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ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic announced today that its Rochester campus is one of 16 cancer centers nationally selected to provide chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR T-cell therapy) for adults with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have not responded to, or have relapsed, after two or more lines of treatment. The therapy, called axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta), is approved to treat subtypes of lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma arising from follicular lymphoma, and high-grade B-cell lymphoma.
“CAR T-cell therapy is a cell-based regenerative immunotherapy, and it is one of the most promising new areas of cancer treatment,” says Yi Lin, M.D., Ph.D., a hematologist and chair of the Cellular Therapeutics Cross-Disciplinary Group at Mayo Clinic. “This therapy uses genetically modified versions of a patient’s own immune cells to fight their cancer. I like to describe these modified T-cells as super RoboCops designed to seek out and destroy a particular cancer.”
CAR T-cell therapy begins by collecting a patient’s white blood cells (T-cells) and sending them to a central manufacturing facility where they are genetically modified to direct them against a patient’s cancer. Once processed, the CAR T-cells are frozen and sent back to the hospital for IV infusion back into the patient.
Before the patients receives their CAR T-cells, they undergo a short chemotherapy regimen to condition their body to receive the cells. Once infused, the CAR T-cells proliferate inside the body, and begin to recognize and attack cancer cells.
Mayo Clinic has successfully participated in CAR T-cell clinical trials with Kite (a Gilead company) and other manufacturers of T-cell therapies. “As one of the first treatment centers in the country, patients will be under the care of a team of experts trained in CAR T-cell therapy for cancer treatment,” Dr. Lin says.
Patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma arising from follicular lymphoma, and high-grade B-cell lymphoma who have not responded to, or have relapsed, after two or more lines of treatment and are interested in CAR T-cell therapy may contact the Mayo Clinic Hematology Patient Appointment office at 507-284-5363 to request an appointment for evaluation and assessment for eligibility for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. In the future, Mayo Clinic plans to offer chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma at its campuses in Arizona and Florida.
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Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org