Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of cellular immunotherapy that utilizes the body’s own immune system to fight disease. A critical part of the immune system, T-cells are designed to recognize and fight infection and other diseases like cancer. There are times, however, when T-cells become ineffective at recognizing cancer cells, leaving the body’s immune system ineffective. CAR-T therapy reprograms those cells, helping them to recognize and fight cancer.
CAR-T therapy is a one-time treatment using a patient’s own modified T-cells. First, millions of T-cells are taken from a patient’s blood. These T-cells are shipped off to the lab where they’re genetically modified by adding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). CARs are proteins that help T-cells to recognize antigens found on cancer cells, like a GPS that directs the T-cells to target and attack cancer. After the CAR gene is added, the modified T-cells are multiplied and sent back to the hospital. In preparation for the treatment a patient may undergo a short round of chemotherapy. The CAR-T cells are then infused back into the body where they seek out and attack cancer cells.
At Moffitt Cancer Center CAR-T therapy can be used to treat certain types of cancer, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, multiple myeloma, transformed follicular lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
CAR-T therapy is just one approach researchers are developing to harness the power of our body’s own immune system to conquer the battle against cancer. As we discover promising new treatment options through our laboratory breakthroughs, we are committed to bringing those treatments to patients. Through our robust clinical trials program many of our patients have opportunities to benefit from our research, and our multispecialty team is committed to providing outstanding clinical services and support for those who are receiving immunotherapies.
If you’d like to learn more about CAR-T therapy, you can contact Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.