Some CAR T therapies are approved and some are being investigated in clinical trials.
Personalized treatment approach1

Expand Your Understanding of CAR T Cell Therapy

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a personalized, one-time treatment being studied in various patient populations with certain types of cancer.1,2

What Is CAR T Cell Therapy and How Does It Work?

Autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that genetically modifies a patient’s own T cells to recognize and bind to specific proteins (tumor-associated antigens) on the surface of antigen-expressing cells. These include cancerous and/or healthy cells that may also express the tumor-associated antigen.1,2

Unlike traditional small molecule or biologic treatments, autologous CAR T cell therapy is manufactured for each individual patient using their own T cells. After a one-time treatment, CAR T cells can continue to multiply in a patient’s body (cell expansion) and have the potential to remain in the blood for up to 1 year following administration.2,3

Figure that summarizes how a CAR is developed: T Cell + CAR = CAR T Cell Figure that summarizes how a CAR is developed: T Cell + CAR = CAR T Cell

Patient selection considerations for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy may differ from stem cell transplants—some CAR T clinical trials have included transplant-ineligible patients.4

Who Are the Potential Patients for CAR T Cell Therapy in Your Practice?

CAR T cell therapies have been approved for adult, pediatric, and young adult patients with certain relapsed or refractory cancers.5-7 They continue to be investigated in earlier lines of therapy and in various hematologic and solid tumors.1,3,8-11

Considerations for appropriate CAR T cell therapy patients include prior lines of therapy and patient fitness, which includes consideration for patients’ performance status, organ function, lymphocyte count, and the health of T cells.1,5,7


CHIMERIC ANTIGEN RECEPTOR (CAR) T cell therapy is built on partnership and support.

Getting Patients Started on CAR T Cell Therapy

Physicians may refer a potential patient to seek an initial consult in order to determine eligibility at a center that is qualified to administer CAR T cell therapy.12

The CAR T cell therapy process begins with leukapheresis to collect a patient’s cells. Collected T cells undergo genetic modification to express a CAR, and the packaged CAR T cells are shipped to the treatment site. CAR T cell therapy is generally a one-time treatment.5,7,13 Patients must be monitored in the weeks following the treatment for potentially life-threatening or fatal treatment-emergent side effects.5,7,12 Long-term follow-up will also be necessary.5,7

CAR T cell therapy is administered at select treatment centers across the United States and in several countries in Europe and Asia. Collaboration between referring physicians and treatment centers can help put CAR T cell therapy within reach for more patients appropriate for treatment.12,14,15


References: 1. Maus MV, Levine BL. Oncologist. 2016;21:608-617. 2. Hartmann J, Schüßler-Lenz M, Bondanza A, Buchholz, CJ. EMBO Mol Med. 2017;9:1183-1197. 3. Boyiadzis MM, Dhodapkar MV, Brentjens RJ, et al. J Immunother Cancer. 2018;6-137. 4. Chavez JC, Bachmeier C, Kharfan-Dabaja MA. Ther Adv Hematol. 2018;1-20. 5. News release. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration; August 30, 2017. Accessed July 15, 2020. 6. News release. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration; May 1, 2018. Accessed July 15, 2020. 7. News release. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration; October 18, 2017. Accessed July 15, 2020. 8. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03391466. Accessed September 24, 2019. 9. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03761056. Accessed September 24, 2019. 10. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03318861. Accessed September 24, 2019. 11. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04007029. Accessed November 6, 2018. 12. Beaupierre A, Lundberg R, Marrero L, Jain M, Wang T, Alencar MC. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2019;23:27-34. 13. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02445248. Accessed November 6, 2018. 14. The ASCO Post. Accessed September 24, 2019. 15. Hayden PJ, Sirait T, Koster L, Showden JA, Yakoub-Agha I. Curr Res Transl Med. 2019;67:79-88.