Background aims: This white paper was developed to provide leukapheresis guidance for the collection of mononuclear cells from adult and pediatric patients who are destined for immune effector cell (IEC) therapies for commercial and research applications. Currently, there is considerable variability in leukapheresis processes and limited published information regarding best practices relevant to new cellular therapies, especially IECs. Herein the authors address critical leukapheresis questions in five domains to help guide consistent collection processes and ensure high-quality products. The first four domains are onboarding, pre-collection, collection and post-collection, with protocol feasibility, preparation, care and follow-up of the patient/donor at each step, respectively, and technical considerations during collection. The fifth domain of quality assurance focuses on ensuring product potency, purity, safety and auditing. Methods: The American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) Clinical Applications Committee (IEC Therapy Subcommittee) was charged by the society's board of directors with working collaboratively with other ASFA committees and organizations, including the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies, American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, National Marrow Donor Program and International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy, to develop guidelines regarding leukapheresis collection of cells destined for the manufacture of IEC therapies. After a review of the literature and discussion with members of the involved committees and various institutions, a draft guidance was created and circulated for comment and revision. Results: Critical aspects of apheresis that could affect the quality and quantity of the leukapheresis product were identified. These areas were then discussed and reviewed. After consensus, the best practice guidelines were proposed and accepted. Conclusions: In the current era of rapid growth of IEC therapies, it is important to address critical leukapheresis steps to provide high-quality products and more consistent practices and to eliminate redundant efforts.
- Cell collection
- Immune effector cell therapy