CAR-T therapy for lymphoma

CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy (also called CAR-T therapy and CART therapy) treats blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

A type of cancer immunotherapy, CAR-T supercharges your immune cells to better destroy cancer cells. This therapy usually requires a hospital stay. But for some patients, we now offer it without a hospital stay.

What & Who Does CAR T-Cell Therapy Treat?

Currently, CART therapy is FDA-approved to treat:

  • Aggressive B-cell lymphomas (adults only)
  • B-cell leukemia (children and young adults only)

Learn about CAR T-Cell Treatment for Children

To qualify for CAR T-Cell therapy, you must:

  • Have leukemia or lymphoma that hasn’t responded to treatment. Or you have lymphoma that has returned
  • Be healthy enough to undergo the possible side effects
  • Be well enough to wait a few weeks while we process your cells

How Does CAR T-Cell Therapy Work?

This therapy uses T cells from your immune system. The therapy happens in two phases.

We Modify Your T-Cells

  1. First, we collect your T-cells.
  2. We then add to your T-cells. We change them to include a gene with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). The CAR reprograms your T-cells to seek out a particular type of cancer cell and destroy it. This process takes 3 to 6 weeks.

We Infuse Your Changed T-Cells

  1. Before you get the new cells, we’ll give you some chemotherapy. This helps the new cells work better.
  2. When ready, we infuse the changed T-cells into your blood.

Within a week, the CAR T-cells multiply to make up 70% to 90% of the T-cells in your body. The new T-cells seek out and destroy cancer cells.

CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy treats cancer using modified cells in your own blood to destroy specific cancer cells. The FDA has approved this treatment option for lymphomas (in adults only) and leukemia (in children and young adults only). View Car T-Cell transcript.

Outpatient Option & Recovery

Almost all patients return to normal life within a few weeks.

Children and some adults need to recover in the hospital for 1-2 weeks.

But for select adult patients, we offer CAR T-cell treatment on an outpatient basis. You won’t need a hospital stay. You’ll receive treatment during visits to the infusion center at UVA Health’s Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.

Find out what to expect during infusion.

Possible Side Effects From CAR T-Cell Therapy

Having a high number of active T-cells in your body is risky. You may have side effects.

You could experience:

  • Fever, body aches, and fatigue, or cytokine release syndrome (CRS)
  • Serious life-threatening symptoms, such as low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and trouble breathing
  • Nervous system issues, like tremor, problems talking, confusion, or seizure

We’re experts at recognizing and helping manage all side effects from CAR T.

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