CAR T Cell Therapy or Cellular Therapy


Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is an advanced cancer therapy for managing various types of cancer.

The technique involves obtaining the T-cells from the blood of the patients, altering them in the laboratory, and infusing them into the body of patients.

The infused T-cell then identifies and kills the cancer cells. CAR T-cell therapy is recommended to use malignant conditions like multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and certain forms of leukemia.

What is CAR T-Cell Therapy?

The immune system is the primary defense system against the abnormal cells present in the body. The immune system detects and kills cancer cells. However, through certain mechanisms, cancer cells evade the immune system, proliferate, and cause cancer.

CAR T-cell therapy, or cellular therapy, involves altering the genetic expression of the T-cells and making them more potent against cancer cells. The treatment is used when the patients do not respond to other standard treatments or when the cancer recurs.

The entire CAR T-cell therapy may take about 90 days.

How does CAR T-Cell Therapy Work?

There are various steps in the CAR T-cell procedure. These include:

Advantages of CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy benefits patients in multiple ways. The following are the different advantages of CAR T-cell therapy:

FDA-Approved CAR T-cell Therapies for Blood Cancers

The following are the different FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies:

Limitations of CAR T-Cell Therapy

While CAR T-cell therapy is a groundbreaking treatment approach for blood cancers, it is associated with a few limitations that are being studied extensively to optimize this treatment and make it one of the most effective treatment approaches for blood cancers.

The following are the different limitations associated with CAR T-cell therapy:

  • The remission achieved through CAR T-cell therapy may not be durable. For instance, patients who achieve remission within one month of CD19 CAR T-cell therapy may relapse within the first year of treatment.
  • CAR T-cell therapies may cause severe toxicity, and therefore it should be administered only in specialized hospital settings.
  • At this moment, only a few specialized facilities manufacture CAT T-cell therapy medications, and therefore, its timely availability may be a challenge.

CAR T-Cell Therapy Department at HCG

HCG Cancer Centre, the best cancer hospital in India, offers the highest quality services for the diagnosis and management of several types of cancer.

The hematology and bone marrow transplantation department of HCG offers CAR T-cell therapies for blood cancer patients who have exhausted conventional treatments.

At this moment, CAR T-cell treatment is available in 2 of the 21 comprehensive cancer hospitals of HCG Network:

HCG Cancer Centre, Bangalore

The hemato oncology and bone marrow transplantation department at HCG Cancer Centre in Bangalore is made capable of treating certain blood cancer cases with the path-breaking CAR T-cell therapies.

In HCG Bangalore, CAR T-cell therapy is available for the following conditions:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Relapsed follicular lymphoma
  • Relapsed mantle cell lymphoma s
  • ⁠Relapsed B-cell lymphomas
  • ⁠Relapsed myeloma (on clinical trial)

HCG EKO Cancer Centre, Kolkata

HCG EKO Cancer Centre has a full-fledged hemato oncology and bone marrow transplantation department, which allows the treatment of specific blood malignancies with new-age CAR T-cell therapies.

In HCG Kolkata, CAR T-cell therapy is available for the following conditions:

Why choose HCG for CAR T-Cell therapy?

CAR T-cell treatment is an advanced and complex treatment modality, and its administration needs utmost attention and care. HCG Cancer Centre has all the facilities required to deliver CAR T-cell treatment. It also has specialists who have received extensive training and have vast experience in the administration of CAR T-cell treatment for various types of blood cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

CAR T-cell treatment detects and kills cancer cells by identifying a specific antigen on their surface.

The survival rate of CAR T-cell therapy depends on various factors, such as the patient’s age, the stage of the disease, the patient’s response to the treatment, and other comorbidities.

Patients with certain relapsed or refractory cancers, such as multiple myeloma, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma, undergo CAR T-cell therapy.

As CAR T-cell therapy specifically attacks cancer cells and has minimal effect on healthy cells, hair loss is not a usual side effect of CAR T-cell therapy.

Some of the limitations of CAR T-cell therapy are life-threatening side effects, prolonged cytopenia, neurological toxicities, limited effectiveness against solid tumors, antigen escape, and resistance in malignancies. The cost of CAR T-cell treatment may also limit its access.

The doctor inserts two intravenous lines to draw and return the blood through the machine. The patient may either sit on a reclining chair or lie on the bed. Collecting T-cells requires 2 to 3 hours.

The infusion of CAR T-cells may take around 90 minutes. However, patients may expect to stay in the hospital for about 4 to 6 hours to receive care before and after the CAR T-cell infusion.