What is CAR T cell therapy?

CAR T cell therapy is a type of cancer immunotherapy that can find and fight cancer

How CAR T cell therapy works

  • CAR T cell therapy is created by modifying your T cells with new receptors on the surface of the cells
  • This receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR
  • The T cell with the CAR added helps find and fight specific targeted cells, which include cancer cells and healthy cells

How CAR T cells are made


A key fighter in your immune system.


A specific receptor (or hook) that is added to the T cell.


Your body’s T cell with the CAR added is now called a CAR T cell.

CAR T cell therapy may be considered after other treatments

Common treatments that you may have received for blood cancer:

  • Chemotherapy

    Targets and kills cells (both healthy and those with cancer) that divide rapidly.

  • Radiation

    Damages the DNA of cells in the area targeted.

  • Stem cell or bone marrow transplant

    Replaces unhealthy stem cells in the bone marrow.

  • CAR T cell therapy may be an option

  • Talk to your doctor about CAR T cell therapy

    Over the past few years, some have been approved by the FDA for certain blood cancers. Some are still being studied in clinical trials.

CAR T cell therapy is generally made from your own T cells, so therapy is specifically made for you.

There are 6 steps involved in CAR T cell therapy.

See the steps