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Frequently Asked Questions About CAR T-Cell Therapy for Lymphoma

  • What is Yescarta?

    Yescarta is a type of cellular therapy called CAR T-cell therapy. CAR T-cell therapy uses specially altered T cells – a part of the immune system – to fight cancer. A sample of a patient's T cells are collected from the blood, then modified to produce special structures called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) on their surface. When these CAR T cells are reinfused into the patient, the new receptors enable them to latch onto a specific antigen on the patient's tumor cells and kill them.

    Learn more about how CAR T-cell therapy works.

    The clinical trials of Yescarta, in which DF/BWCC was the only participant in northeast site, showed that 82 percent of patients with treatment-resistant or relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma responded to the CAR T-cell therapy, including 54 percent who had a complete response (i.e. no sign of cancer). In the latest data report, 40 percent percent remained complete remission a median of 15.4 months after treatment.

    Who is eligible to receive Yescarta?

    Yescarta is appropriate for some patients with some forms of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have not responded to at least two prior lines of therapy (refractory). This may include patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, or transformed follicular lymphoma.

    As a first step, ask your oncologist for a referral to DF/BWCC's Adult Lymphoma Program to determine if CAR T-cell therapy is appropriate. All patients must have a physician referral. Call us at 877-801-CART (2278).

    Where is Yescarta available?

    Because this is a highly specialized and highly personalized treatment, Yescarta is available at a limited number of specialized cancer centers. DF/BWCC is an authorized center for Yescarta.

    Will my insurance cover Yescarta?

    Health insurers are preparing their coverage policies for this treatment. In the meantime, coverage is reviewed on a case-by-case basis as is typical when new therapies are first approved. We work with patients and insurers to seek health insurance coverage for clinically-eligible patients.

    What if this CAR T-cell therapy isn't right for me? What are my options?

    Another option may be to participate in a clinical trial. At DF/BWCC, our lymphoma program offers a wide range of clinical trials exploring several new treatment options. This includes other CAR T-cell therapy trials as well as other promising therapies. We will work with you to determine if a clinical trial is an option for you.

    For more information, read our general Frequently Asked Questions About CAR T-Cell Therapy.

  • Dana-Farber/ Brigham and Women's Cancer Center
  • Contact Information for CAR T-Cell Therapy

    For more information about CAR T-cell therapy, please call 877-801-CART (2278) or email cartinquiries@dfci.harvard.edu.

  • Pediatric CAR T-Cell Therapy

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's is a certified treatment center for providing the recently FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy called KYMRIAH to patients who are up to 25 years old with second or later relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).