Frequently asked questions
- What are chimeric antigen receptors (CARs)?
A specific receptor (or hook) that is added to a person’s T cells that may help them find and fight specific cells.
- What is CAR T cell therapy and how does it work?
CAR T cell therapy is a type of cancer immunotherapy that works with the immune system by modifying T cells to find and fight specific cells, including cancer cells and healthy cells.
- How effective is CAR T cell therapy?
Some CAR T cell therapies have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. However, some CAR T cell therapies are in clinical trials and their efficacy and safety are still being explored.
- What are the side effects of CAR T cell therapy?
The side effects of CAR T cell therapy will vary, differing from person to person and product to product, and can be mild, moderate, severe, or cause death. Some of the more serious side effects you may have heard of include cytokine release syndrome (CRS), neurologic toxicity, and infection. To learn more about these side effects, download our Symptom Guide. It is important to tell your healthcare team if you experience any side effects so they can treat them.
- What CAR T cell therapies are available?
Some CAR T cell therapies are approved for certain blood cancers and are available through a doctor. Some are still being studied in clinical trials. To learn more about available clinical trials, ask your doctor and visit clinicaltrials.gov.
- How do I find a CAR T cell therapy treatment site?
CAR T cell therapy can be administered only at certain treatment centers. If you and your doctor decide CAR T cell therapy might be right for you, talk to your healthcare team about your options and decide on a treatment center. Where you’re able to be treated depends on several things, including your location, health, and which CAR T cell therapy you’d receive.
- What is a CAR T cell therapy care partner?
Undergoing CAR T cell therapy is a team effort, and the person receiving treatment needs support beyond the healthcare team. A CAR T cell therapy care partner can be a spouse, adult child, family member, or friend. Care partners provide emotional and treatment support like helping with common household chores (cooking meals or folding laundry), going to each medical appointment, monitoring how you’re feeling, and taking note of any side effects or symptoms. Most CAR T cell therapy treatment centers require the patient to have a care partner, who will provide 24/7 support, in order to receive CAR T cell therapy.
- Where can I learn more about CAR T cell therapy?
Talk to a healthcare provider to learn more.