Résumé : BACKGROUND: Infusion of ex vivo differentiated myeloid progenitors may reduce or abrogate severe neutropenia following mobilized peripheral blood transplantation. We compared the ex vivo expansion of myeloid progenitor cells starting from cancer patients (CP) and from normal donors (ND) and evaluated the influence of the CD34(+) cell mobilization on the capacities of cells to be expanded. METHODS: The ex vivo-expanded cells were evaluated for their phenotype, the presence of primary and secondary granules and their functional capacities (oxidative burst activity and phagocytosis). RESULTS: We did not observe significant differences between ND and CP for the total leukocyte and CD34(+) cell expansions nor for the myeloid progenitor production. In CP as well as in ND, the expanded cells were functionally competent. DISCUSSION: This suggests that the capacities of CD34(+) cells to proliferate and differentiate ex vivo are not impaired by prior chemotherapy and/or disease status. On the other hand, we did not observe any significant correlation between the number of mobilized CD34(+) cells before apheresis and the cell expansion. In conclusion, the ex vivo expansion of CP and ND cells is comparable and achievable even with a low CD34(+) cell number in mobilized peripheral blood.