How do CAR T-Cells work?

CAR T-cell therapy, like all forms of cancer immunotherapy, seeks to sharpen and strengthen the immune system’s inherent cancer-fighting powers. It involves treating patients with modified versions of their own immune system T cells ­– white blood cells that help protect the body from disease.

CAR T-cell therapy has been restricted to small clinical trials, largely in patients with advanced blood cancers. These treatments showed remarkable responses in treated patients—both children and adults—for whom all other treatments had stopped working.

In 2017, two CAR T-cell therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one for the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the other for adults with advanced lymphomas.

Watch the video for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute: