WHAT IS CAR T-CELL THERAPY?
CAR T-Cell Therapy, an immunotherapy, is a novel therapy that helps a person’s immune system recognize and fight cancer. The immune system is responsible for ridding the body of abnormal cells that are foreign (like cancer) or infected. T-lymphocytes (T-Cells) are a type of cell responsible for killing abnormal cells. During the CAR T-Cell treatment process, T-Cells are drawn from a patient's blood and genetically modified to recognize and fight their own cancer cells when reinfused.
Here’s how it works:
- First, a patient’s white blood cells are collected through a process called apheresis.
- Then, the T-Cells are isolated from other blood cells.
- T-Cells are then modified in a special facility to help them recognize and target the cancer cells, what can be thought of as “fighter” T-Cells.
- Lastly, the new “fighter” T-Cells are reinfused into the patient to allow tumor cell recognition.
CAR T-Cell Therapy Clinical Trials
CAR T-Cell Therapy is an exciting new therapy that has been in research trials over the last few years. These types of treatments will be introduced gradually, and are available only at centers where doctors and nurses have been specially-trained and meet Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) accreditation standards. Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will be offering CAR T-Cell research in 2019.
CAR T-Cell Therapy is best administered in transplant centers that are FACT-accredited; Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center been accredited since 2014 and has a comprehensive care team specially trained in this exciting new therapy. Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center has FDA approved CAR T-Cell Therapy now available in the following disease sites:
- Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (Adult)