Physicians and researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System, help shape the future of cancer treatment. We are proud to offer some of the latest clinical trials and newly approved treatments, including advanced CAR T-cell therapy.
Sylvester is one of just 16 cancer care locations across the United States that is authorized to use Yescarta, a new type of CAR T-cell therapy for recurrent lymphoma in adults. This innovative treatment is genetically engineered for each individual, giving you more personalized treatment options than ever before.
What is CAR T-cell therapy?
CAR T-cell therapy is a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses your body’s own cells to fight cancer.
With CAR T-cell therapy, white blood cells called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are used to treat recurrent lymphoma. T-cells are a type of immune system cell in your body that typically attack bacteria or viruses that may cause diseases. These cells don’t usually attack cancer because cancer cells resemble your body’s healthy cells.
During CAR T-cell therapy, your doctor takes some of your blood, which contains millions of T-cells. Your doctor then removes the T-cells and “reprograms” them with new proteins in a laboratory. They are then placed back into your body intravenously (through an IV). These proteins cause the T-cells to attack lymphoma cancer cells in your body.
You will have three low-dose chemotherapy treatments before your doctor re-infuses the T-cells back into your body. You will receive treatment in the hospital so we can monitor you for side effects or other problems and ensure the treatment is working. Once the T-cells are back in your bloodstream, they should begin attacking cancer cells.
Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is the one of the latest types of CAR T-cell therapy. Due to research completed at Sylvester and other cancer centers, it received FDA approval in October 2017 to treat certain types of aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In clinical trials, nearly half of all patients who received Yescarta went into remission.
Am I Eligible for Yescarta Treatment?
Yescarta benefits adult cancer patients who have recurrent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has not responded well to traditional treatments, like chemotherapy and blood or marrow transplants. To qualify, you must have previously received a different form of treatment twice.
You must also have one of these types of cancer:
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
- High grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBCL), including double hit lymphoma (DHL) or transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL)
- Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL)
This therapy can cause serious side effects, so it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this treatment.
Who is a candidate for CAR-T therapy?