CHIMERIC ANTIGEN RECEPTOR (CAR) T-CELL THERAPY
Yescarta is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults with large B-cell lymphoma. Yescarta is indicated when lymphoma is relapsed or refractory and at least two other drug therapies have previously been tried. Yescarta is also known by its drug name, axicabtagene ciloleucel.
Yescarta is a type of immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Yescarta is also a type of gene therapy. Yescarta is made from a person’s own T cells that have been harvested and genetically engineered to target a protein called CD19 that is common on B cells. Yescarta is believed to work by attacking and killing lymphoma cells.
How do I take it?
Since Yescarta is manufactured from your own cells, the first step is having your T cells harvested at a clinic in a process similar to receiving a blood transfusion. Next, the cells are frozen and sent to the manufacturer’s laboratory, where they are genetically altered. The manufacturing process takes three to four weeks. Finally, Yescarta is shipped to your health care provider.
Some people receive chemotherapy for a few days before receiving Yescarta. Yescarta is administered once as an intravenous infusion.
The FDA-approved label for Yescarta lists common side effects including fever, low blood cell count, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, confusion, difficulty speaking, nausea, and diarrhea.
Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is both common and potentially severe in people who take Yescarta. CRS, which can be potentially fatal, can include severe symptoms listed above, as well as neurological side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, and tremors.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Yescarta can include life-threatening neurological damage, severe infections, hypersensitivity reactions, and increased risk for developing other types of cancer.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Yescarta — Kite
Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy — Leukemia & Lymphoma Society