critical clinical questions. In this study, we modified the 3a medium by incorporating UM729 to replace UM171, adding FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) ligand, and adjusting the concentrations of butyzamide, 740Y-P, polyvinyl caprolactam-polyvinyl acetate-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer (PCL-PVAc-PEG, Soluplus) to create the modified-3a medium. This sophistication allowed the efficient expansion of not only CBSCs but also peripheral blood-mobilized HSCs (PBSCs). Additionally, we successfully removed contaminated myeloma cells by adding bortezomib and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) at appropriate concentrations, although we maintained HSCs through the addition of lenalidomide. Our research findings present the potential for widespread clinical application of the modified-3a medium and suggest a safe ex vivo culture technique for expanding human HSCs within peripheral blood-derived donor grafts used for autologous HSCT.

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