Skip Navigation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Dana-Farber patients & families Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions About CAR T-Cell Therapy for Lymphoma

  • What are the CAR T therapies approved for lymphoma?

    Yescarta, KYMRIAH®, Breyanzi, and Tecartus are types 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 trial of Yescarta for some forms of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma showed 82 percent of patients responded to the CAR T-cell therapy, including 54 percent who had a complete response (i.e., no sign of cancer). The most recent follow-up data at a median 27.1 months after treatment showed that 39 percent of patients had an ongoing response, showing the lasting effectiveness of this therapy.

    In the clinical trial of KYMRIAH for some forms of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 53 percent of patients responded to treatment, and 40 percent achieved a complete response (i.e. no sign of cancer).

    The clinical trial of Breyanzi for some types of large B-cell lymphoma demonstrated that 73 percent of patients responded to the therapy, and 54 percent had a complete response.

    In the clinical trial of Tecartus for mantle cell lymphoma, 87 percent of patients responded to the CAR T-cell therapy, including 62 percent who had a complete response (i.e., no sign of cancer).

    The clinical trial of Yescarta for treatment-resistant or relapsed follicular lymphoma showed that 91 percent of patients responded to the CAR T-cell therapy, including an estimated 74 percent of patients in a continued remission at 18 months.

    How do the different CAR T therapies compare?

    KYMRIAH, Yescarta, Breyanzi, and Tecartus are CAR T-cell therapies targeting CD19, an antigen that is prevalent in the cells of many B-cell malignancies including many types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These therapies demonstrated strong responses from patients in clinical trials and have been approved by the FDA as standard of care for relapsed/refractory patients. They differ in which types of lymphoma they treat, as well as in the way that the CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) is designed to activate the T cell response to attack the cancer.

    • KYMRIAH, Yescarta, and Breyanzi are approved for patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL, primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma, high grade B-cell lymphoma, and transformed follicular lymphoma to DLBCL.
    • Yescarta is also approved for relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma.
    • Tecartus is approved for patients with relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

    Who is eligible to receive these approved CAR T-cell therapies?

    These CAR T therapies are appropriate for some patients with some forms of aggressive or indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma who relapsed or are refractory to prior lines of therapy. See more on who is eligible for these FDA approved CAR T-cell therapies.

    Where are these therapies available?

    Because CAR T-cell therapy is a highly specialized and highly personalized treatment, it is available at a limited number of specialized cancer centers. DF/BWCC is an authorized center for KYMRIAH, Yescarta, Breyanzi, and Tecartus.

    Will my insurance cover this new treatment?

    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.

    What if 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 therapies, as well as other promising treatments. Your clinical team 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).

  • 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).