The CAR T-Cell Therapy Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital brings an innovative new immunotherapy treatment option to patients with certain blood cancers. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy reprograms a patient’s own T-cells to target tumor antigens. CAR T-cell therapy has shown complete remission rates of 80 to 90 percent in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma, and 40 percent in patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas who have failed multiple prior lines of treatment. The groundbreaking therapy is currently only available in Connecticut at Smilow Cancer Hospital.
The program’s Co-Directors are Stuart Seropian, MD,
Associate Professor of Medicine, and Iris Isufi, MD
, Assistant Professor of Medicine. At this time, the therapy is only FDA-approved for patients with childhood (up to age 25) acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common cancer in children, or adult
B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, researchers at Yale are conducting clinical trials to test new CAR T-cell therapies against other cancers, and Drs. Seropian and Isufi expect CAR T-cell therapies to be approved for a wider array of lymphomas and leukemias, and expanded to include all age groups.
A large multidisciplinary team is involved in the care of patients receiving this therapy, including a transplant team, a cell collection and processing unit, the Intensive Care Unit, Pharmacy, Social Work, and access to our TeleHealth
program for home evaluations. All patients are closely monitored for any side effects following therapy, and patients and families are given extensive education on how to safely continue care at home.