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 and 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.

Step 1 : Collect patient’s white blood cells through process called apheresis.  Step 2: Isolate the patient’s T-cells.  Step 3: Modify the patient’s T-cells to help them recognize and target cancer cells. Step 4: Increase number of fighter T-cells Step 5: Infuse new fighter T-Cells into patient. This process uses CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cells, which are genetically modified to recognize cancer and signal an immune response to fight off the disease.

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. Colorado Blood Cancer Institute has offered CAR T-Cell therapy research options since early 2016 and has clinical trials open in:

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Lymphoma

Learn more about our clinical trial options.

FDA-approved therapy

CAR T-Cell Therapy is best administered in transplant centers that are FACT-accredited; Colorado Blood Cancer Institute has been accredited since 2002 and has a comprehensive care team under the direction of Dr. Peter McSweeney specially trained in this exciting new therapy. Colorado Blood Cancer Institute has FDA approved CAR T-Cell Therapy now available in the following disease sites:

  • Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma

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Referral information

To learn more about CAR T-Cell Therapy, a type of immunotherapy, and potential treatment options for you, contact (720) 754-4835.