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Kymriah 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 is collected from the blood, then is 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.
Clinical trials of Kymriah showed that 83 percent of patients achieved complete remission (i.e., no sign of cancer) within 3 months of treatment.
Kymriah is appropriate for some children and young adults up to age 25 with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that has either not responded or has relapsed after at least two prior treatments.
For patients ages 18-25, the first step is a referral to DF/BWCC's Adult Leukemia Program for an evaluation. Call us at 877-801-CART (2278).
Patients may also be evaluated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (Dana-Farber/Boston
Children's). To schedule a consultation for your child, call 617-632-5064, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because Kymriah is a highly complex, highly personalized treatment, it is available at a limited number of specialized cancer centers. Only hospitals that meet quality and technical standards set by Novartis (which makes Kymriah) can offer this treatment.
DF/BWCC (for young adults ages 18 to 25) and Dana-Farber/Boston Children's (for any patient under age 25) are certified treatment centers for Kymriah.
Coverage is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, as is typical for new therapies. We work with patients and insurers to seek health insurance coverage
for clinically-eligible patients.
There are risks of significant side effects with CAR T-cell therapy. Patients are admitted to the hospital for several weeks so our care team can monitor response to the treatment, and manage reactions to this therapy. The complications are generally
temporary and resolve with treatment. Our care team is specially trained to identify and manage these side effects.
Most patients do not experience the common side effects associated with chemotherapy such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. However, possible side effects from CAR T-cell therapy include:
Read more about potential side effects of CAR T-cell therapy.
See our Frequently Asked Questions About CAR T-cell Therapy for more information.
Contact Information for CAR T-Cell Therapy
For more information about CAR T-cell therapy, please call 877-801-CART (2278).
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).