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Cellular Therapies Resources

  • CAR T-cell therapies are FDA approved for:

    Aggressive relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, and transformed follicular lymphoma.

    • Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel): The clinical trial of Yescarta for some forms of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma showed 82 percent of patients responding 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.
    • Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel): In the clinical trial for patients with some forms aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 53 percent responded to treatment, with 40 percent achieving a complete response (i.e. no sign of cancer).
      Kymriah is also approved for patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) up to age 25. Learn more about Kymriah for pediatric B-cell ALL.
    • Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel): In the clinical trial for patients with large B-cell lymphoma, 73 percent responded to the therapy, and 54 had a complete response.

    Relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma

    • Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel, formerly KTE-X19): In the clinical trial, 87 percent of patients responded to the therapy, and 62 percent had a complete response.

    Relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma

    • Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel): In the clinical trial of Yescarta for follicular lymphoma, 91 percent of patients responded, including an estimated 74 percent of patients in a continued remission at 18 months.

    Relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

    • Abecma (idecabtagene vileucel): The clinical trial of Abecma showed the CAR T-cell therapy to be highly effective, with 72 percent of patients achieving rapid, deep, and durable responses.

    We also offer several CAR T-cell therapy clinical trials for several types of blood cancers and for patients at various stages of treatment.

    More on CAR T-cell therapy

  • How does CAR T-cell therapy work?

  • Referring for CAR T-Cell Therapy

    Below are guidelines we use to assess patients for CAR T-cell therapy as standard care. Additional criteria may apply for clinical trials:

    CAR T for Lymphoma

    Yescarta, Kymriah, and Breyanzi for Aggressive non-Hodgkin Lymphoma:

    • Confirmed diagnosis of DLBCL, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high-grade B-cell lymphoma, or transformed follicular lymphoma to DLBCL that has relapsed or not responded to at least two prior lines of systemic therapy.

    Tecartus for Mantle Cell Lymphoma:

    • Histologically confirmed diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma that has either not responded to, or relapsed after first line of therapy.

    Yescarta for Indolent Follicular Lymphoma:

    • Confirmed diagnosis of follicular lymphoma that has relapsed or not responded to at least two prior lines of systemic therapy.

    CAR T for Leukemia

    • Confirmed diagnosis of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that has either not responded or relapsed after at least two lines of prior treatment.
    • Adequate organ, cardiac, and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures)
    • Age 25 years or younger

    CAR T for Multiple Myeloma

    Abecma for Multiple Myeloma

    • Confirmed diagnosis of multiple myeloma that has relapsed or not responded (refractory) after four or more prior lines of treatment.
    • Prior therapy must have included a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory drug, and an anti-CD 38 monoclonal antibody.

    Preparing Patients for CAR T-Cell Therapy

    While CAR T-cell therapy is a promising treatment, it is also a complex, lengthy process with the risk of serious side effects. It is important that you and your patients understand:

    • Once CAR T-cell therapy is determined to be appropriate treatment, we collect the patient's T cells through leukapheresis. The T cells are then sent to a lab, either a Dana-Farber or off-site, to be engineered to express the target specific for the patient's cancer. This manufacturing process generally takes two to three weeks.
    • Patients may receive lymphodepleting chemotherapy in the days prior to their CAR T-cell infusion, to make room in their immune system for the CAR T cells to expand and proliferate.
    • Most patients are hospitalized for one to three weeks to monitor for side effects.
    • Potential serious side effects may include fevers, chills, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding language, or stupor. Our teams are specially trained to address these side effects, though patients may be quite ill for a period of time while in the hospital.
    • Patients must remain within two hours of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's for four weeks after their CAR T-cell infusion for rapid management of side effects after discharge. A caregiver is required to stay with the patient during this period.

    Working Together

    We welcome the opportunity to discuss patients for whom CAR T-cell therapy may be appropriate. Contact us at 877-801-2278 or cartinquiries@dfci.harvard.edu.

    Our team works collaboratively with referring oncologists after CAR T-cell therapy. We provide guidance on what to watch for, and recommended follow-up care. To monitor the long-term effectiveness of CAR T-cell therapy, patients will require follow-up care for up to 15 years.