For decades, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation were the only real options for treating cancer. But with new advances in research, immunotherapy is fast becoming a viable alternative.
AT UCLA Health, our doctors are at the forefront of immunotherapy research. Our team was one of the first in the nation to offer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to people with difficult-to-treat blood cancers.
UCLA Health was one of the first centers in the nation to provide patients with potentially lifesaving CAR T-cell therapy. In addition to clinical trials with investigational treatments, we offer the two currently FDA-approved CAR T-cell treatments:
Most cancer therapies require many months of ongoing care and extended hospital stays. One of the advantages of CAR T-cell therapy is that the entire process takes only a couple of weeks. It includes:
After the infusion, the reintroduced T cells remain in your body. They multiply and attack cancer cells and help prevent new cancer cells from developing. Read frequently asked questions about CAR T-cell therapy.
The most common side effects are temporary, lasting only a few days. They include flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, fatigue) and neurological symptoms (confusion, difficulty speaking).
It’s important to note that CAR T-cell therapy is not appropriate for everyone. Some side effects can be serious and even life-threatening. Be sure to discuss all of the possible side effects with your doctor when considering CAR T-cell treatment.
Although CAR T-cell treatment has only been used in clinical settings for a short time, the results so far are promising. In clinical trials, about 50 percent of adults who received Yescarta went into remission. And 75 percent of children who received Kymriah were in remission six months after infusion.
For more information about CAR T-cell therapy at UCLA Health, please call 888-662-8252.