Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy (CAR-T) harnesses the body's own immune system in the fight against cancer. It is the newest innovation in the treatment of blood cancers that are not responsive to traditional treatment. The first
CAR-T therapy was FDA approved in 2017, and has since continued to expand across many different kinds of blood cancer.
Beaumont, Royal Oak is proud to join select treatment centers in the country who offer Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. This transformative immunotherapy approach genetically modifies a patient’s own T-cells to recognize,
target, and kill certain relapsed and/or refractory blood cancers where traditional treatments fail.
CAR-T therapy at Beaumont, Royal Oak benefits our community and our patients through increased access to novel cancer therapy, receipt of treatment closer to home, and expanded opportunities to take part in leading-edge clinical trials.”
Dr. Ishmael Jaiyesimi - Cellular Therapies Program Clinical Director
What is CAR-T Therapy?
The immune system is made up of many different kinds of cells that work together to fight off infection. T-cells are white blood cells within the immune system that help protect the body from infections and can even fight cancer cells. CAR-T therapy uses
the natural ability of these T-cells to detect and destroy cancer cells.
The CAR T-cells that make up CAR-T therapy are made from T-cells that are collected from the patient. The T-cells are then genetically engineered into CAR T-cells by modifying them to target specific cancer cells. These CAR T-cells are then infused back
into the patient with the hope that they will be able to locate and destroy cancer cells.
CAR T-cell therapy has shown to have lasting effect due to the CAR T-cell's ability to continue to replicate within the body for months to years after the initial infusion.
How successful is CAR T-cell Therapy?
Trials and ongoing research with CAR-T therapy have shown high success rates in blood cancers that have previously not been responsive to other treatment. Patients that have seen a complete response to this therapy tend to remain in a compete response
with about 80% of those that reached a complete response remaining cancer free years after their therapy.
Patients who responded to CAR-T therapy reported a meaningful increase in quality of life in certain areas such as general health, mental health, vitality, and physical and social functioning.
What are the side effects?
The side effects from CAR-T therapy are manageable with proper monitoring and treatment. These side effects can resolve on their own, in a day or two, and our team has supportive care measures in place to prevent and treat these conditions. Talk with your provider to learn more about the side effects of CAR-T therapy.
Common side effects can include but are not limited to:
- Cytokine Release Syndrome: Commonly presents as fever but in rarer cases, can cause increased heart rate, low blood pressure, or low blood oxygen levels.
- Neurological Effects: Commonly presents as confusion or difficulty writing/speaking.
- Low Blood Counts: Could lead to increased risk for bleeding or infection.
Is this therapy right for me?
CAR-T therapy is currently only approved for certain blood cancers and only after other treatments have not been successful. Talk with a Beaumont oncologist to see if it is right for you.