CAR T-cell Therapy

UCLA Health physicians are at the forefront of engineered cell innovation

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UCLA Health immunotherapy specialists develop a personalized plan to help you recover. For more information, call our cancer service team at 888-662-8252.

CAR T-cell Therapy

Why choose UCLA Health for CAR T-cell therapy?

Today, immunotherapy helps patients fight different forms of cancer by enabling the immune system to both recognize and attack cancer.

One form of immunotherapy, called CAR T, specifically targets blood cancers so they can be eliminated. This groundbreaking therapy is an immune effector cell therapy referred to as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

The physicians and researchers at UCLA Health are at the forefront of immune effector cell therapy innovation. In 2018, UCLA Health became one of the first hospitals in the nation to offer commercial CAR T-cell therapy to people whose cancer hasn’t responded to other treatments. In 2020, UCLA became one of the first to offer FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy to treat relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma, while previously offering the therapy to participants in clinical trials.

What is CAR T-cell therapy?

CAR T-cell therapy activates a person’s immune system to fight off cancer. Immunotherapy is still relatively new, but it shows promise for adults and children for whom other treatments have stopped working.

T cells are the central components of the immune system. In CAR T-cell therapy, T cells are collected from the patient’s blood and the blood is returned to the patient.. Then, in a laboratory, specialists modify the T cells so they will be able to recognize and attack certain blood cancers.

The modified cells then are also returned to the patient’s body. If the treatment is successful, the newly modified T cells will help a person’s immune system kill off cancer cells, sending the disease into remission.

What conditions can CAR T-cell therapy treat?

This kind of immunotherapy is being studied for a variety of blood cancers. Currently,  five CAR T-cell therapies have been approved by the FDA to treat blood cancers. These cancers and therapies include:

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in adults: Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel) areFDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies for adults with DLBCL who have relapsed or who haven’t responded to two or more treatments.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): Kymriah is approved to treat children and young adults up to age 25 who have refractory or relapsed ALL after other treatments.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL): Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel) is the first FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory MCL.

Follicular lymphoma: Yescarta  is the FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy for adults with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after two prior lines of therapy.

Multiple myeloma: Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel) is approved to treat adults whose multiple myeloma did not respond or returned after receiving four lines of therapies.

Find out more about how the Bone Marrow Transplant team at UCLA Health is using  CAR T-cell treatment.

CAR T-cell treatment

CAR T-cell  therapy is approved to treat certain blood cancers and bone marrow disorderss. The team at UCLA Health helped pioneer CAR T-cell therapy research and today offers these treatments at the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and Santa Monica. Highlights of our program include:

Expertise: The physicians and researchers at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA are at the forefront of cancer research. We took part in clinical trials that helped prove the effectiveness of CAR T-cell therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. UCLA is among the first to offer CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

Research: Our ongoing commitment to research has resulted in breakthroughs in CAR T-cell therapy. Our physicians work with the researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center to stay up to date on the latest advances in immunotherapy.

Clinical trials: As a patient at UCLA Health, you will have access to a variety of immunotherapy clinical trials. Your doctor will discuss the CAR T-cell therapy trials currently available and help you assess the risks and benefits of treatment. Find out more about our current clinical trials.

Contact us

For more information about CAR T-cell therapy at UCLA Health, please call 888-662-8252.

Webinar on the Progress of Engineered Cell Therapy

Sarah Larson, MD | UCLA Community Cancer Care

Webinar on CAR T-cell Therapy for Pediatric Cancer

Satiro de Oliveira, MD | UCLA Pediatric Hematology Oncology