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CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that 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.
Read more about how CAR T-cell therapy works
Currently, CAR T-cell therapy is FDA approved as standard of care for:
There are also many clinical trials of CAR T-cell therapy for other types of blood cancer and solid tumors.
For adult patients, call 877-801-CART (2278). For pediatric ALL patients, call 617-632-5064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about whether CAR T-cell therapy is right for you
Because this is a highly specialized, highly personalized treatment, CAR T-cell therapy is available at a limited number of cancer centers with specialized expertise in cellular therapies. Both Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Boston Children's Cancer and Blood
Disorder Center offer the FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy as well as CAR T clinical trials.
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.
Although most patients do not experience the common side effects associated with chemotherapy such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting, there are risks of significant side effects with CAR T-cell therapy. Patients are monitored closely to 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.
Possible side effects from CAR T-cell therapy include:
Read more about potential side effects of CAR T-cell therapy
The treatment process involves:
Recovery can take time as your immune system recovers. The acute recovery period is typically for 30 days after the CAR T-cell infusion. During this time, patients must remain within two hours of Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center, and must
have a caregiver with them at all times to monitor for signs of fever, infection, and neurologic difficulties. Most patients feel tired and don't have much appetite during this period.
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).