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CAR-T Cell Therapy: Using Healthy Cells to Fight Cancer

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What Is CAR-T Cell Immunotherapy?

How does the immune system fight cancer? It doesn't... without a boost.

The immune system relies on a powerful army of "T cells." They on are on the front line of our body's defenses. Their mission is to search and destroy anything that causes illness or infection. With cancer, the immune system often fails to deploy T cells right away or at all. When it does, the attack is ineffective.

Imagine a drug or therapy that could treat disease by helping the immune system do its job better. That was the idea in creating our CAR-T cell therapy, just one of the many immunotherapy treatment options available at Penn.

To learn how the CAR-T process works, view the infographic above and watch the video below.

CAR-T Cell Therapy: Is It Right for You or Your Loved One?

CAR-T cell therapy is now FDA-approved for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Penn Medicine is also studying CAR-T therapy for other forms of cancer and are currently enrolling appropriate patients into clinical trials.

CAR-T for Pediatric and Young Adult Leukemia

In August 2017, Kymriah™ became the first CAR-T cell therapy to be approved by the FDA. Developed here at Penn Medicine, Kymriah™ was approved to treat patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 215-316-5127. If you or a loved one has ALL and is under 18 years old, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) may be able to help. You can reach the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at CHOP at 267-426-0762

CAR-T for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

In addition to leukemia, Kymriah™ is approved to treat adult patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) – as well as high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.

Yescarta™ is another CAR therapy approved by the FDA for treatment of this disease. 

Penn Medicine is the only cancer center in the Philadelphia region approved to administer both Kymriah™ and Yescarta™ for patients with DLBCL. Our oncologists are world-renowned experts in treating patients with CAR-T cell therapy. To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call 215-316-5127.

CAR-T for Other Cancers

Our success in personalized cellular therapy does not stop with blood cancers. We are continuing to develop and test cancer vaccines, immune modulatory drugs and cell-based therapies for both blood and solid tumor cancers.

There are a number of CAR-T cell therapy clinical trials available at Penn Medicine for all different forms of cancer. View the list here.

To learn more about clinical trials, watch our video "What Is A Clinical Trial?".